So, I finally did it. I got rid of my beloved Prius.
The saga starts in about November 2013 when my car started refusing to start more often than not. I suspected the 12 volt battery which I replaced. So pleased I was with my self-diagnosis that I decided to also top up the oil.
So, I tipped the contents of the bottle I had prudently stored in the boot for just such the occasion. Unfortunately, what I thought to be oil at the time turned out to be antifreeze. Now, anyone who has anything more than a passing acquaintance with cars will know that mixing antifreeze in with your oil is a big no-no, the antifreeze, when it cools, can form little crystals that could damage the engine.
So, I tried to drain the sump (three words I hoped to never use in my life though I am somewhat proud I know them at all) and subsequently stripped the bolt’s head!
The 24 hour mechanic charged me a small fortune to drain the oil and replace it but they returned it to me in a non-working state.
I walked all the way to the nearest mechanic to buy another 12 volt battery, only to find that replacing it did not fix the problem. The local Toyota dealership declared it was the battery and offered me a discount to sell me a battery for $4,000, which they thought was the problem.
My father’s friend George graciously agreed to fix it. Turned out that the overnight mechanic had overfilled the oil which means the car could not turn over at all.
The car ran well for about 4 months and then refused to start again. I didn’t have the heart to do anything about it for over a year, so the poor thing literally gathered dust in my garage for over a year.
It wasn”t too bad, because my partner Freddy has a car.
The insurer declared it a write-off, paid the few thousand dollars it was worth and we were left 100% car-less.
So, we recently embarked on a number of public-transport supported missions to dealerships around the Auckland region. We wanted something new enough that it would retain some value, but not new. We managed to get a second hand 2014 Holden Commodore in Freddy’s favourite colour: blue. I think Freddy may love that car more than me!
We need money to find the new car and paying registration, insuranc e and parking for my non-working car doesn’t make any sense. So, today, at about 3pm, I called a car removal company and got them to remove my poor sad Prius.
I love that car, it’s been with me through some of the best and worst moments of my life. I have filled it with boxes to move from place to place, I have driven clear across Texas in all directions. Dallas to Galveston, across to central Arkansas. I have driven it to the top of New Zealand’s North Island via 90 mile beach, I have taken it on the ferry to the South Island. It was my safety, my independence, my first car, it nearly killed me twice and saved my life countless times. I have slept in it countless times and ferried countless others to safety in its arms.
As the truck took it away, I touched its rear bumper affectionately and whispered to it my thanks.