Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's not just an old car to me.

Tuesday I got caught in a hail storm not more than 2 minutes after I left the underground parking at work.  I've never been out in a hailstorm before and it's one scary experience.

There wasn't anywhere to go to be sheltered.  My one goal was to drive out of the storm.  This was made more difficult by a couple of different idiots that stopped right in the middle of the road.  The experts say not to stop for sand storms and snow storms.  Surely it applies to hail storms as well?  I was able to switch lanes in both cases, although I did fishtail on the hail stones a little.

Every hail stone that hit my poor car made me flinch.  I waited for the windshield to break.  The carnage only lasted a couple minutes before it devolved into rain.  I drove home convincing myself that the damage wasn't bad and I would be able to live with it.

But when I got out of the car and looked at the damage, I was appalled.  There were 60 or 70 small dents on the hood, roof, and trunk. Further examination revealed a broken sidelight and dings in every horizontal surface of my car.

She's not new, my car, not even close.  She's a 1999 Mazda.  But I've taken good care of her through the years.  She is mechanically sound.  She gets 35 miles to the gallon.  And I don't have a car payment. 
People seemed to think I would be thrilled to have a reason to get a new car.  They were surprised that I wanted to keep her.  Why wouldn't I want to replace a 12 year old car?

Have I mentioned the no car payment situation?  I thought so.

At least the insurance adjuster didn't blink.  The damages were more than my car was worth, so they wouldn't fix it.  He cut me a check for a little more than the blue book value and sent me on my way.

Now I am trying home remedies for getting dents out of cars.  (By the way, the compressed air method didn't work for me.)  If none of that works, my choices are: live with it, fix what can be fixed for the insurance money, turn my car into an art project and emphasize the dents.

At this moment, none of the options is to get a new car.  Have I mentioned the no car payment thing?  I thought so.

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