Auto Part Blues – Just Lucky I Guess

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I loved my Toyota Camry. It was the best car I had ever owned. I did all the maintenance on it myself. Faithfully I went to the auto parts store to buy it a new oil filter and oil. I changed its oil when ever it started to look grimy. Once a year I made the trek to the auto parts store to buy it new spark plugs. The car was so easy to work on. The spark plugs were right in front on the engine block and were so simple to take out, and put new ones in. The oil filter was also right in from on the engine block. There was plenty of room to just unscrew it and slap on a new oil filter. Doing that maintenance pretty much kept it happy. It was a good car.

The problem was it was an old car, and was near the end of its useful life span. It had a serious rust problem, over most of its body. The engine block was leaking oil, since its seals were wearing out. The signs were on the wall that its’ days were numbered.

One of the last things I replaced on the car from the auto parts store, was a new set of distributor wires going to each of the 4 spark plugs. It had been running rough even with new spark plugs, so I hoped the new spark plug wires would solve the problem. I had been taking regular drives into the country side, over some fairly steep mountain roads. This put added strain on the engine, and very likely brought about the end sooner. I thought the car was running smoother, with the new parts just installed. It seemed to have more power and to be doing better going up and down the steep mountain roads.

My dog and I had, a wonderful day going for a drive and exploring the beautiful countryside. The trip back was in the evening. By the time I was nearing home it was completely dark. I was in a bit of a hurry. I was a little tired and hungry. I had been making good time on the way home and was almost at the end of my journey. Coming down the last hill I saw another vehicle approaching from the other direction. I could tell that the timing of my turn would be off, and that I would have to wait for the other vehicle to go, before I could turn, if I slowed the car much more. So I didn’t slow down right away to advance the timing of my turn. Just before turning into the driveway, I down shifted and applied the breaks. The sudden increase in engine revs must have created an electrical power surge. Because the car’s electrical system just died and some weird panel lights went on, as I turned into the driveway. That was it, the car was dead in the dark. It would not start. I was so lucky that the car died almost in my driveway, not way out, miles from anywhere in the countryside.

Because of the car’s advanced rusty condition, it was not practical to invest any more money into fixing its electrical system. The end of its days had come. I gave it away to someone who wanted to take it apart for parts. It was a good little car, that had a long productive period of service. I was sorry to see it go. Perhaps in the end, it helped another car have a longer productive life, by providing replacement auto parts.