A couple of months ago, the “Check Engine” light came on in my trusty 1997 purple Honda Accord. Some $460 later, I had a new torque converter in my transmission and new transmission fluid, and the car was driving better than it ever had in the six years or so that I’ve owned it.
Since picking the car up that day, it continued to perform wonderfully, until about 1 p.m. yesterday. I was driving over the Willow Avenue bridge that takes you from the Lincoln Tunnel into Hoboken and heard the engine revving at an alarmingly high level.
Obviously realizing something was wrong, I had already made up my mind to bring the car into the mechanic this morning. However, I never quite made it into the garage of my apartment building. The car drove slower and revved higher as I tried to get home and, finally, when I reached my driveway, it simply would not move at all when it was in drive.
One of my neighbors was kind enough to push me into the garage and into my spot. As I type this, I’m waiting for a tow truck to fetch my car and bring it to my normal mechanic in Queens. Some $1,600 later, I should have a rebuilt transmission and, hopefully, a car with some trade-in value.
I love my car, but it’s almost 13 years old, and the problems have been piling up for the past year or so. It has just under 109,000 miles on it, which is peanuts for a Honda, but it’s time to cut the cord.
Of course, as annoying as this is, it would be a lot easier to swallow if I had a freaking job.
When it rains, it pours.