The End of the Road

Driving my broken car has been stressful these past few months.  This morning it was a making a horrible grinding noise while in reverse.  On my way back home from dropping hubby off on base, the jerking forward while slowing down/accelerating from a stop was way worse than “normal.”  I would get stuck at a green light for 5-10 seconds because my car just wouldn’t go and the jerking was violent and loud.

I said to myself Facebook this morning, “My car is a stressful piece of crap. Can’t wait to junk it. Car gods, work your magic please!”

I had a doctors appointment in the late morning.  I took the interstate because my car doesn’t seem to jerk around as much when I’m not in stop and go traffic.  After my appointment I decided to stop at a nearby auto shop to see if replenishing my transmission fluid would help at all.  I had to buy the transmission fluid but the shop properly put it in for free!  How nice of them!

As I put the car in reverse to head home that dreaded grinding noise was back.  It didn’t go away when I put the car in park or drive.  Crap!

I went back into the auto shop and explained what my car was doing.  I had told them previously that I wasn’t planning on fixing the transmission and that my car would likely be junked in June.  They said they could look at it but it ultimately wasn’t worth it if I was junking the car.  So I told them I’d go back and see if I could actually drive that piece of crap back home.


I wasn’t sure what to do at this point.  I tried texting my husband but he wasn’t responding.  I sat in the car for a few minutes trying to gather my thoughts when the guy in the office came out.  He had the exact same car as I did, only a newer model.  He noticed a lot of fluid on the ground and took a quick look.  My water pump broke.  He checked his computer for an estimate.  $350.  No way Jose!   It’s the end of the line for you, bucko!


I called AAA roadside assistance to tow me and my car back home.  As my car was being loaded onto the tow, I noticed the frame in the front was excessively low.  When my car was parked back at my apartment complex I noticed a large rusty object laying near my usual parking spot.  Since it was so damn rusty it had to have been from my car.  It was probably part of the frame that was now hanging rather low.  I was warned last month that my subframe was almost completely rusted through.  I’m going to guess the water pump broke when the frame gave way.  

Today was a rough day but I am fortunate this all happened while I was at an automotive repair shop instead of while driving, especially on the interstate!

I guess I should have been more specific in my plead to the car gods.  It would have been nice to have at least made it home first!

We’re using a rental car for a week to give us time to find a suitable used car.  It’s weird driving a car that isn’t broken.  I’m so used to anticipating a large jerk forward when coming to a stop but it doesn’t happen.

I had planned on renting a car this weekend to go visit my best friend who lives 4 hours away.  This photo was taken on my last trip back from her place.

IMAG0936Unfortunately there is no pot of gold at the end of this road…


10 thoughts on “The End of the Road

  1. Dear sweet Woman,

    Your entry reminds me so much of where I was back in 1979 (yes, very old history). Yes, down the road thereWILL be a pot of gold. We were broke then, had 2 awkward teenagers from my first marriage–with their own sets of problems. Minimum wage jobs at the University of Texas while we were both in grad. school. Eked out with my husband’s VA education payments. NO CAR–our old VA minibus had bittern the dust. Poor city bus services.

    Gradually, gradually things improved. It tool 2 1/2 years of grimness but we got there–lots of debt but finally reasonable jobs. Both jobs were part time put even with this paid more than minimum wage. Son went into the Navy on early entry.
    We were on the long haul to no debts, owning house, and actually beginning to have savings. We ha dpert animals too–never let anyone say this is an unnecessary expense. I think Our 2 dogs and 2 cats saved our sanity!

    AS usual I send you my best wishes. Stay tight together with each other. It is so easy to try to blame the other one for this and that–don’t do it, cherish your love, that’s a big stroke of luck right there.

  2. OH I know that stressful car feeling! It’s terrifying not knowing where you’ll be if it breaks down. Usually it’s in the middle of an intersection or like me, the middle of the freeway at rush hour. I hope you find a good car!

    • Thanks! I’ve driven a lot of beaters growing up so I know what it’s like breaking down in the middle of an intersection on more than one occasion. As for the new car, a new post is coming soon! 🙂

  3. I can sadly relate very closely to your story… I have never driven a car that wasn’t at least sort of broke. My last 2 cars died while I was driving in a busy highway. My current car drives, but no AC, windows had to be replaced, and it screeches even though brakes are supposed to be good. I’ve never seen a Check Engine light off since I started to drive.

    However, I am really excited to hear about your car shopping and purchase! Hope you find a great deal.

    • Thanks Tanner! I think we found a good deal. I’ll be posting about it soon! I’ve driven beaters all my life but I’ve been fortunate to not break down on busy highways, just in the middle of busy intersections 🙂 I put so much money into this latest car. I had to get the AC fixed before we made the move from WI to VA, $600 easily. But it was definitely needed, especially with transporting a cat. I could never have another car without AC, especially living in VA. It gets ridiculously humid in this area!

  4. This reminds me of my first car. While it worked wonderfully while I was in high school, the last year I had it was insane! Constantly breaking down. Eventually it got to the point where none of the electrical on the left hand side of the car worked, and there were a lot of maintenance things coming up that my parents suggested I scrap the car. We traded it in for a newer year of the same model. I’d love to hear more about how you decide what car to get next!

    • Thanks Kyle! New post about the new car coming soon! 🙂 I laughed when a friend mentioned I should have traded in my car. I pay property tax on it and they estimate it’s only worth $250. And that was when it was actually driveable. Now that it’s completely falling apart, it’s maybe worth $50 for scrap parts. I’m hoping I can get more for it because I just replaced almost the entire exhaust system!

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