Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The $400 Honda Disaster

Several years ago, I worked at a restaurant in Morgan Hill. After taking the bus for a few years, I decided to buy a car. I couldn't afford a new car or even a good used one.

A coworker wanted to sell her old 1982 Honda Accord for $400. It was a piece of junk, but I accepted it. She made arrangements to sell the car before she planned to purchase a used Hyundai. I decided to take a chance on this old junker. What I didn't know that I was in for a wild ride.

On the very day I picked up the car, she told me that the transmission failed, only the first two gears worked. Since this car was an automatic, the fastest that it could go was 40 miles per hour.

Only the D1 and D2 gears worked. I tried not to push the car because the engine had over 480,000 miles on it. Can you believe that a Honda could last that long?

This car made it to the end of its life. I would soon find that out in a few short weeks.

On a few occasions, I called the job to tell them that I would be a few minutes late due to my slow driving car. I noticed the car redlining the entire time; The engine struggled to maintain speed.

I couldn't drive the car on the freeway, otherwise the engine would have blown up. Each day, I had to drive on Monterey Highway. The speed limit was 50 MPH. i could only drive 40MPH.

I remembered the last time I drove the Honda. I tried to fix the car, but it needed way too much work. This car was far past its prime. I drove on Monterey Highway for the last time.

With each hard pressed mile, the engine started to struggle more and more. All of a sudden, the engine exploded, causing a blanket of black smoke to suffocate the surrounding air.

The visibility was so restricting, I hoped that no other cars were following behind. It wasn't safe to drive through the dark cloud.

The Honda was parked on the side of the road. Luckily I was close to the restaurant. I called my job. The bookkeeper, Tina, picked me up.

For the next week, the Honda was parked on the side of the road. I left a note on the dashboard concerning the matter. I wanted to make that the car wasn't towed away.

Each day I passed by the car, I hoped that it was there. When the police have cars towed, a person has to pay multiple fees. I didn't have enough money to pay for a tow.

One day, the car was gone. I had no clue where to look. After a few hours of calling around, I located the car. It was stored in a car junkyard in the middle of San Martin. I couldn't afford to pay for the tow and storage fees.

The storage facility agreed on a deal; they wanted me to pay for the tow fees and would accept the car as a replacement for the storage fees.

After work, I walked 5 miles to the storage facility. I signed over the title and paid the tow fee, all the money I made in tips that day was used to free me of the car problems.

I hadn't gone to DMV to accept ownership for the vehicle yet. To be fair and honest, I didn't want to cause the coworker any problems.

Six months later, the coworker that sold me the car experienced some misfortune of her own. Her transmission had blown out.

Ironic, considering that she knew that the Honda transmission was not in good working order and now she had the same exact thing happen to her.

The $400 Honda disaster was a learning lesson. Don't buy cars that are ready for dismantling. Whenever your car breaks down, make sure you tow it right away.

Other then that, the $400 Honda was a short lived purchase that only sparked one memory - the black cloud of smoke that consumed the road and my life.

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