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January 21, 2005

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I'll Take "Noises My Car Shouldn't Make" for $200, Alex

... and the answer is: "CLUNK".

What is the axle saying "I quit"?

Correct!

Driving back from a meeting with my freelance client on Tuesday, my car made the afore-mentioned clunking noise when I switched from the clutch to the gas. The only speed I had came from the brief bit of slip I got before the thing went south, so I basically just crept across Negley. Someone helped me push the Civic into the Uni-Mart parking lot, and I had it towed to Walters.

I thought this was the big one; I thought the clutch had had it. Replacing a clutch involves removing the transmission from the car and taking it apart. That ain't cheap, just on the labor front. This would be a horrible time to replace a car, since I'm not on contract any more: I doubt banks would be lining up to give me a loan with my big, fat yearly income of $0.

Well, they took a look at it, and it was just a problem with the axle. I'm not an expert, but from what I was told it sounded like it either detached itself from one of the wheels (would the diff have prevented the other one from getting power in that case?) or from the driveshaft. Between parts and labor it only ran me $185 and took less than three hours to fix, so it couldn't have been too massive.

And now I'd like to finish this off by not bitching about my car. With my trip to and from Florida, and the side trips while I was there, I put just over 2700 miles on that car in the span of a week. Since I parked it that Wednesday and took the picture at the end of the travelog, the odometer has advanced 43 miles.

Forty. Three. Miles. And that includes them driving it from their secondary garage on Penn to their main garage on Baum, and my driving it home. So call it forty miles. If you'll allow me to anthropomorphize a little bit (and why not, I already do it when I deal with computers), that car held out until I got home. Imagine how much more than $185 I could have shelled out if that clunk had happened 700 miles ago in rural Georgia, with nobody interested in cutting the ignorant not-from-around-here boy a break.

blessings

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