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Musing About The Car

I had to drive my car this weekend for a very short distance, but it was enough to remind me of something very important and which I need to keep firmly in mind: my car is slowly dying. It is loosing power steering fluid quite fast, it has a minor but consistent motor oil leak and the left wheel wobbles a bit at the point where it connects to the axle. To repair these would cost far more than I am willing to put into the car, so I basically now have a motorized carriage with a countdown. To add to the thoughts I already had going about the car, I got the tag renewal papers in the mail: $58 to get the new 2011 sticker. And insurance is just around the corner.

I like my car, but aside from the inconvenience of not being able to dictate the precise times of my travels, I’ve been just fine taking the bus for the last 2 weeks. I am determined to reduce my car use this year, maybe even eliminate it, but when I think of just getting rid of the car once and for all, I vacillate.  It’s a big move because it doesn’t affect only me. Which isn’t to say that I haven’t gotten rid of my car due to my wife, but it is a reality that I have to consider.

Knowing the car is on its last legs makes this a bit easier; we all know what’s gonna happen and can start to prepare. For now I need to pay for the tag and insurance and see how much I can get out of it. After it’s gone, I don’t know, maybe I can get a scooter in order to have a motorized vehicle that can transport me faster than a bike or public transport when needed.

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  1. JJ
    January 26, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    Clearly it does make it easier to let go of your car as it wears down, but I understand the difficulty of letting go. It is giving up a very powerful form of freedom. You get a lot of the same freedom from cycling, but the elements and time may work against you. Cars have a very powerful psychological componant to them. If the didn’t, they’d all look and function exactly the same. Giving up your car is a lot like giving up a part of yourself. Still, I envy you being in a postion to have a choice and make a change.

  2. January 26, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    @JJ
    To me, my car is not a status symbol, but as much as I want to downplay it, it does exert a powerful psychological pull on me, yes. Which is why this forced estrangement has been good; it’s weaning me off. If I was younger and alone, I’d have tossed it away already, but I don’t have that energy and impetus anymore. Or rather, I know to think things a bit better now. 😉

  3. January 29, 2010 at 6:31 AM

    My car is right there to. A 01 Ford Expedition (which I loved) is close to 200K miles. It has served me well for all these years, but I know her days are numbered….I haven’t needed a “big” car in years, but it is paid for, runs well and does the job. When she goes, at least I know I have fully gotten every ounce out of her (at least for a non-mechanical type person)… but yes, the day is coming….
    .-= Janie Coffey´s last blog… The Miami Story is Coming – We need your Stories about Miami! =-.

  4. January 29, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    @Janie Coffey
    Yep, we’re definitely in the same place, then. Just waiting for them to go kaboom.

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