Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Auto Adventures

I've been giving my wee 2002 Toyota Echo, Cutie Pie, some LUV in the past few weeks -- getting her ready for winter, plus some upkeep/maintenance.

October 17 I was due to have installed:
  • Windshield #3 (I live in a major Rock-throwing Zone);
  • New bushings (to replace dried, cracked 12-year-old ones);
  • My winter tires; and a
  • New block-heater cord (as my original one was clipped off by scamps on the Labour Day weekend.)
Well...2 out of 4 ain't  The winter tires were put on, and the block heater cord repaired...but it turned out that the glass installers didn't have the right-sized windshield, and the Parts Department 
Toyota Echo Sway Bar Bushings
 discovered that the sway bar bushings they had in stock weren't the ones that would fit my Toyota.


Parts ordered "STAT!" and appointment re-booked for today.  I drove my car off the lot and home-ward.  Then I noticed a knocking when it was idling at a stoplight.  I figured I'd have them look at it when I came back in for the windshield and bushings.

It turns out it was my water pump...and that the water pump is an Important Part.  And they didn't have one in stock but could rush one up from Calgary (2 1/2 hours' drive away).  Fed Ex to the rescue...but it meant keeping my car there over night as the part wouldn't arrive early enough to get everything done before closing.


They offered me a "loaner".  


You see, I drive a standard shift car, because then I know I'm The One Doing the Driving.  I don't like cars that want to drive me.  I prefer to drive them!  

I was afraid the "loaner" would be a Big Bad Automatic...'s a Yaris, they said.  Same size as your Echo.  And PLAIN.  Very Plain.  

They were right.

The "Loaner" in my driveway
Aside from the fact that its covered with logos and advertising, and is an automatic transmission, and is black, I could drive this car.  Now.  Maybe forever.

Of course, I'm not ready to buy a new car.  My 12-year-old Echo has only 224,500 km on it (give or take) and is in pretty good shape (or will be, with new bushings and water pump and windshield #3).

But if I were...

I mean, this Yaris sedan is a car that's a car.  It doesn't try to drive for me.  It lets me do my own shoulder- and mirror-checks.  It doesn't tell me where to drive.  It lets me use a map.  It's dashboard doesn't look like it belongs in a 747.  It has an AM-FM radio and CD player, and neither of them phone me. It's the right size for my garage and has a capacious trunk.

Now install a 5-speed manual transmission and paint it red...

I'm praying they still make them when I'm ready to buy!

This is not my Echo, but one just like Ideal Car


Giddings Art said...

I'm with you, driving a standard transition. I hope all is well when you pick up your car. That red one is pretty snazzy!

elle said...

AND... a lot of the younger generation don't even know standard. Might not have to lock it every time you go in for the mail! :)