Car == Fixed

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how my car wouldn’t start, and since then it has been sitting in the drive way not going anywhere. We made out fairly well on one car, although it was challenging at times and we burned a lot more gas driving just the big SUV. Today that came to a change though. It is once again alive!

It took a couple weeks due to time, weather, and lack of tools. Weather has been cold and wet and I don’t have anywhere to do any work to the car except in the drive way.¬†About a week ago after I had tried checking all the things I could with the tools I had I was pretty sure it was the starter itself on the car that as gone. Luckily all I needed was a new socket set and found one on sale for only $20. It’s a good set and I really should have had one ages ago.

After many YouTube videos for research and a pretty big scare one night I was ready to get to work. After the car had sat about a week I though it would be wise to take it for a drive so it wasn’t just sitting and things getting ceased up. So I went out and tried to push it and get it going by myself with a bump start. The only problem is our driveway is on a hill and I had to push up the hill. Didn’t quite have it in me by myself and so I ended up calling from my cell phone in a panic for Jen to come out and put the break on because I was just barely able to hold the car from rolling down the hill, across the yard, and into our shed.

Yesterday came and the weather was beautiful, so when everyone else was out in the morning I went out and took apart the car a bit so I could get to the starter. Pulled it out and right away saw what the problem was. There was a braided wire from one part of the starter to the other that had broken. Jen was thrilled with the picture I sent her with the starter on the kitchen counter.

2002 Honda Civic Starter
2002 Honda Civic Starter

After considering just trying to repair the connection a friend reminded me that there is lots of current that flows there and if it broke it could be because something else in the starter is not working right. Found a used one at a local salvage yard but they weren’t open until today. They have all their parts catalogued and organized so when I stopped by they went right to it and brought it to me, all tested and ready to go.

Today on a lunch break I went out and put the new starter on and everything else back together and it started the first turn of the key. This makes me a mechanic now right? I’m very excited that I was able to get this fixed for about $100 when the part itself was quoted at almost $300 not including labour.

Love my car

To me cars are a necessity. If I lived in a big city with great public transportation I would gladly give up my vehicles, buy a good bike and make my way around that way. However living in rural Nova Scotia with four kids having a car, and in our case two, is pretty much needed.

Although we have gotten by for months now on one vehicle as my poor 2002 Honda Civic was first laid up in the driveway and then at a mechanic friends for a while. On Sunday though I was able to go pick it back up.

Something has been draining the battery so especially in the winter if it sat for anytime at all the battery died and wouldn’t start without a long charge and boost. Instead I going through that hassle we let it sit.

It’s only been three years I’ve owned this car but it is by far my favourite I’ve owned. It’s funny because it was already ten years old when I bought it and I’ve owned a couple brand new cars before it.

It’s not the prettiest car and there is plenty wrong with it, but I still enjoy driving it. It runs well, and I get great gas mileage especially compared to the big SUV that is our other vehicle.

There should be things wrong with it, it’s thirteen years old now and has over 200,000 kilometres on it. There are some things that would make people crazy I’m sure, but it’s part of what I like about it.

The fact that one of the back windows won’t go down is no big deal. I don’t sit back there, my window still goes down. The air conditioning is no longer cold, but again my window goes down. Besides that I live in Nova Scotia Canada, there isn’t much of the year we really need air conditioning. The heat still works, that’s the important part around here.

Having to go in through the trunk to open the fuel door every time you put gas in it drives my wife crazy. That’s ok in my books, I don’t have to fill it up often anyway. I could just leave the door open all the time, but it looks a bit better closed.

The trunk release no longer works either but it was causing the latch to get stuck closed so that once the trunk was open you couldn’t get it to close again. A cold winter morning dropping the kids off at school and I took the cable off so I could get it closed. Now I just need to use the key to open the trunk, that’s not a big deal.

There are scratches and minor dents, there are hub caps missing, there are warning lights on the dash that don’t go away, there are some rubber seals and trim coming off, but who cares. It’s thirteen years old! It’s not a beauty contest and it still drives pretty darn nice.

Having it gone for so long really made me realize how much I like it. Not just because of all the extra gas we were burning because we had to take the big SUV everywhere even if there was only one of us going. Jumping in, rolling my window down and taking off in my little standard five speed is fun. Just a different feeling than the big SUV that’s an automatic.

This last thing is causing me a little bit of despair though, but I’m still working on fixing it. To stop the battery from draining it was narrowed down to a fuse. Unfortunately it controls things like my remote door locks, power outlet, some other things, but most importantly the radio. So now I can’t listen to music or the CBC when cruising around. I’m still working to see if I can narrow down exactly what is causing the drain so I can at least get some of these things back.

It’s been so good to me though that I can live with all that’s wrong with it. If it died tomorrow and just refused to go on I’d be sad. But in all reality I’ve gotten more than my money worth out of this car and I really see me driving it for a few years yet.