I really want to rant, throw a temper tantrum, scream as loud as I can until I can’t scream anymore, and then scream a bit more. Stressed out doesn’t begin to cover it. Panicked is closer to it. Overwhelmed.
I mentioned recently that I have been looking for a car. Well, yesterday, I bought one. A 1998 Dodge Stratus. It looks pretty good, is supposed to get great gas mileage (according to http://www.fueleconomy.gov), interior isn’t bad, trunk is big enough to put stuff in. It drove home nicely.
It’s a 16 year old car, so I was not expecting perfect. That would have been unrealistic. I bought it thinking ‘We might be able to get at least a year out of this car.’ When you buy an older car for around $1000, there really isn’t any room for high expectations. On my end of the socioeconomic status, this is just all part of getting a car. You buy on a hope.
So, as I said, it drove home great!! Smooth, no wobbles, no rough idling. About an hour or so after we got home, we ran to the store. We have been trying to find an American flag stencil to offer with the curb numbers. The store was about 15 miles away.
The car ran ok. I felt a few things that felt off but didn’t think them significant (I’m usually pretty dead on with car diagnostics). Mostly, I believe it was the need to adjust to driving a car after driving a minivan for so long. I noted a couple things in my mind that I wanted to check out on the vehicle to possibly tighten up…just all part of the old car purchase in my mind.
About half way home from the store, the Stratus’s check engine light came on and began to run a little rough. A minute later the oil light came on. I pulled over. We had put oil in it right before we drove it home after buying it. Hmmm…uh oh.
As I pulled into a parking spot in the lot I pulled into, the car died, smoke coming from under the hood. Not steam, smoke. Crap.
There is apparently a pretty severe oil leak from somewhere in the back of the engine. I’ll be honest. I was freaking out, emotional meltdown style. I had just put every penny I had to put toward a vehicle into buying this. I have no money for repairs. I certainly have no way of getting a different vehicle, either.
I have been working my butt off to make things move forward in our life and this one thing going wrong could ruin it all. No vehicle, no ability to do cleans or curbs, which means no income. I mentioned that I’m panicking and overwhelmed, right?
We let it cool down then attempted to drive it home, slowly, nursing it along. It rattled. When we had to stop for lights, I put it in neutral to try to keep it from dying again. As we turned the corner onto our street (our place is the second driveway up) it died, again. It wouldn’t start.
We grabbed our stuffs out of the vehicle and walked home with the thought of just letting it cool down, then we could try to start it, again, and at least get it in the driveway. 5 minutes later, Lance got it started and into the driveway. At least there is that.
So, guess what I am going to be doing for the 4th of July. That’s right. Working on this stupid car, determining if this is something I can fix or if I am pretty much out of luck, and money, completely. I’m feeling pretty emotionally raw, taken advantage of, and completely sick and tired of the continual struggle.
I hope everyone has a really great 4th of July, filled with laughter, friends, and amazing memories. Be safe out there!!