Life Lessons – Auto Edition

I’ve learned this the hard way, but life lesson #11:

Your car needs some TLC too. 

I have only had my license since 2017. A year later, my parents, after seeing me struggle to save up for a car, signed the title to their 2005 PT Cruiser to me and my ex husband. And while I am thankful that they did this, I sometimes wish they hadn’t.

I have sank more money into that car in the past 2 years than I ever wanted to.

I always thought owning a car was a piece of cake. Put gas in the thing and go. Bam. Nothing to it. But then my naive little self learned there’s so much more to it. You have to get oil changes so often, replace other fluids in it, get it inspected, get tags renewed, and so much more. And if you’re rough on it, or you neglect to listen when the check engine light starts to blink, well….you’re gonna find yourself stranded on the side of the road.

I’ve been stranded twice by this car. The first time was when my passenger axle went out. I at least made it to my parents before it went kaput and I was blessed with a dad who had a mechanic background. The second time I was going to the store when it just died in the middle of the road. I managed to get it cranked and into a parking lot before it died again. After finally getting in contact with my dad again, it was discovered my timing belt had broke. And without it, it wasn’t moving.

Sometimes cars are more trouble than they’re worth.

So, lesson learned. When my check engine light comes on, I take it to an auto parts store so they can read the code that comes up when it’s hooked to the computer. I’ve learned to keep at least 100 bucks saved in case I need a tired, battery, etc. Also, don’t drive your car like a bat out of hell – your location isn’t going to burn down and your car will thank you for not trying to blow up the transmission.

My car is 800 miles from hitting 200,000 miles. And while I sometimes get frustrated at it, I am thankful that I at least have the vehicles, and I’m not having to bum rides off friends and family like I used to.

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