Rhymes With Fuchsia

Monday, July 21, 2008

Groundhog Day, Automotive Edition

A couple of weeks ago our minivan spent a week with our friendly mechanic, Frank. We've done business with Frank for about 18 years; it's largely his doing that we've been able to get at least ten years out of every vehicle we've ever owned, including our 15-year-old Saturn wagon and our 12-year-old van. So it seemed a good idea for him to tune up the van for us before our annual trek to the wilds of Rangeley. He kept it for longer than he'd thought, as he had to dismantle large parts of it to fix a coolant leak, but a week ago Friday he called to tell us it was ready.

So we put Taz in the Saturn and headed for Frank's, but we didn't get far. Luckily the car had the presence of mind to break down a few feet from a gas station, so we limped in there and called a neighbor and AAA, who in due course arrived and took me and Taz home and Grant and the Saturn to Frank's respectively.

At that point Grant and I decided that it might be a good idea to get serious about car shopping again, and headed up to Lowell to try out a Saturn Ion. We liked it, but we wanted to try one with lumbar support out of respect for Grant's back, and also to give Miss B a chance to weigh in. We bought one with the lumbar support yesterday, Miss B having given it the thumbs-up, dropped off the plate from the old Saturn this morning, and will pick the Ion up this evening.

Which is a good thing, because the van overheated this morning on the way to the pickup point for Miss B's camp, round two. (Round one was a month of your basic swimming-boating-arts-and-crafts Y camp; round two is a week of marine science camp near Woods Hole.) We can still drive it as long as we stop every 15 minutes or so to put more coolant in it. After work Grant will put coolant in the van, pick me up at work, put coolant in the van, and we will drive to Saturn of Lowell, which at this point is beginning to feel like our second home, collect the Ion, put coolant in the van, drive toward Frank's, stop, put coolant in the van, drive the rest of the way to Frank's, and leave the van there again.

I sure hope we get it back soon in a better state of health. Wish us luck.


  • That does not sound good. I giggled, because, well ... the way you told the story I sort of had to, but ... that does not sound good.

    I hope Frank can work his magic on the van, or I guess we'll be bumping into each other while van shopping!

    By Blogger Ruth, at 11:17 PM  

  • oh no! My old Subaru did that with the coolant thing...I had to drive an entire summer with the heat on until I could afford to fix it. :o(

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:03 AM  

  • I love my new Saturn: a vue. So pretty and a very nice ride. Dan's got my old Kia sportage--- 10 years old at thanksgiving. She's acting up on him now... even after $1800 in work... she starting to overheat on the highway, the power steering belt is loose... she'll get fixed this week, I think.

    By Blogger Mini, at 7:59 AM  

  • I finally got rid of my 14 year old Honda civic when I had to drive with the heater running to keep it from overheating on the way home. In August. We sold it to a young man in the neighborhood for $2 thou. He put another 1 thou into repairs, then two thou into a stereo. I drove it just fine without even a radio. I wave and blow kisses to it whenever I see it.

    By Blogger roxie, at 9:36 AM  

  • Have a great vacation! So, is the seat wickedly adjustable in this car? I was told to buy my next car to fit me better (long torso, long legs, shortish arms). Somebody should have a website where you enter your specific measurements (height, inseam, arm length, and maybe a few others), and your car desires (sedan, truck, etc), and a list of suitable vehicles would pop up. Did I tell you the t shirt arrived? Tell Grant it looked great, and I shipped it right off to Australia, and was immediately shocked by the price for shipping the smallish box (which was filled with about 5 bags of reese's). Must've been all the candy... SEVENTY-SEVEN dollars!!

    By Blogger knitnzu, at 12:22 PM  

  • um, good luck? Glad you've got some alternate wheels, though!

    By Blogger Liz, at 12:23 AM  

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