Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Little Purple Monster

I mentioned, a little over a month ago, that my beloved truck died. The first truck my father bought brand new (in 1993.) and swore he would never part with. The truck that took me on innumerable adventures and excursions, that my father gave to me when I was car less and single trying to get Monkey to daycare and my rear to school and to work. I felt like I won a battle when he signed the title over to me. The Cowboy just replaced the engine a year ago. That truck was my trophy. It wasn't great, but that didn't matter. It was my Toyo, my little-red-girl-truck. Now it rests under a tree in the yard, next to two other broken down trucks awaiting The Cowboys surgical genius.

(Sooo Redneck! We have three... errr four broken down vehicles lining the driveway. "Welcome to The Swamp Ranch - Horses, Bugs, "farm" mud, and now offering Used Trucks".)

When the truck died we started scouring Craigslist for a cheap car, since we can't alter our credit until we get a house. We looked at a mexi-gangsta-fied Turcel ("All my friends know tha low-rider...") A white Mazda at a bonafied chop-shop (call this number on the door... it's a digital voice asking me to leave a message.) And ultimately found a Purple Mazda 626 in Colton for $1000.

We test drove the Little Purple Monster, and it appeared to be in fine working condition. Something that would get me to work and around town until we move and can finance a new, more suitable vehicle.

(read. Ford Expedition. Diesel.)

We lay down the cash, sign the bill of sale, take the keys and head home. Not twenty miles up the highway, the "check engine" light comes on.


We concluded that lots of cars "check engine" lights are on, and well, what's done is done. So the next day I drive the Little Purple Monster to work, the brakes start screaming at me on my way home. OK, brakes. Sure, no problem, I can do brakes.

Day four with the little purple shit, the "Hold" light starts winking at me on the way to deposit Monkey at school. I look up what that might mean (I love google.) and learn that the transmission needs to be serviced.


I register the Little Purple Bastard, get the oil changed and have the transmission serviced. The Cowboy changes the breaks AND routers, which have a lovely 1/8 inch lip on them.

Week two:
Squealing. High pitched, embarrassing, torturous squealing. All the way down the 6 mile stretch of highway to Monkey's bus stop. Good thing I was early enough for the bus that day.
High pitched, embarrassing, torturous squealing. All the way back home. Took the day off work. My boss is a very understanding man, in case I haven't mentioned this before.

No car = No work
No Work and No Kids = Sleep
Sleep = Peace

The Cowboy came home, bought a water pump and the next weekend spent an ENTIRE day putting it in. A Water pump. A DAMN water pump, required dismantling the better half of the engine and removing most of what was under the hood. And the passenger wheel.

(This is ultimately what is required to fix my Toyo. Pull out the engine and send it back to be repaired or replaced.)

Water Pump in, car happy.
Yeah? Um-No.

Week four:
Engine light has not come back on. Shifting is still quirky, but I'm letting off the gas and not forcing it through. I'm learning if I baby The Monster, it will take me where I need to go. It's not making funny or horrendous noises, it's not smoking or screeching, the blue smoke is mostly gone in the morning... we're learning to like each other.

Then for no apparent reason, the bastard died when I was half way to work on Friday. No sputtering, No stall out, No knocking or sign of protest. It just died while I was at a stop light waiting to turn right, and refused defibulation. I tried, I begged, I didnt pound on the steering wheel, I talked really nicely to it, to no avail.

Fortunately The Cowboy works four 10's, so Friday is his day to sleep in and sit in front of the computer. So I called him. He wasn't surprised. He didn't even seem upset this time. He just rolled out of bed and came to my rescue.

We chained the LPM to The Beast, his borderline obnoxiously huge truck (Which is the only material reason that I fell in love with him.) (He knows this. it's all good.) and towed it home.

(When I say the only material reason I mean; when we started dating I told him I didn't really like him I just loved his truck. It's become a running joke with us. He knows I really love him for the way his butt looks in Wranglers.)

Fortunately the car died on a Friday, so I didn't have to miss another day of work. Unfortunately that Friday landed on Memorial Day weekend. So our plans to go riding at the beach were nixed for the exciting world of car parts.

We decided not to fix the PM when it became apparent that the car itself doesn't know what is wrong. One minute it thinks its the oxygen sensor, the next it's the fuel pump (or something stupid like that.) So, just as I was preparing to call my sister and ask to borrow their nightmare spare car, The Cowboy got a text from his friend. It seems this friend acquired another horse and has decided that he needs to go buy another truck, so he is selling the Saturn he just picked up. We were welcome to buy it for the $1500 he had put into it, if we wanted. He said he wouldn't sell it to us if he didn't have absolute faith in it, since he knows the luck we've had with cars over the past 2 years.
So we went out to Greshlahem, and test drove the ... I haven't thought of a nickname for it yet. It's clean, it doesn't stutter or smoke or scream. The engine light didn't come on when I drove it home, and it seems to like me.

I tell ya, for as bummed as I was that The Cowboy was working 60 hour weeks in February and March, I am sooooo grateful now. We set that overtime aside so we'd have money for escrow when the time came, and we have since spent over half of it on 2 cars and car parts in the past month.

As I thanked the friend I told him if the car dies on me in the next month I will have to kick him out of the wedding.

I was kidding of course.




Dawn said...

Oh, you poor thing. I hope the new car works better. Don't you just hate when you try to save a dollar and end up spending a mint.



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