Thursday, August 05, 2010

On Death's Doorstep

The fate of the ’85 Volvo is hanging in the balance.  If it were up to my husband, the poor car would be put out of its misery.
I took the car in on Tuesday with only two problems:  a weak battery that required a jump and an expired Virginia inspection.  I fully expected it to be ready by the end of the day passing the yearly inspection with flying colors like it always does.
But then there were issues of worn bushings and rods and things I couldn’t exactly picture under the hood.  There was also the issue of a price tag of almost $1,000 to fix whatever was causing it to fail inspection.
I was the lone voice pushing to save the Volvo as my husband chanted, “Get rid of it!”  
As of yesterday afternoon they called somewhat sheepishly to tell us they were having difficulty getting out a badly rusted bolt and didn’t know if they would be able to save the part it was attached to.  This is when I wish I really understood what was going on so I could know if these people are simply bullshitting us.
Once again my husband told them to let it die if more money was necessary to save it.  
As I write this, the fate of the old Volvo is unknown.  My husband just called, and a full 13 hours later they are still wrestling with the rusted bolt, as if it’s some sort of stubborn malignancy.
That car may look like a wreck, but any Volvo with only 165,000 miles is in the prime of its life.  I want my car back, with its bushings and rods fixed to the point it passes inspection.  I’m not ready to give it up just yet!


Blogger Merle Sneed said...

A thousand bucks is a lot less than a new car.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Good luck with your car! I think in general that taking a lot of longer trips or commutes throughout the life of the car is what helps those cars to last longer mileage-wise because they help the engine to run cleaner than the short jaunts around town. Since your mileage is low relative to the car's age, that might be one reason why it hasn't lasted for as many miles as you'd like. Relative to some people, you probably have not spent a lot of time in your car over the years.

Unfortunately rust will often sometimes win over age and mileage. Maybe they should let whatever rust remover they are using soak in a bit longer. One time they couldn't get a bolt off of my old car when I brought it in on a Friday, but they called me the next Monday morning and said that it had magically loosened over the weekend. You never know. But sometimes it's just too far gone. Here's hoping you can eke just a little more life out of it.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

My sister loves her Volvo... she has had three of them. Her latest is a wonderful car and I enjoyed driving her home from her successful micro-surgery.

When I read your post about your Volvo, I am reminded of one of my favorite set of books... you know the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency. In Tea for the Traditionally Built:
(by Amazon)
Once again, Precious Ramotswe uses her insights into human nature to unravel problems big and small in Smith's charming 10th novel to feature Botswana's No. 1 lady detective (after The Miracle at Speedy Motors). Leungo Molofololo, the owner of the Kalahari Swoopers, a local soccer team with a lot of athletic talent, suspects a traitor on the squad is deliberately sabotaging games for an unknown reason. Despite her complete ignorance of the sport, Mma Ramotswe agrees to look into the matter. She and her prickly assistant, Grace Makutsi, attend a match and begin interviewing the players in an effort to solve what amounts to the book's main mystery. The soccer inquiry, though, is secondary to a major event in Mma Ramotswe's life—the impending demise of the little white van she's used for many years that's much more than a machine to her.

160k is just a baby for my cars :) The Jeep has 116k on it... just getting it broken in (knock on wood). My van had 260k before I reluctantly let her go (she was still running, but had become what we call in our family "The walkback car" ... you never drive it further than you can walkback)

12:47 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

Merle said it best! I'd guess that Volvo has plenty more miles on it.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry this has come up just before your trip! Hope they get that bolt loosened.


1:40 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

All -- Thanks for your encouragement!

All day long I have felt like a worried relative pacing the floor while the surgeon operates.

The current situation is the bolt refused to budge, my husband reluctantly agreed to an additional $100 part, and the patient remains to be put back together tomorrow after it arrives.

But it looks like death by junk yard has been averted one more time.

3:53 PM  
Blogger soubriquet said...

Any woman with compassion for a Volvo is obviously a kind and good person.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Fingers crossed that all worked out with the Volvo. (I need to keep reading 'til present, I guess.) I'd want to keep it, too.

11:31 PM  

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