Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Saga of the Windshield Wiper Fluid

Posted by K  

I was encouraged to fill up my windshield wiper fluid yesterday in anticipation of the storm here today.

It was -23 with the windchill so that was not awesome.
I lined up my equipment (and yes, my hood makes me look like a cone head, but it's really warm so I've accepted it)
(1 jugs of fluid and a funnel*)

*side note, this funnel is the most useful thing ever, especially if you have trouble pouring a huge heavy jug into a tiny hole, like me. This tip brought to you by my Mom)

10 minutes later...

I could not for the life of me get that freaking hood to open. I popped it using the button but there's a magic latch I have to trigger as well. I have literally done this a dozen times, but no dice this time. I looked like I was try to rub a magic lamp or something.

I even sacrificed my poor hand to the cold to try it and still no luck.
I had to check the owner's manual. I'm sure the people in my building with an overview of the parking lot enjoyed my antics.

I don't know about anyone else, but no matter how many times I verify that I'm pouring it in the windshield fluid tube I always have a panic attack that it's the coolant tube or something

Anyway, all this to say, welcome to winter! Sarcastic Yay!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Car News : Adventures in Tires

Posted by K  

Okay, there's been a stupid long amount of time between our posts. I have no idea how to summarize the gap right now, so instead I will ignore it! One note though, my laptop died awhile ago so I managed to lose a bunch of my paint templates, so my drawings are going to be rough. Very rough.

Anyway, on to our first new post in forever! I present:

Adventures in Tires: First 9 months!

For everyone out there like me who HATE the bus and desperately want a car, I've decided to evaluate my experience in car ownership. I ended up doing a lease takeover in December, so I have my car for 14 months (I figured this would mean I wouldn't be trapped if it didn't work out, and it was cheaper than buying a car outright).

It has been an adventure of highs and lows, and mainly I learned that it is always more money than you expect or plan for. Sigh. Anyway onto the post!


Week 1-3: Excitement!

Much excitement and enjoyment, apart from several snow days when I didn't feel comfortable driving. Gas was more than I figured; I have a very long work commute and ended up needing to fill the tank about once a week. Still other than some slippery ice patches I was having a good time!

Okay, so my drawing is a little rough. Sue me.

Week 3: $45 Fly in the ointment

Most of the week's work commute went well, until Thursday:

Thursday on my way to pick up the bro, the car suddenly started making noise and moving all over the road.

I handled the problem with dignity:

I was convinced the car was totally broken,  a write-off. Then my brother kindly noticed the front right tire was flat. After a rescue from my brother in law, and a $45 patch, we were back in business!

Week 6: Why tire, why?

A couple weeks later, I noticed the car seemed to be pulling to the left. It turns out the front left tire had a slow leak. I had help monitoring it and keeping it filled every 3-4 days.

Week 15: What did I do in a past life to deserve this?

While driving solo to work on the Monday, I went to change lanes and accidentally bumped the curb. I pulled over initially, but everything looked fine, so I drove another 15 minutes. Then the car started pulling to the right like crazy.

I pulled over again, and found the front right flat. I decided that as a car owner I should be able to change a flat myself, so I got out the spare tire and jack. I got the car jacked up (in -20 degree C weather no less), but I couldn't seem to get the tire to lift up. That was when I looked behind me and discovered the back right tire was also flat. Sometimes I hate life. And the car.

After a long conversation with Toyota, I established that the car covered and I wouldn't have to sell my kidney to get a tow.

Me: "Am I still covered under warranty?? Because I really can't afford this right now!"

Toyota: "I'm checking right now, hopefully it's ok"

Me: "Seriously, you need to tell me if I'm covered because I don't want the tow if I'm not!"

Toyota: ....

Me: "please please please please"

Toyota: "I am very happy to tell you the car is still under warranty!"

Me: "Oh thank god. You are awesome."

Then I had to describe the parking lot, which was another adventure in and of itself, but I digress.

Fast forward past another huge bill including 3 tire patches (the slow leak was fixed) and an alignment I was once again mobile. Much poorer, but mobile.

Week 20: Should I just drive this off a cliff and put me out of my misery?

 Once again, I noticed the car was pulling to the right. I was now pretty good at testing the psi tire level, and the front right once again had a slow leak.

I refused to pay more for another patch so I started filling the tire ($1 at the gas station) about once a week.

Hatred level for car: very high.

Week 25: New lease on life (just to be clear, old car, new tires!)

With the help of M and my brother-in-law the car got some new, less evil tires.

Shiny new tires!

Week 36: Present day, extreme paranoia mixed with cautious optimism 

9 months later, I am older, wiser, poorer...with about 5 months to go on the lease! I'll try and keep an update on if the car explodes. On the plus side, I do love driving, and I have definitely been healthier (less exposure to the germ factory that is the bus). We'll see how it goes...