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You only have a birthday once a year, and it was Becky's turn.

My mom was visiting us in town, so we had to take two cars to go to Biaggi's for dinner Friday night after work. I was leading the way. As I neared the Silver Lake Road exit on I-694, I lost power. It was as though I dropped out of gear. I quickly disengaged the clutch and pushed the shifter into gear, but it was already in gear. The engine just revved, but it did not sound good. I threw on the flashers and made my way safely over to the shoulder, Becky, Mom and kids riding in Gertrude (the Chevy Mailbu) imitated my move behind me. Once on the shoulder, I lost power, and once I came to a stop, I tried to start Matilda up again. She wouldn't do it. It sounded bad.

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The tow-truck driver (thank you AAA) confirmed my guess: Timing Belt broken. That shouldn't have happened. The belt was replaced 20K miles ago (even though that was well over 2 years ago). The call from Midas confirmed my fears. The engine was shot, and it would cost more than the car was worth to get a used engine. Knowing I would be due for a new clutch soon anyways, I said no thanks and started the process of dumping the car.

Except I couldn't find the title.

While I was trying to locate the title, I was reminded that I did have a 100K mile powertrain warranty. I checked into that, and no dice. Since KIA didn't replace the timing belt, they couldn't help me. I thought to call the shop that had replaced the timing belt a few years back. The part was out of warranty, but they wanted to take a look and make sure it wasn't something they had done wrong. They towed the car (no expense to me) to their shop, and gave me the same story. The belt just broke. They were, however, willing to give me a better deal than Midas (including a new clutch), but still, it wasn't worth it.

I realized that I never used the car except for rare circumstances. I can walk to my bus stop for work, so no need for the car there. We can survive no problem with one car.

I called the mechanic back, told him we we're going to donate it. He offered to buy it for $500. Done. I found the title, completed the transaction, and walked away with $500.

Long story short, one Friday my old car threw a timing belt. The following Friday, I profited $500. I was down a car I didn't need, but that I didn't realize that I didn't need until I didn't have it any more. It's kinda cool how things like that tend to work out sometimes.

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Posted in Automotive repair Post Date 03/04/2017


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