The Car Gods Laugh

I was walking out of work last Friday when one of my Sonata owning colleagues flagged me down.

"Kathy, you need to get the new Sonata. It's got all the bells and whistles and it's great!"

"Nope. I literally mailed my last car payment in a week ago and I'm going to drive my bitchen' car into the ground which should be many miles from now."

That was my first mistake. Actually saying that out loud where, clearly, the Loki of the car gods heard me and decided to make mischief.

My second mistake was that I had earmarked next month's car payment to do my final 60K services like a fiscally responsible person would do. Which I am not. And, the car gods laughed some more.

Saturday morning, I was heading to Tucson to spend the night at a party with my Parrot Head friends down there. I sent a text that I was on my way then headed to a fast food drive through to get some lunch to eat in the car.

Just as I started pulling out of the drive through, my low tire pressure indicator came on. I tried to convince myself that it was nothing but our really hot weather (I know, it's really cold weather that does this) but I could feel my car pulling to the side.

Fortunately, there was a gas station with an open spot right in front of the water/air machine. As I was digging for $1.50 in quarters, someone knocked on my window and scared the bejebus out of me. It was a nice older gentleman asking if I needed help putting air in my tire.

I assured him I was capable as I got out of the car and looked at my back tire. It was flat. Really flat. He hung around enough to see that the tire was at least filling up and heard my plan to immediately drive to Discount Tire.

There are good people out there.

I made it to Discount and, when the tech came out to look at my tire, we could hear the air rapidly escaping. He told me that driving on it was the fatal action. A closer look and he discovered that it was an original tire from 2010 so he heartily suggested I replace both back tires. With 63K on them, I figured they owed me nothing more and agreed.

He asked me if I was a smooth driver since the tires had lasted so long and I said, "Of course." Then I laughed and admitted that I had just lied. I'm Speed Racer. Guess I just got some solid tires with the car.

Bonus - the two tires cost one penny less than the front tires that I had replaced a short while ago.

I texted my pal with a message that I had a flat and my ETA was now 90 minutes later than expected. I should have been more clear because they all assumed I was already on I-10 when it happened and felt very sorry for me. I was sorry that I made them worry.

Per my fairly recent decision to focus on the positives when faced with a negative, I found myself OK with it all. It could have been worse. I could have been on the highway. I could have not made it to Discount. I could have missed the whole party instead of just some afternoon pool time. And, I saved a penny!

I was soon on the road and spent a very enjoyable time with my friends at a hotel. We got up in the morning and went to breakfast at a nearby restaurant. Then, I headed over to some friends' for more pool time with them. That was all delightful.

I decided to head home about 4 PM so I could get back before dark and still have some evening left to do something at home. Goodbye hugs delivered, I headed out the front door.

I was soon back at the front door.

"My car won't start."

Assuming it was the battery, my friend tried jumping it. No go. I had power for the radio and the inside sensors but it just kind of clicked when the ignition button was pressed.

After calling Hyundai road assistance once and not having them answer, I tried again. Of course, my free assistance expired in October because it ended at five years. However, they were going to tow it to a dealership for me for what seemed a reasonable fee.

Problem with that was that it was Sunday and the dealership was closed and I was in Tucson. I was thinking about jumping back into the pool since it looked like I was stuck there for the night and hot as could be after sweating my arse off trying to start the car when my friend came in and announced, after about 30 tries, that he got the car started.


Wasting no time, and, fortunately, not needing to stop for gas, I headed back to Phoenix and to my local dealership. I gave Steven and Shorty a heads up that I was going to need a pick up. Also fortunately, Monday is laundry and house chore day for Shorty so I was able to use his vehicle while mine was being serviced.

When the repair guy called on Monday morning, I gave him more details on the issue and he said it sounded like a starter clip. A part that costs less than $20 but has over two hours of labor to install. Of course.

We talked about doing my 60K stuff since they had my car and he told me, "Let's be sure this is what it is and not something more expensive before adding those to the work order." Sounded good to me.

The next call was to say it was the clip but he then said, "I'm going to tell you to delay the other services because your brakes are down to 3mm on one side and 1mm on the other. You need to get those taken care of." I'm not sure what is a good millimeter but I went with it. Brakes are important, yo.

Positive spin in action. I made it to the dealership. I had a car to drive in the interim. I would have had to do the brakes eventually. Better to find out before something failed whilst I was driving.

Really trying to focus on the above because I just spent TWO car payments and I still have to do the other services. Bummer, man.

Yes, I have thought that the universe was telling me I should have bought a new car.


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