Wednesday, June 11, 2008

well done, good and faithful plasti-car

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I am without a vehicle this week.

My 1996 Saturn SL (with power nothing) finally had a major problem - the manual transmission has essentially quit on me. After 225,000 miles. Not too bad for being original equipment.

It has been kind of crunchy in the shifter for a long while - 1st and 3rd gears were problematic, and reverse sometimes would kick out of gear. But, this past Friday, it proved to be exceptionally bad - strong-arming the shifter at all gears became the modus operandi. We were in the car for about 9 hours that day, and wound up in Iowa for the wedding of a family member. Jude was concerned that the clutch might actually completely fail before we got home (thankfully, it didn't.) Once the car was home, we decided there was no point in causing further injury to shoulders or running the risk of my being stranded with a baby in hot weather.

So, we shall get the plasti-car repaired - even though it will probably cost around $700 to fix it. It still gets 36-37 mpg on short trips, and we've gotten 42 mpg in the last 2 years on very long car trips. Funny thing is, we may end up getting a new (to us) car anyway, since we don't like to take the Saturn on long trips - it's not comfortable for tall people, and although no one except Elizabeth might think of me as tall, Jude certainly has to do some body-folding to get into the vehicle (to say nothing of our longer-limbed friends and family). And, there's a reasonable chance that our family will grow at some point in the future. We could certainly make it work - 2 car seats can fit in the back, and we could travel much more lightly, but since we don't have a NEED to make it work, the days of the Saturn in our family may be numbered. (I remember my parents packing 4 kids into a car not much bigger than the Saturn for long car trips - how did they do it?!?)

I love my plasti-car, and I love the fuel economy I get with it - it would certainly be hard to give it up, but if the right reasons present themselves, I'd certainly consider it.


Anonymous said...

I didn't know the car was giving you problems this weekend. It just gets added to the list of adventures from the wedding. Thanks for all of your help!


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