My PT Cruiser that is. I own a beautiful ocean pearl blue PT Cruiser. The chrome on the dashboard is also ocean pearl blue. I think it looks a bit like a Royal British taxicab. I have a Tinkerbell sticker on the rear window, a Tinkerbell steering wheel cover, and a Tinkerbell visor cover. I love my car. In fact, if I were reincarnated as a car, I would be my blue PT Cruiser.
I have owned this car for about four years. The only thing my car has asked for has been gas, oil, tires and new brakes. It has been a trustworthy and loyal friend. That all changed at the end of last summer. My car’s air conditioner started acting up. Sometimes it would cool and other times it wouldn’t. When the weather started getting warmer this spring, it started doing the same thing. I knew I must act soon. I would not drive around melting in the hot summer heat.
I took the car to a recommended shop where they diagnosed the problem as a faulty radiator/cooler fan. They charged a mere $65 to tell me I needed a $560 repair. I thanked them politely and said I would think about it. Did I really want to spend that much money?
I shared my PT Cruiser woes with friends and family. I posted the dilemma to my facebook page. My daughter posted a simple question to my page, “don’t you have a warranty of any kind?” I paused for a moment, thought about the question, and decided that I had no idea. I went to my car’s glove box and looked in the package containing pertinent car information. There in the package was a small card showing that I indeed did have an extended warranty. I called the company and found that my air conditioner fan was in fact covered. I did however have a $200 deductible, but that was better than almost $600.
That was Tuesday of last week. It seems my extended warranty wasn’t as simple to use as it might seem. I won’t bore you with details but my car had to go to a shop on the other side of town. That shop had to send it to another shop and then back to the original shop. The original shop has to do the repairs but they had to order the supplies from the other shop. Defective parts and a surprise additional repair has rendered me carless for a week. They assured me I would have my car back in the next day or so.
I have been stressed and grumpy having to share a car with my husband and asking friends for rides. After the last call from the dealer, I really let it get to me. I had to ask someone to drop me off at the office and then ask my husband to come and pick me up later. It was turning into a major life crisis. It was a huge BIG DEAL.
I started thinking back over my life to times when I had no car and no one I could ask for help. I remember a time when my teenage daughter and I lived in an extremely small apartment. She had a bed on the floor in the living room. The living room was divided from the kitchen by a line on the floor. There was one other room and that was my bedroom. We had one of the smallest bathrooms I have even seen with a tiny shower. My car had been repossessed and we walked to the grocery store, laundry mat, and I had to walk to work. Sometimes we were able to take a bus or if necessary a cab.
I wrote about leaving Reno, Nv and my marriage. I left with my Toyota Supra. After arriving back home in South Carolina I learned that I would not be able to register the car because I didn’t have the title with me. I found out my ex had taken a title loan and the car was on a repo list. I had no transportation for about three months. And I lived 30 miles from town–in the COUNTRY!
There are been other times in my life when I had no car of a car that broke down constantly. I have been homeless before. I have lived through horrendous life situations. I have experienced grief that was debilitating. I have watched friends and family deal with major life crises. We all have had big deals in our lives and those of our friends and families.
In my job I see people every week who have serious life problems. Some are homeless or about to be, some have lost jobs, some are in pain, and others are dealing with serious mental or physical health problems. I think about people around the world who would consider themselves most fortunate to have a small piece of the things we take for granted everyday.