Car Trouble in Paradise

January 26, 2009 at 3:31 PM (Uncategorized)

This week has already gotten off to an interesting start. Ben was heading out the door on his way to work at 6 AM this morning and was stopped in his tracks when our 2001 Honda Civic wouldn’t start.  The engine would turn over but wouldn’t actually start.  He tried to start it and then waited a few minutes and tried again.  I had just gotten in the shower when we came to let me know.  While I finished getting ready, he tried to start the car a few more times.  I immediately started brainstorming about how he would get to work, how to get the car to a Honda dealership, etc.  Luckily Ben was able to get the car to start so it didn’t have to be towed.  I followed him to the Honda place and we left the car there while I took him to work.  The dealership wasn’t even open yet so we had to use their Early Bird drop box.

After taking Ben to work, I returned home.  I decided to work from home today while handling the car issues.  Luckily I work at the most awesome place and they are completely understanding when such events occur.  I called the dealership around 10 AM and they told me that they found no issues with the car that would have resulted in it not starting.  They suggested that the engine may have temporarily flooded when Ben parked, got out and opened the garage door (it’s so ancient you can’t buy a remote for it), and pulled it inside the garage.  They said that the rapid/sudden shifting of fuel can result in temporary flooding of the engine.

I was relieved for a few seconds until they started naming all of the things that are wrong with the car.  For starters, there is a cracked motor mount and “ripped and broken” front compliance bushings.  He classified both items as top priority safety related repairs.  Second in line and not quite as serious were two oil related leaks (oil pan gasket and valve cover gasket).  Lastly, he also noticed that the power steering fluid needs to be flushed and the engine needs to be decarbed.  He classified those items as things that would wait a while if necessary.  All in all, to get everything replaced, repaired, flushed, etc. was estimated at ~$1200.

Being the paranoid people that we are, we decided to have everything done to the car as mentioned above.  After all, the car has 130K miles and Ben is taking a road trip to SC this weekend to visit some friends and family.  Safety first.

We’ve never had to perform any major repairs on the car.  However, we have spent large sums of money on the 30, 60, 90, and 120K major maintenance intervals for peace of mind and to keep the car running smoothly.  We suppose that it’s time for things to start falling apart on the car or at least becoming less than ideal.  The mechanic assured me that he foresees no other major repairs for the car in the near future.  He did say, however, that it is recommended that all cooling related hoses be replaced on the car around 150K.  That costs about $500.

Oh well, it’s less than a new car isn’t it?

– Stephanie


1 Comment

  1. Kenna said,

    Whoa. Car talk sounds like foreign language to me. Glad you got it repaired though. We usually do what the mechanic says as well. 🙂

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