Tuesday, August 19, 2008


So, yesterday, I alluded to my adventure in driving. I drive an old car. A nice old 1994 Cavalier with some 155k miles on it. It's a good little car. Mostly.

Except when it doesn't stop. That's the one failure on an old car that is complete unacceptable. I've always and only ever owned old cars. If it's not years, it's miles. Of the four cars I've owned, this is the second one that had the brakes fail.

The first, my old blue Tortoise, popped a brake line in a parking lot late one night. Fine, fine.

My little green car decided to pull the same stunt on GRAND RIVER (aka the busiest damn road in the county after the e-ways) at lunch time. Luckily, I had just pulled onto Grand River and luckily I wasn't going fast since the next line was clearly red. I hit the brakes only to find that they, um, weren't stopping me. I hit them harder-- and felt the line pop. Thank goodness for modern cars! I still have enough brake fluid and pressure to stop before I nosed into the car in front of me.

In fact, I had enough braking that I was able to crawl (limp) my car across town to the reputable car repair shop I use when my Zans for Cans (aka Mechanic Brother) is unavailable for immediate repairs. Like brakes failing in the middle of the day...

The thing that always bothers me with brake line failures is the lack of warning. There's a reason that my Hubby has the new shiny not-worn out car and I have 'old and busted'. He grew up with sisters, I grew up with brothers: I know the difference between a slightly busted, mostly busted, and completey broken car just by sound and feel. (No, I don't fix it myself. I'm an indoor kitten.=)

Of course, the type of car a person (real or fictional) drives says something about them. So does their reaction to any driving problems. I'm not a panicky person-- though I was eyeballing the ol' curb and wondering if I should try hopping it rather than nail the SUV in front of me. (Always an SUV... my little car would be extra-mangled sliding under one of them!)

Though having the brakes fail on Grand River is at least something I may be able to put into a story. Maybe make a mystery of whether it was malicious or not? Maybe make it more exciting? Yes-- as I was sitting in the repair shop waiting for some sort of chariot to bear me home, I strated thinking of scenes and stories. Nothing solid, but it is a nice way to pass the time. That and listening to the stories people tell when they come in with *their* cars.

What's your favorite tale of car mishaps?


Josephine Damian said...

Over the summer, I've had to get a new alternator, 4 new tires, and now need new brakes.

Mechanic said, Need them now! I said: Broke! Will drive slowly, and not far.

Travis Erwin said...

I drove a pickup throughout high school that had its muffler held on by baling wire. I got all the chicks with that ride.