Many months ago, I made a wager, of sorts.
I passed my perfectly reliable car along to my son, whose precipitous entree into adulthood meant he needed my help. And I began driving an older SUV that I bought cheap last fall.
I gambled that I would finish school and become gainfully employed before the SUV began to wear out and need a lot of work.
The race is on.
I'm working now and paychecks come in with regularity, but I am still playing the catch-up game financially. And for months now, I have been trying to track down and solve a noise my car makes.
The noise is a high-pitched whine like the one you hear sometimes on the street and you think uncharitably, "That person needs a new fan belt," and you can't help but wonder how they could be so negligent as to ignore something so simple. And annoying.
Well, it's not that simple. In pursuit of The Noise, I replaced the serpentine belt, then the alternator pulley came loose. I replaced the alternator. Then the idler. Then the tensioner. I bought a better belt. In between these things, the noise went away and then returned, getting worse and worse.
The only things even left in the pulley system that weren't brand new were the air conditioner and the water pump.
In desperation, I went to a mechanic friend and said, can't you do something, bypass the air conditioner with a shorter belt or something?
He looked under my car and say, "Karol, you have bigger problems than a weird noise." Coolant was flowing out beneath my car.
The good news is replacing the water pump will probably fix the noise. The bad news is that fixing it now means I have to spend my rent money; rent is due the first and I don't get paid again until the eighth.
Fun, fun, fun. It's hard to say where the wager stands.