Challenge A: Getting car running (not used in 4 years) or get a bike

Challenge A: Getting car running (not used in 4 years) or get a bike


For myself, doing these self challenges is working pretty well, better than I expect.  Both challenges I got results better than I expected and faster.  You would think I would just do it — it being whatever — and I do but I also tend to procrastinate a bit so things can happen slowly.  I’m really good at the starting bit …  and when I get close to finish … but it’s all that slogging in the middle when enthusiasm wanes.

What I have found, dear reader, is that when I post a challenge even if no one reads it, the pressure of a report (generally daily) pushes me into getting things done that day (and taking pics of it).    It’s like I create a strict boss that I am answerable to.  Me? I’m the nice boss — I keep saying, “oh go take a day off if you want to” which is the procrastinating bit.  You, dear reader?  You’re the strict boss — “What have you been doing all day? Better tell me you got something done or else….”  I know it’s a bit of a bore for you but honestly, I thank you.

Challenge A

I was in a fender bender.  We’ll not go into the details but no one got hurt because it was very low speed, coming to a curb and breaking and all.  But because modern cars are built to crumple, my hood dented right where it was supposed to apparently.  Since my car is older, my insurance has decided to pick it up and send me a check.

Now I have three choices: Get a new old car with the $2000 they are sending me, go without a car (bike and/or bus) or get the other car running.

The other car.

Mom hated it.  It’s a cute little red hatchback that dad gave me because … Mom hated it.  It doesn’t have air conditioning so for summertime, it’s too hot to drive in Arizona.  But mileage is great and for a small car, that hatchback can pack a lot.  I’ve moved furniture in that thing.  Plus, you know, dad gave it to me.

Because mom needed someone with her, I moved in with her.  As she had cancer, I eventually had to stop working to be caretaker.  Not saying I was a great caretaker (let’s just say I am not a neatnik like my mom and leave it at that) but it became important to have someone at home.  When that happened, I stopped driving my car since we were using her car to take her to the doctor appointments, dialysis and everything else.  So I turned off the insurance but couldn’t bring myself to sell it because dad had given it to me even though it is like 20 years old.  It has its issues:  no air conditioner, a back window where the plastic latch has rotted off and you need a metal pole to keep the hatchback part up.  And I know $2,000 will get me a 10-year-old car in decent condition here in Arizona.

So the Suzuki has been outside on our cement parking spot for four years in Arizona heat without moving.  Looks mournfully at the tires.  They are a tad flat.

First things first:  Insurance. Have to get insurance for it.  Did that (um,couple of weeks ago).

Second: temporary permit.  Go to DMV and get a temporary permit.  He suggested I get a 3-day permit to get it to mechanic.  A 30-day permit is $15 and you can only get one once.  A 3-day permit is $1 and you can get it more than once.  So he said it’s good to get one to get to the mechanic, and then  get a second one online when I pick it up from the mechanic and take it to pass emissions.

He also was kind enough to say if I turned in the old license plate after it got picked up, I can bring it in and apply to get a portion of my old registration back.  It’ll be prorated.  I am going to hate giving back the license plate — it was mom’s handicap plate.  Oh well.

I got my first 3-day permit.  Which has lapsed (last week) since I was doing some thinking (procrastinating) which I expect you will help me with (mean boss! dear reader).

Third: Dead battery. Kris and Lisa lent me their battery charger.  So I took my battery out and charged it.  The next morning I checked it again to see if it held the charge and it did!  Yesterday I returned the charger.

So today, I need to hook up the battery again (and find my rachet wrench!), add some fluids and pray that it starts.  So will let you know how that goes.

And because I was posting this I went on a tangent looking at cars and I saw a couple $2,000 ones that  …..  darn, now not sure what to do. Oh well. I will give a report tomorrow in any case.



4 Replies to “Challenge A: Getting car running (not used in 4 years) or get a bike”

  1. It is understandable that you love this car for sentimental reasons, but make sure to take a look at all the wires and bushings to make sure that they are not dry rotted due to the Arizona heat.
    You can do anything that you set your mind to!


Leave a Reply


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

%d bloggers like this: