Monday, June 27, 2005

My Hoopty

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I drive a hoopty. A jalopy. An older vehicle. The only problem is that I absolutely love it. I have a 1993 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4WD. God, I love this thing. It's beat up, the paint is fading, the drivers side door has a huge dent in it (and I mean huge), but she still runs like a champ. In the winter when everyone else is slipping and sliding, I'm plowing through snow like it's my job.

My hoopty doesn't look this bad ....

... Nor This Bad (But he gets points for creativity)
Part of the adult process as I see it is that there comes a time to get rid of the old car and start driving something newer. Something reliable. Something practical. For instance, my mom wanted to grab a smaller SUV but when she started to consider things like insurance, reliability, the height of the vehicle (mom is only 5'), she went with a practical ... well, a mom car, a Ford Taurus.

Part of the problem with driving a hoopty is that repairs get to the point where you'll pay more to fix it than you'll ever get out of it. With my Jeep, this is the case. It started off with a broken tail pipe. Because the tail pipe fell off (literally in my parking lot), I had to replace the muffler as well. I drive an older vehicle so guess what? I have a harder time getting parts. So what should've been a job for less than $100 with any newer car cost me over $200. Plus, when I took it in for emissions testing, it failed miserably. So, I take it back to my mechanic and he informs me that in Ohio, if you fail emissions and try to correct the problem up to $300, you get a waiver good for 2 years. So the mechanic tells me to bring it back in and he'll try a couple of things that will get us to the $300 total mark (about another $90).

The mechanic lets one the other guy in the shop work on it, but he doesn't ask me any questions about what we're doing. The other guy only mentions that he is going to get a converter, which I thought was associated with the smaller fix that I spoke with the mechanic about. Turns out the converter was the catalytic converter ... a whopping $179 for the part without labor. I tell the guy that I thought we were going to try some other things before we went that far. The other guy is like "Oh shit". After about 5 minutes of creative billing, he bills for another $110 and I get the converter.

While that was nice, it only serves notice that my Jeep is old and I should get another vehicle. However, with the prospect of grad school, I can't afford a car payment. Any money I put into the Jeep I will never see in a trade in. I hate tough decisions. Growing up sucks!


Brookelina said...

First you say "Oy vey", then you reveal you drive an old Jeep. Will you marry me?

Ruben said...

My first car was similar except I had to tie the driver's side door to the steering column to keep it shut and the floor of the car was rusted out. I could see the street through parts of the floor.oh! and when I turned on the AC the car was flood with this old urine scent. GOD I miss that car.

Cincysundevil said...

Of course I'd marry you. Name the time and place!

Cincysundevil said...

That sounds like a tight ride you had there! There are some times when I swear that I'll be glad to get rid of the Jeep, but I know deep down inside I'll be crushed when I sell her.

MoDigli said...

I drive a hoopty now, too! It's great not to have to worry about dents, scratches, carwashes, or spills inside the car! You had me laughing with this one!

Cincysundevil said...

Once I break down and join the digital age (i.e. digital camera), I'll take a pic of my baby. She's a hoopty, but even my mechanic notes that she's got a lot of power and kick left in her! Maybe you should post a pic of your hoopty!