My recent outing, featuring a BRAND NEW CAR!!!

I mentioned a trip. I went to visit Dave on the edge of southern Indiana last Friday, and the driving was more eventful than usual. I got almost to Findlay, Ohio (120 miles south of my house) when I noticed the air conditioner was pumping out warm air. Then something went POP and there was smoke coming out my tailpipe, and then the battery indicator light on the dashboard lit up. I exited in the middle of a construction zone, willing the car to not stop in the middle of it, and found a mechanic. The a/c compressor had seized; since it was no longer spinning, the belt around it broke; and then a dampener pulley either broke or bent. They could fix everything on Friday but that pulley, which was a part that had to come from some Dodge supplier somewhere and wouldn’t be available until Monday.

So I could either stay in a motel in Findlay, which wouldn’t have been very much fun — mind, Findlay is a nice town, but it’s not where I wanted to go — or I could rent a car to finish my trip. Option B yielded a new Nissan Altima, which was awfully comfortable. I figured a car rental would probably cost as much as a motel room rental. So off I went through Ohio and Kentucky, through storms and construction zones, and got to Dave’s in time for a nice hot pizza.

We didn’t do a lot. For various reasons, we’re both in a mode where sleep is our best friend. We did a quick trip to look at new bridge construction. Two new bridges over the Ohio River are being built, and work is progressing at a nice pace. We also went out to some very good dinners, including a Japanese restaurant with one of Dave’s friends. The weather was kind of meh, with lots of showers and glowering skies and humidity.

Then on Tuesday, I had to leave ridiculously early (10:45) so I could return the rental car in Findlay and pick up my car. That was pretty expensive, but went without a hitch. Luckily, I missed severe weather in the Toledo to Detroit stretch of the trip.

I just remembered, I have a photo of that Altima.
Rental car
The Altima was cushy and very responsive. It had so many features, like a push-button ignition, and a little display of the car in the dashboard that I still don’t know what it was showing. The car was kind of old-fogeyish (Dave and I agreed it was similar to a Buick), but I appreciated that it sits higher off the ground than my Stratus, which is hard for me to get in and out of. Mostly, I was really impressed with the advances in cars that are ten years newer than mine.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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13 Responses to My recent outing, featuring a BRAND NEW CAR!!!

  1. maxauburn says:

    Sorry about your car problems.

    That Altima does look nice- for a modern car.

  2. changeling72 says:

    Very nice. Is it on your shopping list?

    Despite the car issues and the dodgy weather, it sounds like a good trip.

    • songdogmi says:

      No, not really. I don’t know what the price of one is; it sure seems like it wouldn’t be cheap, but what car is cheap these days? I go driving on dirt roads too much, and I’m not sure an Altima is a good choice for that. It might’ve been a nice car for taking Mom around, though; she had problems getting down into my car.

  3. quickcasey says:

    Lots of that going around. The alternator on the van seized on the van last Sunday. The belt was shredded. I limped home less than a mile, and parked it. I’ll deal with that later. I have other beaters. They’re all beaters, but I love them.

  4. kishenehn says:

    Very shiny! But yeah, kind of Buick-like.

    When I got my new car, one of the things I liked the most was that the Subaru rides so much higher than the Corolla did. I can definitely relate to that.

    • songdogmi says:

      I can’t see taking an Altima to a folk festival. 🙂 I see a lot of Subarus in Marquette when I go to the festival there. One of my fiddle-playing buddies and his wife have a Forester. I’m very interested in a Subaru for my next car, depending on how well I fit into one. The fact that it’s higher sounds very appealing.

      • kishenehn says:

        Depending on how much musical and other gear you usually take along, I think a Forester might be perfect for you. I find the front seats to be pretty roomy and comfortable, too, and entry and exit are good. (I’m getting to the age where getting out of a very-low car is getting annoying.)

      • songdogmi says:

        That sounds very nice. I don’t usually have a lot of musical gear — been keeping it simple lately. I’m sure it would handle the camping gear I take to Hiawatha, since it all fits in the Stratus already.

        My friends who have the Forester in Marquette are 82 and 73 or thereabouts (one of my former Econ professors — he’s the fiddler — and his wife — she plays string bass!) and I’m sure they would appreciate a car that’s easy to get in and out of.

  5. songdogmi says:

    Thanks.

    Well, nothing has tail fins these days, so given that, yeah, the Altima was nice. 🙂

  6. livejournal says:

    Early-morning drive …

    User referenced to your post from Early-morning drive … saying: […] in LJ and its future, it’s definitely worth a read: http://songdogmi.livejournal.com/462286.html […]

  7. Anonymous says:

    Glad that you were able to get your car fixed and get down to see Dave. 🙂

    One of my local friends is 6’2 and she has some ongoing issues with her right hip due to an accident several years ago. She and her husband have a Forester and a Santa Fe–both work well for her in the comfort and ease of entering and exiting departments. I could see you in either. 🙂

    Fran

    • songdogmi says:

      I might be on the way to getting a new car, one repair at a time. :-\

      I’ve seen Santa Fes too … they look pretty cool. (Hyundai, if readers don’t know — I had to look it up.) It speaks well that your friend can handle it with her right hip issues.

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