Oh, car.

Just so you know, I wrote this 2 weeks ago and never managed to get it posted. Here it is and I hope to write another one someday!


Hello all you beautiful people! I am trying something new this week. It appears that my old standby day of Thursday for blogging gets pretty busy here at the new job, but I am not currently doing anything right now, so maybe the new day is Wednesday. We’ll see how it goes.

I hope you are all doing awesome. Things are still crazy and hectic and the new job is still new, but I think I’m settling in. I have less fear of ruining something beyond all recognition and getting fired, so maybe I am getting used to things a bit. Kids are doing well. Monty will be done with Kindergarten in just over three weeks and Safi composed her first song a couple weeks ago. Seriously. It may only have four words, but it had a distinct rhythm and lots of repeats so it was really a song. We went to a barbecue last weekend and saw people we know and love and it was great. Played poker and I won and that was awesome. Was informed later that maybe in the future if we are at a party we should maybe not both play poker at the same time and one of us should watch the kids better (and I don’t even think that comment came from the fact that I took said person out of the tournament.) Realized that this is probably true although it sucks. Oh well.

Today I thought I would go into insane detail about what is wrong with my car. It is a long and irritating story (all the longer since I’m the one telling it of course) and I want to tell it so that maybe it can hurry up and end soon. For reals. Let it end. Please.

My tabs were due in April. I needed to get the car emissions tested. Of course I did not schedule sufficient time or funds for the emissions test until the last possible moment. And we failed. So that sucked. I don’t know if you’ve had your car sniffed lately but they pretty much just hook it up to a machine and run its codes, which, by the way, they will do for you for free at the auto parts store. I knew that but it never crossed my mind to do it and so I paid for it and it failed. Grr. So the Carlos looked at the paper that said what to work on and the almighty internet suggested replacing one of the oxygen sensors (there are at least 2 and sometimes 3 in my kind of car. In my case there are 2.) Or the EGR valve. Or maybe the catalytic convertor. Or pray. Do a rain dance. Scrap the car and start over. Other suggestions always accepted. So he starts taking the car apart to check on the first of the sensors. And he finds a massive crack in the exhaust manifold. Now, the other things may (and probably are) still not healthy, but there is no way that it will pass emissions with this crack, so we need to fix it. And by fix it I mean replace the exhaust manifold. OK. I can make this happen. I am kind of an expert in calling parts stores. So I get on the phone. And quickly discover that no one carries exhaust manifolds for this car anymore. No one. Also, there has been a bit of buying and selling of parts stores recently and there are fewer to choose from. I make one last ditch effort and call the last one. And this guy tells me that he can order it for me! Woo! (I should have questioned why he would be able to when no one else could but I just went with it.) In order to order it, he needed me to pay for it first. Rather than do so over the phone, I threw the smaller kid in the van and drove down there (about 35 minutes away.) When I got there he had even better news: there was one at another parts store in stock! Of course, I had practically driven past it to get to this one but whatever. We may have this beast back up and running tomorrow! Back up to the other parts store with a note listing what I want. Massive car accident and a long detour to get there, but who cares? It’s a lovely evening, we’re enjoying the radio, we’re not at home cleaning house. I get there, I get the part and the gaskets and the tools I have been told we need, I go home. The Carlos opens the box and discovers that this is not the right part. It will not fit. It doesn’t work at all. Shit. So I pack up part and gaskets and small child and I take them back. Dudes are nice, try to help me find the right one. Do not understand where the other guy got this information, cannot find me the part I need. Their company does not carry it. (See what I mean? Why would they be able to when no one else could?) OK. We will look into this more tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes. Carlos visits junkyards and I call my former employer at the car dealership. Carlos finds a couple of similar cars with similar exhaust manifolds with (surprise surprise) similar cracks in similar places. I find that the part will be $300 my price (still giving me a discount a decade later! Should have gone with them…) and it would take about a week because it had to come from Michigan. I (stupidly) said I would wait and see what else I could find. I go home and Carlos has found what we need online. We order it. There are 2 listed as being possible for my car and there is no way of knowing which picture goes to which part number (I know which picture is the one I need but not which number goes to which picture) so I pick one. Yeah. I should have known better.

Part shows up several days later. It’s wrong. Fucking great. I call and get it figured out. I need to send it back and get the other one. There are tears and embarrassment and lots of anger and hatred. Apparently if I had known, there is a different website run by the same people as the one I ordered from and if I had put my VIN and the part number I ordered in it would have told me that it wouldn’t work. Not sure how anyone is supposed to know that but whatever. Try to get them to pay part of the shipping as their website was unclear. Was unsuccessful. Did get them to waive the restock fee and pay for the shipping back of the wrong one but I have to pay the full shipping on getting them both to me (the wrong one already and now the right one.) Borrow money from Mom to order the second one, order it, ship the first one back. Wait several days. Hate the fact that by now the one from Michigan would have been correct and installed. Seethe on the inside.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the Carlos is struggling with some new and uncomfortable health issues. His hands are puffed up and swollen with what appears to be arthritis. We keep hoping it will go away. We don’t worry too much as all he really needs to work on is a car that doesn’t have all necessary parts available, but it is painful and I hate it when he’s hurting.

New part comes. It appears correct. Carlos’s hands are still several sizes too large and several levels too painful to work on it but we think maybe the next day. We need gaskets. We go to the parts store. They don’t have the one we need but their Tacoma store has one and they’re open 24 hours (how great is that!?! So many times that would have been useful to have. At least now we know.) We’re out and about and it’s only 8 o’clock on a Tuesday, so we make the trek. And guess what. It’s not there. I mean, inventory says it there but physically it’s not. The guy looked and looked and ultimately decided it must have gone on vacation. So we wasted that trip and ultimately had to order it. It took two days. Now we have all the parts and two swollen hands and no ability to work on the car. Excellent.

As of right this minute, I believe the Carlos is maybe working on the car. It’s been over a month. I just wish his hands would heal up. They seem a bit better, and hopefully we move through the bad hands and the broken car and all that crap and move forward. I’m also hoping that we have had all the parts issues we need to do. Wish us luck!

I hope to write this next week after having driven my car to work for the first time. I am so thankful and lucky that we have two cars at all (thanx Mom and Dad!) and that we have been able to make this all work. I hope you all have a lovely week and take care!


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