The Joys Of High Mileage

Since we’ve brought up the subject of spending money, let’s look at a less fun example!  Namely, my car.

I have a Subaru Outback.  I’ve had it for the past seven(!) years, ever since my ex-girlfriend totaled my other car on a road trip (but that’s a different story).  It’s treated me well so far, but it’s admittedly getting up there in terms of mileage.  And although I got it used, it now has over 100,000 miles on the odometer.  In fact, it’s probably closer to 128,000.

Now, you put that many miles on a car, and it’s going to start to have a few… issues.  So far, I’ve been pretty lucky, especially given how much I keep up with the suggested routine maintenance (I don’t).  That being said, it does get quite annoying when after one flat tire you have to pay to get all four replaced.  Thanks, all-wheel drive!

But recently I’ve been having a few more serious issues, ones that can’t be easily ignored.  For instance: one of the rear tires started making an oscillating sound, which then progressed to a periodic grinding on cold or wet days, which progressed to a constant unpleasant grinding.  Hey, maybe I just have a piece of gravel or something stuck somewhere and it’ll work itself out, right?

Nope!  Turns out I was due for a really, really expensive oil change.  I took the car in to the mechanic, and apparently the rear brake pad was pretty much gone, and the wheel bearing was also shot.  Now, even I know that breaks are one of the things you really don’t want to mess with.  So I hiked up my big boy britches and, knowing it wasn’t going to get better on its own, prepared my wallet for ritual sacrifice.

“But wait,” the guy at the shop said (I’m paraphrasing), “There’s more!  Do you realize your check engine light is blinking?”

Yes I did, thank you very much.  But it’s only intermittent, so I was hoping to ignore it a little while longer and hope the problem works itself out.  You know, the same way I approach dentistry.  But if you want to take a look while it’s there in the shop, go ahead.

“Yeah, about that check engine light…  Turns out about half your cylinders are misfiring due to an oil leak.”

…Za?  That’s… not good.  Decidedly not good.  I kinda need my car to get places, after all; I don’t know that I’d like having to make the 10-mile bike ride to work every day, especially in the winter.

So long story short, I am now significantly poorer than I was earlier today.  About as much poorer as I planned to be after I built a new gaming PC, actually.  So yay me, I guess.

Sometimes I hate being a responsible adult.