- Auto Industry
My Love Affair with My Car
236,000 miles and still on the road
I am not a car salesperson. I cannot sell anything. I do not own stock in Honda. I am not a paid spokesperson for Honda. All I am is a person who has owned 3 cars made by Honda. I have also owned Fords, Pontiacs and Volkswagens but the Hondas have never let me down. The VW bug is a close second.
My last Honda was purchased new in 1997 after my Ford Explorer with only 60, 000 miles crapped out and needed a new transmission I hobbled into my local Honda dealership and bought a Honda. The Ford Explorer was a deviation from buying another Honda after my Accord was totaled in an accident. I bought into the SUV craze in the 1990s and since I was pregnant with my second child, I thought an SUV was needed, how wrong I was. The Honda would have been more reliable.
My children picked out my Honda Civic. They originally wanted a Blue one but there were none to be had on the lot and would have to be ordered. Not wanting to wait, my kids chose the alternative, a smart green one!
Over the years my Honda and me bonded. She was a she, I knew for sure because she never gave up, not once. Hardworking, like most females, she never stopped. She never left me stranded at the side of the road. In two accidents, she protected me even though she had to be towed away. Nonetheless she kept running after tweaks to her aging body.
I knew she was slowing down, slipping away. Yet I continued to drive her the ruthless freeway miles that every Los Angelino expects to drive just to make a living. She also took me other places. She drove me to up north in California, to Big Sur, San Francisco and beyond. Twice to Las Vegas.
She saw me through a divorce, raising my children, both whom learned to drive by driving her. She saw me find love and a remarriage. She allowed my new hubby to drive her and later, his children to learn how to drive using her. She was loyal to the very end.
On the day she died, she could have easily chose to die on the 405 freeway....Los Angeles' notoriously busy freeway no matter what time of day, but NO she died in the garage on a day when I had access to my husband's car so I did not miss a beat of my commute to work.
Heartbroken, I insisted on getting her examined to see if she could be fixed. I had her towed to a local garage. The bad news came. Her engine is "blown" the shop said. A rebuilt engine IF one could be located (they are apparently scarce) would cost about $3,800 but did not include replacement of hoses and belts, another $400.00. A new engine would be anywhere from $4,000 and up. I could hardly justify soaking that much money into a 15 year old car that needed body work too. I told the shop I would have the car towed back to my house. To my surprise, the shop owner wanted to buy my car!? He offered $400. That set off a red flag for me. Obviously this shop was trying to tell me my car was beyond reasonable repair in hopes of buying my car on the cheap from me. "No thanks" I said " I will have the tow truck bring her back home" and so I did. There she sat at the front of my home for several months. I even washed her. Frequently I would try to start her up and amazingly her lights and the radio would always come on, but atlas her engine would not ignite. That purr seemed forever gone. There she sat on the street, frozen. I had long since bought another, newer, Honda but it lacked her personality. Is it possible a car can have a soul? I think mine did.
Finally after 3 months of her being parked on the street, I decided a 2nd opinion was in order. Once more she was towed to another shop where she was probed and hands of trained mechanics rooted around her engine like a mechanical gynecologist The news came once more, she had blown her engine. "Ok" I said trying to hold back tears. "I guess I will sell her to the other shop where one of their employees wanted to buy her" Again, to my amazement, this car that should not be worth anything, is bring me offers of "Oh I want to buy her" "how much was the other shop offering" I know I should have lied and said "$800" but bad karma, so I told the truth.
On the following Saturday, a man came in a sporty Honda and gave me $400 in cash. He said his niece recently totaled her Honda Civic and he was going to drop a new engine into mine then do some body work to give my car to his niece. What a nice Uncle. I really hope he was telling me the truth.
I have since learned that in the USA, the most frequently stolen car is a Honda vintage the 1990s. Why? Because their parts are valuable. The parts are no longer manufactured and hard to come by and since Hondas have a long, long road life, many Honda Civics and Accords built in the 90s are still on the road, but need parts.
I do not want to think about my beloved "girl" being cut up, cannibalized into various other Civics!! NO, no....I will not go there. Rather, I like to imagine her on the road, happily motoring on and on with a new ticker, a new body with a smashing new color. Drive on girl into the sunset!