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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Beater is Going to Shit-Car Heaven

I was sitting in the waiting room of a small auto shop, reading the awesomest book in the world, when I heard a high-pitched gasp.

I looked up.
Through the window I had a clear view of my car elevated about seven feet in the air on a massive hydraulic lift.
Underneath the car was every mechanic who was working in the garage. They had all stopped what they were doing to stand underneath my car and just stare at it.
It was a bad sign, and the estimate for parts and labor was a worse sign.

I've been driving the same '94 Nissan Sentra since high school. It's taken me across the country multiple times. I've never had a single accident while driving this car. Not even a ding.

It takes about ten minutes, in the Summer, for the vehicle to warm up. Most of the paint job has been sun-burnt away (yes, leaving your car out in 110+ unprotected will eventually do this). The smell inside is unique and no amount of chemicals can chase it away for long. My dad told me that the smell reminded him of his grandpa's car.

Whenever I turn, accelerate, or hit the brakes, my car creaks like a haunted pirate ship. For about a month I had to hold my driver's-side door as tightly as possible while on the freeway because it was shaking so bad that I worried it was going to fall off.
That was over six years ago.

Only one speaker still works on the stereo system. Any bass comes out as a hiss of static.

Actually, that's not true. The back speakers work, but only when they pick up certain random wireless signals, which is when they blare out a teeth-grinding static scream.

The radio doesn't work anymore. The cassette player sorta does. I can listen to my iPod via a bizarre converter, but only when the converter is at least ninety degrees or hotter. Otherwise the cassette player spits it back out.
To get the converter up to a high temp I have to close my windows, turn on the heater, full-blast (the fan only works if you set it to full blast), and transfer all heat to the front vents, and then I hold the converter up to the heater for about ten minutes, usually while on the freeway, and then after three or four tries it sometimes works.
To hear anything out of the one working speaker you need to have the volume just right and keep all the windows closed, and even then it's a little hard to make out. In the Summer listening to anything is tricky because the AC doesn't work and, like I said, you have to keep the windows closed.

I love this fucking car.

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