And thus begins the great car hunt of 2012…..
The Versa was dead to begin with. There was no doubt about that. The old Versa was deader than a door nail. — From the novel “A Versa Carol” by Charles Dickens
I purchased my Nissan Versa used in 2010 from Gray Chevrolet in Stroudburg. It’s a 2009 model. It was working beautifully up until my accident last year. The day before my birthday…I swerved to avoid a deer on Old Route 115 in Lehman. I hit a patch of ice and my car went off road. I was able to re-correct it and avoid slamming into a telephone pole, but it was already too late. All of the rock and underbrush from the shoulder damaged the right front passenger-side tire and other crap underneath my engine. I was barely able to get my car home that evening and it was towed to Quality Collision in Dallas the day after my birthday (New Years Day). What a way to start a new year. By the way, this area of Old Route 115 is notorious for water run off. A person was killed in an accident in the same area I ran off the road back in March. You can read that story online at wnep.com right here.
I’m not convinced that incident didn’t have something to do with why my car is dead.
I started to notice my car had an issue right after the Fourth of July. Before work on Saturday morning, I started up my car ahead of loading up all of my crap needed for my shift (purse, water, laptop bag, charging cables, etc) and as I was doing that I noticed it was “puttering”. Like it was shaking slightly and making this “put put put put put” noise. That was abnormal, but it seemed fine otherwise. I drove it in with no issues, except for the moth that I let in when loading my car. Saturday was hot and so was Sunday. I had the AC on a lot both days, so I figured the puttering may have had something to do with overtaxing the engine. Sunday I noticed the same thing, except worse. Something did not seem right. It started bucking and shaking violently whenever I was stopped. I can’t say that I’ve ever ridden a bucking bronco or have suffered from shaken baby syndrome, but if I had, I would imagine it would feel like how my car drove on Sunday morning on my way home from work. Monday was more of the same, with one exception….when I took my car out to grab lunch, I noticed that the “Service Engine Soon” light on my car’s dashboard appeared. WTF?
Oh that other light? The exclamation point? Yeah, that’s also always on. Normally, when it is on, it means that the tire pressure is low, but I recently purchased 4 new tires, and the Nissan OEM valve stems were replaced with generic ones. When that happens, the stupid sensor freaks out because it cannot get a reading on the tire pressure. I’m sorry, but I’m not paying 90 dollars a tire to have it replaced x4 tires.
When I was ready to leave work finally around 6pm, there was a major traffic back-up on 81 South, some accident happened near the Dupont exit and Lifeflight was called in. I decided to wait a bit until the traffic cleared up before attempting to leave. My car was bucking and shaking when sitting idle and I was afraid that I would have stalled out or broken down right on the Interstate. Around 6:30, things seemed clear, so I left. Everything was peachy keen until I got to the road that my house is on. I was preparing to make a left turn onto my road from Route 29, but there were 6 or so cars coming up the hill from the opposite direction. I had to wait until they passed before I could turn….and wouldn’t you know it, that was just enough time for my car to stall out. Luckily, I was able to negotiate the turn onto the road, but all of my steering, breaks and other controls were dead and there were a million alarm lights lit up. I pulled the car off onto a side dirt road and shut off the engine. I waited about 2-3 minutes and attempted to turn it back over. IT STARTED. Thank god. I was about a mile from my house, I could have walked home, but I wouldn’t have felt comfortable leaving my car unattended. I drove it home safely and then my husband took it for a ride to my brother in laws.
The two of them looked at the car and engine and determined that there was 0 quarts of oil in my car. They immediately went and got oil and dumped it in the engine. It seemed to be behaving slightly better. They took it for a ride again and noticed the bucking, shaking and lack of power. They determined that a rod in my engine, or multiple rods are damaged due to the lack of oil. Here’s the ass kicker though, my “check oil” light never came on. It only lit up after my car had stalled out. Don’t you think it should have warned me before there was…oh I don’t know….say NO OIL inside of the engine?! Nah. Why should things make sense? We thought that perhaps when my car was in the accident earlier this year, that something got messed up with the oil pan or oil sensors, but who knows.
After doing a KBB on my car, we determined it’s only worth 5k. A new engine would be 3k. It does not make sense to put a new engine in it. Time to start car shopping. Yippee fucking skippee.
I went to Wyoming Valley Motors, Ertley Motor World and then back to Wyoming Valley Motors today. I was on my way to a Fiat dealer when I hit construction traffic on 81. Afraid I’d get stuck, I got off on the first exit and went back home. I did put down a deposit on an absolutely gorgeous VW Jetta this afternoon, and got a fairly decent deal on it, but the hubs is not convinced about making this commitment. I don’t really know what other options I have. My credit is kind of terrible right now because of these assholes and the situation they put me in. That 1500 dollars could sure come in handy now.
I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. I may try to stop at the stupid Fiat dealer tomorrow to see if I can get a better deal. I’m pretty much screwed anyway I look at it right now, and hopefully my car won’t blow up before I can trade it in. However, once it’s in the dealer’s hands….good luck chuck. That thing could burst into flames for all I care.
As bad as this whole ordeal has been, I guess I am lucky to be alive. Around 10:30 I’d say, I heard a bunch of sirens and my head did a 360 assuming the noise was coming from the TV. It wasn’t the TV, it was coming from outside. For a minute, I had a flashback to living in Hanover Township…I headed outside to see what the commotion was about. I couldn’t really see too well, but there were a bunch of fire, police and ambulances lining my road. I, of course, assumed that one of the trailers across the street was busted for a meth lab (several very shady people over there), but it wasn’t. I walked to the end of my dirt road and it turns out someone crashed head on into a tree narrowly missing a trailer across the street. People have been known to fly up and down the road that I live off of, and right before that it had rained. Combined with the poor lighting, I’m sure this person was driving fast, on perhaps bald tires and drove right off the road. I wish people would realize THIS IS NOT THE INTERSTATE AND CHILDREN LIVE ON THIS ROAD. As you can see below, if this happened during the day, there may have been kids on the swingset.
The Lifeflight helicopter landed soon after and took 1, perhaps 2 people to a nearby hospital.
No matter how bad my car situation is….at least I’m not that guy.