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Cars.... - Equiraptor's Journal
My car decided to die today. It's an 87 Camry, but only has around 86,000 miles on it. It's in beautiful shape, except, now, the transmission. Actually, I think it's the transmission. I abandoned the car in my parents' driveway (it died as I was trying to leave their house) and took their spare car to get home.

A note on the spare car thing... My parents are not rich. They don't have a spare car for the fun of it. They have a spare car because any of their cars may die at any moment, and a spare car is as necessary as a spare tire. This particular car is an 87 Sable that I drove for a while. At one point, it was a pretty decent car, but since I got the camry, it's been sitting neglected in the driveway, and the steering and transmission are thinking about quiting.

Back to my car dying... It was behaving like a manual would if I brought the clutch out to fast as I tried to put the car in forward gear to drive off. After a little stuttering, it died. It restarted once, but died as soon as I tried to shift gears. I gave up at this point and pushed the poor thing into the driveway. I called my parents (they were at a friend's), took the spare car, and went about my business. I imagine my car will probably go into the shop on Monday. I hope to have it back soon. It's not the best car in the world, but I've really grown attached to it.

In the distance it took me to reach the apartment, I remembered all the aspects of the Sable that I once enjoyed. It's a large car, and seems like a monster after the small camry (yes, once they were small, not Miata small, but small for a "family sedan"). Even though the steering has degraded, I remembered what it felt like to throw that car through a corner. I remembered traveling fast on the freeway, and how stable the car felt at high speeds. Ahhh, car nostalgia.

Now, for the rant. Automatic transmission cars suck. Sure, they can be convenient at times, but they give you so much less control over the car, they cost more to make, to buy, and to repair. They are so much more likely to fail than a manual. Less enjoyable, less reliable, and costs more. As I was driving home, longing for my Camry, I was cursing all automatic cars, just because of association.

I've had some bad experiences with automatics, too. That Sable I was driving once caught on fire, on our way out of Lubbock, headed for the Grand Canyon. It was a transmission fluid fire, and the transmission required replacing. Since it's a fairly old car, it took a while to get all the appropriate parts. My family, since my birth, has owned 2 automatics, and 4 manuals. There was also an old white truck. I don't remember transmission it had.... I hated it, my mother hated it, my dad didn't like it very much. But it was real helpful when we moved (from one house in Austin to another). Out of the 6 known cars, we have now had three automatic transmission failures, and one manual. Of these cars, 4 were Toyota's of some variety, three Camry's, one of which is my automatic. The other three cars where a manual 84 Ford Tempo, a manual 89 Mercury Topaz, and an automatic 87 Mercury Sable. The 84 Camry is the manual that had a transmission problem; it lost a clutch. Based on watching my families cars, I trust a manual Toyota over a Ford, hands down. I just don't trust automatics to last. O, being raised in a family that can't seem to get a car newer than an 89, I value a car's longevity greatly. Much more than it's appearance, or performance, or any other feature. I want a car that will last 20 years. The Sable is the only one that's come close, but the only way it will make it there is if it sits in our driveway doing nothing.

Well, that's that. There's my rant, and there was the trigger. Now, can I please have my car back?

Current Mood: aggravated aggravated
Current Music: Alabama - Song Of The South

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