Cars are like people. It’s the messed up ones that have the fascinating personalities. It’s the lemons that have all the great stories. How many funny stories are there about brand new flawless cars? I am no mechanic. I know very little about the inner workings of an automobile, but I have a good deal of experience working with junky cars.
The key to coping with a clunker is to have a sense of humor. With the right approach, this can be easy.
Ourtwo’s suggestions for getting the most out of a clunker.
1. Name your car.
Naming your car gives you the first glimpses into its personality. The most recent car that my wife and I had was a small white ’96 Dodge neon. We named him Ourtwo, after R2D2 on Star Wars, because he had so many odd creaks and squeaks and he looked like him. We even bought some boat letters and plastered his name on his bumper. I admit, the spelling was a little wacky, but that too added to Ourtwo’s personality. People would read the letters and say, “What’s Ah-oort-wo?”
2. Know your car’s personality.
This is essential if you are ever to get along with your car. You must recognize that your car has its own ideas about things. Your car has an attitude. It also has fears and eccentricities. Some even have obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Ourtwo was a good car, but he was incredibly doctor-shy. Every time we took him to the mechanic, his symptoms would magically vanish. The first couple times I thought it was an amusing irony, but after the 4th and 5th time, I realized that Ourtwo had a phobia.
Ourtwo also had a strange left-turn signal. When you first pushed the signal, it would click like normal, but as soon as you pressed the brake, the clicker would go berserk. Sometimes it would just stay on. Sometimes it would double it’s pace. Sometimes it would double it’s pace, then triple, and get faster and faster until it stayed on completely all in a matter of about 3 seconds. Other times it would change to a random pace, clicking without any conceivable pattern. We decided Ourtwo was trying to tell us something, since there seemed to be no way of predicting which click style he would use each time. So we made up a chart with all of the clicks, and assigned each to a fortune or prediction so Ourtwo could let us know by means of the left turn signal what kind of premonition he was Continue reading