Monday, April 15, 2019

In Memoriam

My kids have now passed one of the milestones of modern adolescence.

The death of your first car.

The boys aren't having much of an issue with this, but Marie is taking it vary hard. The 4Runner was her baby.

You may remember her adventures with the car, when she outraced her older brothers to be the first with a license. The Toyota was 19 years old, with 265,000 miles, but she loved it. For reasons known only to her she named it "Dakota," which she insisted on spelling "decoda."

And, fittingly, it died with her at the wheel.

Rolling down the freeway on her way to an off-campus class, it suddenly began shaking wildly under her and making a racing noise. Alarmed, she took her foot off the gas and started to pull into the emergency lane. Then there was a loud "BANG!"

The engine stopped, never to turn again. As she came to a halt, Marie noticed a lot of fluid and some pieces of metal in the road behind her.

Since nothing fazes Marie, she calmly called AAA to arrange a tow, only bothering to notify her parents of this change in events when AAA asked where they should haul the car.

The next morning the guy at the car place asked if I could swing by on the way to work. Taking me into the garage, he showed me a jagged hole in the engine block the size of a football. As I marveled at it he handed me a chunk of metal that used to be piston, and pointed out where he'd found it embedded in the undercarriage.

I thought it looked like a femur. Keys are for size comparison.

So, after circling the globe 10.5 times, the car is being donated to charity.

We went to the repair shop before it was towed away to strip it of our personal stuff. This included $5.82 in coins scattered in cup holders, seat cushions, and under floor mats.

Marie carefully pried the 4Runner nameplate off the back, and it's now hanging in her bedroom, next to the hunk of piston.


jimbo26 said...

RIP decoda , you served the family well . Take care Marie . From Jim ( across the Pond ) .

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness she was able to get safely into the emergency lane. I've had those phone calls from kids after a car accident and it scares the heck out of a parent until you get confirmation the kid is all right.

Hubby had a car die after getting off a tollway in Chicago - a ball bear got loose after a bad pothole on the off ramp, and killed the engine a few blocks later, in the middle lane of a busy street in rush hour.

jono said...

I am glad Marie was able to keep her wits about her as many kids/adults would have a meltdown. It is amazing how quickly they grow up. How is Craig's Hair, by the way?

Ms. Donna said...

She handled it well. Glad all safe. Any idea besides age why the car threw a rod?

With the calm she shows in car emergencies, she will make an excellent physician. Or President. Or Chairman of the Joints Chiefs. Or anything she darn wants to be.

Mad Jack said...

Nice story. Love the connecting rod.

I suppose you could put a new engine in it, but it's a bit late for that, plus the trans would be the next thing to go.

Anonymous said...

Talk about going out with a bang!

Anonymous said...

Nerves of steel that young woman has. I hope there was no possibility of impalement by that jagged piece of metal. That would make the sojourn even worse in the retelling.

Bonnie said...

That reminds me of not my first car, but my first (& last) brand new car - a little silver Honda. That thing was a workhorse. It took me all over the West, over mountains, across rivers (well, creeks), survived my getting married & having kids. It started having more breakdowns, which our faithful mechanic fixed, but one day he told me the sad news - Baby was just worn out & tired. There will never be another car like it. RIP.

Cedar said...

What a sweet story of a girl and her car. I name mine, too, although perhaps not with the creative spelling, and I am sad when they die. A good car has personality!

Anonymous said...

Don't text and drive, wear your seat belt and oh, yeah, read the manual about when to change the timing belt/chain . . a DNR for sure.

Shash said...

Marie did very well with her first vehicle death. Congratulations for teaching her well.

She is lucky as well, that the car "let" her get out of the traffic lane. My hobby is working at car races; you would not believe the places engine bits can get too.

Anonymous said...

Now is the time to buy her a brand new 4Runner. The current ones are even better than the old ones. I have a 2010 with 100,000 miles, and am looking forward to another couple of hundred thousand miles.

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