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Thursday, December 15, 2005

The green Saturn is the fourth car Iíve owned in my lifetime. I had the gray Honda the longest, but before that the blue Subaru and the yellow Escort were both good cars, right up until the point where they werenít. Thatís when I got rid of them. Any time I lost confidence in a car, I had to trade it or sell it before it made me physically ill. Iím funny that way.

Until the last few weeks, the Saturn hasnít given me any trouble. Then it started locking me in (sometimes out), until I figured out how to get around the quirks of the locking system. Sometimes the remote wouldnít unlock the driverís door, even though it would unlock all of the other three doors. Sometimes when I stopped the car and pulled the key, my door wouldnít unlock, as itís supposed to do. After several frustrating episodes, I solved the problem by locking and unlocking the door manually. I shouldnít have to do it, but itís a lot less inconvenient than crawling over the seats to another door.

Then came this morning, when the car wouldnít start at all. The radio and lights came on when I turned the key, so it probably wasnít the battery. I just got a hum when I tried to start it. It made me a little crazed, because Iíve never had any trouble starting (well, not since the first month I had it, when it was mostly in the shop with a coolant problem). I called the dealer. They gave me the number for Saturnís roadside assistance (which is covered under my purchase agreement), so I called them. They sent a tow truck. The tow truck driver took the key and started the car right up.

I almost wished it hadnít worked. I would have been without a car for a while, but I would have known it was being fixed. Instead, I drove it to the dealer, where they ran a computer diagnostic and found nothing wrong. I let them know it was due in a month for a major service, and they told me to drive it until then. They said it probably just had a bad morning. Somehow that didnít comfort me, but I was determined to stay positive.

And I drove it all over Santa Rosa the rest of the day, back home and then to the post office and then to the gas station and then to the mall, and then back home again. No problems. I didnít even get locked in (or out). So now Iím just going to pretend this incident never happened. Until it happens again, that is.

15 December 2005

Fleeing clouds.

The funny thing is, I was so worried about tire pressure in the left front that my first stop this morning was going to be the one and only gas station on this side of town with an air hose. (When did stations stop providing this service?) When I opened the garage door, I took another look at the tire. I wasnít sure it was low, but I wanted to be confident. Then I couldnít start the car, so tire pressure took a back seat.

While I was at the dealer, I had the guy check the tire pressure. He said it looked okay, and his gauge confirmed it. He checked all four tires, and they were all fine. Iím glad I didnít drive to the gas station and overinflate that tire. It would have been just like me to take a problem that wasnít a problem and turn it into a real problem. Maybe things worked out for the best, but Iíll still be a little nervous tomorrow morning. (If I miss any appointments, youíll know why.)

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I donít think itís time for a new car yet. I really donít want a new car, even though Saturn would love to sell me a 2006, so much so that they keep sending me enticing offers through the mail. It might depend on how the next three weeks or so go, whether I decide to take them up on one of the deals theyíd like to make. Iíve never traded a car before it was paid off before, and I probably wonít start now. Unless...

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Yesterday's Comments:

One year ago: Swamp
"Iím getting nervous. Sometimes Iím feeling panicky, but then I lie down and it passes."

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