Thursday, February 13, 2020


Today, my clutch fried.

At least I think that is what went on.

I had enough trouble with it yesterday, with that darn congestion in Portland, an hour of stop and go, going in, to think it was on its last legs perhaps. But then it seemed ok on the way home.

It's been slipping for months but much worse lately.  Today the car popped out of gear, going to Sweet Home, just out of the blue, from fifth to neutral. 

I was going to pick up a Ridgeway cat, maybe the last one, a little gray tux.  He or she would join siblings, who were fixed yesterday, get fixed itself Monday and all go together to a barn home on Tuesday.

Helen trapped him, last night, got lucky.

So she lives up on a ridge and its a climb up there in the car, but I can make it up in third gear.   But today it wouldn't downshift into a lower gear when it got steep, just revved to beat the band, lost power, blew out black smoke and started smoking up front too.  I thought, ok its going to catch fire right here, but it didn't and I was able to get up the hill finally to their place, where I shut it off and watched it smoke up front.

I had no fire extinguisher and sat there feeling dazed and depressed.  I opened the engine compartment and saw it smoking down at the transmission area but I couldn't pinpoint.  Took a long while to stop smoking and smelled really bad, like electrical combined with something else, something icky and toxic, like cloth rubber or something.

I checked the oil and saw nothing on the dip stick despite the fact I'd added a quart and a half three weeks ago.  That's not good either, I thought.  I was sure the car was toast now.

Helen's husband was in town so she asked him to get oil which he did and brought it up and put in a quart and a half again, but a quart brought it to normal.  So it wasn't that caused the whole issue on the hill I knew, but it was another issue, maybe related too.  I had not seen any leaks of oil in the driveway so why am I having to add so much.  I used my flashlight to look for any leaking spots and did see oil at the edge of the oil pan so maybe the gasket's leaking but that much, in two weeks?  Isn't that a little optimistic to think its a gasket leaking that much?

Anyhow, I made it back home, stopping twice to let the clutch and all cool down because the smell would get awful.  I had borrowed a box of baking soda and had it on the front seat as my fire extinguisher if I needed it on the way home.

I knew I couldn't drive it after I got it home, for safety reasons now.

I had the cat with me though at least.  Still hope to find a way to get him fixed Monday so the four can head off to their barn home, and at least have that done with.

I tried to call the last mechanic I used, the one who told me last summer the clutch going out but might have a few months.  But that shop is now closed for good.  I was a surprised to hear their message machine that said it was done and over with there.  Closed.  So I called mechanic shops randomly which I hate to do.  You just don't know what or who you're getting, if they're good at what they do, or even honest.

 Life is somewhat of a nightmarish luck of the draw game.   You might live a long life if you have a good doctor, for instance.  Your car might be salvaged with a good mechanic and you might be able to also eat for the next six months too if they're not overpriced.  Price quoted was near $1000 for a clutch replacement.  I don't think that included if the flywheel is bad.  I didn't even mention the oil problem or any of its other little issues that need fixed.  So that's Tuesday I take it over there and leave it and I don't know when I get it back or what all they'll find and between now and then its find the money game, dig it up, root it out, beg borrow, rob banks discreetly, oh no I won't do that.  Just kidding there.

I really didn't need this but I got warned last summer it was coming and now its here.   Where's all that clutch money I was supposed to be saving up?   Ha!

I haven't even had this car three years.  Not like my old car I had since it was almost new.  How I long for it sometimes. 

I got the once over with this one.  A lemon.  Man alive.  2 1/2 years.  Front and rear brakes.  Tires.  Some little emissions thing, that went bad and made it buck like a bronco and cost over $400 to fix. Two wheel bearings bad, both that way when bought but I didn't realize it for a few months since it basically sat two months after I bought it, not having a clear title as promised by the guy either.  Also because I blew the MCL on my right knee moments before I was to ride up with a friend to NE Portland to get the car.   I really couldn't walk or drive for a couple months then anyhow.  The dash lights that went on even on the drive home after I bought the darn thing that the mechanic say read out that somethings wrong with the catalytic.  Or something.  He advised ignoring them, unless I want to pay out thousands.   A lemon.

I was going to try to get that back molar pulled tomorrow or Saturday too, down in North Bend. It's been hurting like crazy last week or so.  I thought at first it was my chronic facial nerve inflammation thing going on, from that beating and neck injury that still haunts my nerves and muscles on half my face and neck, but its my tooth, that molar, that had the internal resorption cavity clear into the root.  I will have to wait on getting the final solution for it.    I waited this long to call the dentist to try to get in because I had to get those Cascadian kitties placed first.    So today was the day I was going to make the appointment and I hoped to get in fast.  That's life I guess.  Just got to roll with the shit that flies my way because it won't stop flying anytime soon.

This friend in Lebanon finally called me back.  I'd been tryiing to call about anyone from Waterloo when it heated up again and smelled, thinking I would never make it home.   I quit feeling sorry for myself then because she said how much she wished she could help me out but she lives on zero income right now.  Her mom died and she'd moved here into her mom's house and had been caregiving her for several years.  Anyhow, she now can't pay the electric or garbage or gas and the electric company is about to shut off her power.  She has money coming to her eventually from her mom's estate but that takes forever.   Until then, she's trying to survive.  It's not that tough to just live without a car comparitively.


  1. I am so sorry.
    Good luck with the car - and with your tooth.

    1. Me too on both accounts. Best laid plans eh? I was warned though that the clutch was going bad. Wish that mechanic shop was still open though.

    2. I was also warned the tooth would likely fail. So there you have it.

  2. Sorry to hear of more car woes. I suppose a decent frustrated kick to its tyres wouldn't fix it. Like rebonded brake shoes and retreaded tyres, I think they used to put new material on change over clutch plates. Another thing that has probably gone and little demand now.

  3. So sorry to hear about your car and tooth woes. But you may have helped me. You made a comment about an emissions problem causing your car to buck. One of our cars has a surge or something that makes it jump. Our favorite garage and also the dealer can't find anything wrong. Otherwise, it seems to drive okay, but we don't trust it to go very far. I don't think anyone looked into emissions problems. Did you say you had a Toyota? That's what we have.

    1. I can't recall now but it may have been the pcv valve. (positive crankcase ventilation). Little thing, was right up top too, so easy to get to, even had a dead spider in it.

  4. Been there, done that -sending you purrayers and positive energy.

  5. I'll keep my fingers crossed that things work out for you.

  6. I wish life treated you kinder, the way you deserve. ~nods~ And I hope things improve for both you and your friend in Lebanon. ~hugs~ Best wishes on healing and not getting stranded.

    1. I think I have it pretty good Darla, in that I've got the roof over my head, when there were times in life I didn't. I get bogged down in struggles, like the car, trying to do a lot on very little money, with cat helping, all that, but all in all, I have a good life and know a lot of really wonderful people, many of them online, like my Aussie friends Andrew and EC. I can't believe I know people so far away and that they seem to care what happens to me, clear up in Oregon. You and L&L too are always so supportive and I've never even met you. Anyhow, I appreciate all of you.