July 2, 2013 by trixiec67
My Dodgy “_ourney”
You are probably wondering what on earth is going on with my car? “_ourney” or Ernie was in disguise for Halloween a couple of years back. I’m an NCIS geek. I think. That’s a whole other issue and another blog. So why do I call Ernie “nasty”? Hhhmmmm…first of all, I personally feel like a traitor. I am a Ford girl. I grew up Ford. As daddy put it; “Ford puts the roof over your head. Ford put the food on the table. Ford puts the clothes on your back. Ford is paying for your education. And your going to drive what I drive.” That was any and every kind of Ford vehicle that tickled my dad’s fancy at the time. I’ve been behind the wheel of a 1972 Club Wagon Van, 1981 Escort, 1978 Grand Marquis, 1976 Monarch, 1988 Club Wagon Van etc. since the age of sixteen while living in my parent’s home going to school and then through college (Community College) and off to University.
As a young child I loved to hang-out with my father and watch him work on whatever project he was doing around the house. It could have been anything from fixing the cord on a broken appliance to working in the garden to working on the 1965 Galaxie 500. (We had this car until 1981 until the unibody frame cracked and broke dad’s heart.) I loved trying to guess which tool dad needed next and handing to him. I was never prouder than when I guessed correctly. He would flash me a little smile of approval. All was done in silence. My excuse, or free-pass into the garage to watch was bringing in his favorite beverage and patiently waiting for the right moment to ask if he was thirsty. He’d crack the top on the can and pour it down in nearly less than thirty seconds. I would then win my way in to stand next to him and occasionally ask a question or two. Sometimes dad would explain what he was doing. Most of it went right over my head. However, those are the sweet memories.
Because of this curious trait of mine and hanging around my father like a lost puppy, I learned to cut hair. Dad had a beauticians license (earned in 1965). He only cut hair at home for the family and did favors for friends and neighbors to save them money. I did manage to pick up some knowledge of engines, tires and such. It was not enough to do anything solo. Let’s just say sticking my head under the hood of a car or other vehicle is not a problem for me. I’ve had some duesies that needed every fluid known to the auto world, which were kept on hand in the back at all times.
My first real job after graduating from University was with Ford Motor Company and my first vehicle was a 1992 Ford Ranger pick-up. It was the best darn vehicle I’ve ever driven. It had a four liter V-6 engine, club cab, 40/60 split bench and the best turning radius of any vehicle I’ve sat in and turned a corner. That truck could turn on a dime! Which brings me back to Ernie. He has the worst turning radius of any vehicle I’ve driven, bar none. The engine is about as good as the “rubber band” engine the original ’81 Escort had in it. I did not pick it out. Although my husband would beg to differ with me.
When he took me to go look for a new car in 2010, he kept driving me to the Dodge dealership. I kept asking, “Why can’t we go look at Ford’s?” He kept responding that they were too expensive. I kept saying that my brother get the “A” plan. Still, too expensive. When he asked me if I wanted the car, what else was I supposed to say? “No, I’ll just carry the kids on my back. I think this car is a piece of junk because everybody who lives in the car capitol of the world only buys Dodges when they can’t afford a Ford or a GM. In that order.” My husband is NOT from Michigan. He hails from the mid-west. His family bought many Dodge vans.
Okay, so he bought it. It’s in his name. I have to drive it. So, does it make sense for me to believe that he should take care of the maintenance on the car? We dealt with a Dodge dealership previously. Everytime I went to take care of something, I was treated like dirt and told them in so many words. I went in for a tire change that lasted four hours with a toddler. My husband boasted he never had a problem. So I told him he needs to take care of the maintenance contract. He blew off the included free maintenance visits. I had to rag at him to get the oil changed.
So last week I told him that the car is now burning oil. I picked up my mom to take her to an appointment and when I went to get her walker out of the back, white smoke was puffing out. It wasn’t a lot, but enough. He said it could be condensation. I also told him the car was chugging on the express road like it wanted to stall out. About a week later we had a bit of a disagreement, to put it mildly. **AHEM**
I told him that he never had the car checked after my near “miss” when I got cut-off and had to swerve and hit the curb. The tires are bald. The engine is chugging. The brakes should be looked at just for safety’s sake. Then he told me he services the car. I rolled my eyes and said, “It sucks having a wife who knows something about cars doesn’t it?” No response. Next thing I know, he buys me a bottle of FUEL INJECTION CLEANER. Seriously!!!! I didn’t say that the car had trouble starting!
Today I popped the hood. I pulled the dip stick. There was practically NO OIL in the car. What was there was black. I went to the auto parts store and bought oil and a funnel. My nephew (named for my dad) came and assisted me and we went to a hometown hero for tires and I’m riding smooth. Thank you Warholak Tires! You rock. A family own business for generations. Daddy went there. My brother goes there. I go there.
My husband took the kids on his vacation to CO for two weeks. They drove his family inherited Dodge van that he sank a load of cash into to repair last year. I told him to have a great time with the kids and to say “hi” for me.