Sunday, February 15, 2015
Single Bypass Surgery
The next few posts document an adventure I went on to get my Audi running in December 2014, only to have her develop the shakes and shudders in February, a problem still under diagnosis.
Since aught-two* my main drive has been a 97 Audi A8. I had a 94 Audi 100 before that,** but some bitch hit me and that was that. I picked up the A8, a $65K sticker car, five years old and a spry 73k miles on the clock, for $18,900. It was either that or a new 4-banger Accord with cloth interior.
Having enjoyed since my 83 GTI, I went with the Audi.
It's further depreciated in the last twelve years, to the point where it's worth a whopping $1000.00. To make the impact of its throw-away status more visceral, I recently stopped to check out a snow-mobile for sale by the side of the road. It too was a '97. They wanted $1500.00 for it.
A few weeks back, the low-coolant indicator played its little animated dance for me and I topped up. a week later, low again. By a lot. Huh. Well, that explains the puddle under the car. I guess it wasn't melting snow.
So here we sit with 239K miles on the beast, good tires, all major systems functioning, new tie rods and drive shafts, new brake pads and rotors all around,*** and a weepy cooling system in a thousand dollar car.
But I'm a sucker for a lost cause and, though I'm not cheap, I am frugal. I floated the idea of selling the car for its $1000.00 value past Mrs. Toadroller who, before I could finish saying "...and buy something else," strongly suggested fix it.
And so over the next few weeks, an hour or two at a time, I dug into the front end of the car - bumper, radiator, engine-belt covers and more - on an epic journey to what I hoped was the broken $20 part (internet wisdom, experience, and guidance point this way) to remove, replace, and re-assemble in order to gain another year or two of service from this fine automobile who has given me warm buns, great winter traction, and an amazing driving experience over this last decade+two, from Colorado to Maine and around points throughout the northeast including NJ, upstate NY, NH, Montreal, CT, MA, NH and more...
Wish me luck, though I do tend to enjoy this sort of challenge. It instills confidence and helps me tackle other deeds. Experience is knowledge and all that.
Here she was after day one of my efforts.
*man, I miss the aughties
** and a Subaru SVX before that, and an Audi 90 before that...So I like weird things. What of it? The SVX was fun. Fast, quiet, unique. The brakes sucked.
*** guess what I did last year during Christmas season? It's okay, I got a great car jack and some other good tools from the experience.