I started this blog because I like driving. A lot. And therefore things that prevent me from driving the way I want to make me very cranky. Up to this point it’s been other drivers or traffic infrastructure that makes me frustrated and annoyed. I’ve suddenly discovered an insidious new source of crankiness.

My cars have turned on me.

I need Imola Yellow to finish the set
Here they are plotting against me

Driving implies control over a vehicle to make it do what you want. But control is really an illusion, like your tax dollars at work or “food quality” at a fast food restaurant. You don’t really control your car, it controls you.

Of course, I should have seen this coming. The signs have been there for years, but I’ve been blind to them. The same thing will happen to mankind when GoogleNet SkyNet goes active, or when the ape apocalypse starts—it’ll suddenly be upon us before we know it. For zombie invasions, however, we will have more time because they stagger slowly.

Milla Jovovich giving a helping hand
In case of aliens/vampires/zombies/bad tenants, I’m hiding behind this woman
©2011 Davis Films/Impact Pictures (RE5) Inc. and Constantin Film International GmbH.

When you bring a new car home, you’re all excited and start its care and feeding. You bathe it regularly, change its oil, and feed it premium fuel. You think you’ve done your job, but no!


It’s constantly sucking down gas. Not only do you need to change the oil regularly, but all of its fluids. And tires? Where does this thing go that it needs tires all the time?

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.”
–Franklin P. Jones

And if you’re not careful, there’s the danger that it could pick up bad habits like hanging around the race track. Your car will start telling you it’s getting droopy and needs new springs for the road, but you know those springs are really for the Skeet House turn at the Waterford Hills road course. Do sway bars really help with Michigan potholes? Does it truly need 600 hp for your steep driveway? You don’t know, but now you’re out more cash.

The only way it gets worse is if they start asking you for tuition money.

And what do you get for your devotion? Trouble. That’s what happens when they get older. Three of my cars are over 100,000 miles (the other will exceed that later this year, if I ever get it back). In the past year, I’ve had to deal with a new clutch, timing belt, locked brake caliper, clutch hydraulics, and a short block (!) for my various cars. Two cars were towed to the dealership on the same day.

My oldest hasn’t had air conditioning in years, and on a 90°F day it decided to start venting super-heated turbo exhaust into the passenger compartment on my hour drive home. I’m sure it was because I made it a daily driver for a month. And because of a broken $2.25 ($7.00 S&H) plastic Porsche clip.

The Cerberus Clip: 944-572-314-00-M100
The Clip of Hades, because without it, the flames of Hell come through my heater. The metal rod with the threads is supposed to be in the clip.

Whenever I hear a strange sound (shake, rattle, or roll) or smell something funny (brakes, fumes, burning leaves) in the Porsche, I just assume it’s coming from my car.

I haven’t even seen my youngest in almost a month (see: short block). The wait is killing me. And making me poorer. It’s supposed to be my fun and reliable daily driver.

It just never ends. Next month, it’ll probably be another brake job. Maybe rotate the coolant. Or re-align the dilithium crystals in the flux capacitor. Whatever it is, it will cost a lot, or involves me upside down and covered with Mobil 1 oil and ATE Super Blue brake fluid. Actually, I’m sure it will be worse than that.

“What is a home without children? Quiet.”
–Henny Youngman

“A child is a curly dimpled lunatic.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wasn’t this supposed to be fun? Where did I go wrong?

I’m pretty sure there’s only one cure for this. It’s time to wipe the slate clean.

I have to buy a new car.

Having another car will make everything better. I can add it to the horde I currently have. It will preferably be an import whose parts are machined from the liquid metal tears of hunted Romulan wumpuses and hand delivered by Jawas from Tatooine. No Pep Boys for me.

The new car will help straighten out the other cars. The other cars are too old to be jealous, and it’s always a good idea to have a spare car or three sitting around the house.

Now all I have to do is convince my wife that we can afford another (premium) gas tank to feed.

“The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four—of secondary importance is to prepare for being five.”
–Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook

“You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who’ve never had any.”
–Bill Cosby

Crankiness Rating: 6 out 11 (Can you really stay that mad at your own? Well, maybe.)