Monday, May 11, 2009

Transmission problems

So the saga continues with my little Saturn, she's a great little car and she's hanging tough. But this weekend was a hard trip for her. Late Friday night when we arrived at my sister's house she wouldn't reverse instead she slowly coasted forward. And when I tried to bring her to the Saturn dealership service department on Saturday I found them to be closed and the whole place seemed like a ghost town. Signs of the times I suppose.

But on Saturday my little Saturn SL1 seemed to recover over night and I was able to reverse with just a minor lag before I felt the transmission slip in. We had a pretty easy ride back to NYC on Sunday, until we hit bridge and tunnel traffic. I opted for the bridge because it seemed last time the loooong wait in the tunnel seemed to adversely affect my car. But it was stop and go even on the GW Bridge and then again on the FDR. And just when we were 5 minutes from home, the dreaded light came back on, and she had trouble switching gears, staying at about 30 mph until finally it would kick in and we could accelerate. It wasn't a big deal, because traffic was so heavy we were keeping up with the flow. But I fear the end is near.

I just dropped of my Saturn, to the same garage that I've been dealing with since the first time my check engine light came on I think back before Thanksgiving. I told him I didn't need it for a while so he could keep it and order the parts whatever, just asked that he call me when he had an estimate. Today, he mentioned something about changing the filter first, just to see. Which was funny, because the guy at my parking garage kept saying last night that I should ask them to change my filter and give my transmission a tune-up and not to pay over $100 for it. So, we'll see what the mechanic guy says. I want to trust them with my little car, but I also am trying to face the reality that my car may not survive the year. Again...I think it's just a sign of the times.

Although there is a glimmer hope, the rest of my car seems to be doing fine, so it might be worth it to spend a little bit of money to fix the transmission, even with used parts. In the long run it would be much cheaper (but less convenient) to rent a car when we need one. On paper it make much more sense, but it will be very difficult for me to say goodbye to my Saturn, and good bye to owning a car altogether. But I supposed most New Yorkers get by without one, it's very uncommon among our friends for people to own a car a live in the city. But my Saturn has a lot of personality and has been with me since October of 1997...when the time comes, it will be sad to see her go.

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