John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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Poor Brucey

As some of you undoubtedly know, I have a '96 Subaru Outback, which laurie_robey and I affectionately named "Bruce." He was bought new, the next-to-last '96 model year on the lot, chosen because the other one had leather seats (which we didn't want) and Bruce had a sunroof (which we did).

Bruce -- aside from his unfortunate habit of drinking high-test gasoline like it was chocolate milk -- has been a real trooper over the years, including surviving one particularly nasty accident which ended up with deployed airbags and Bruce's frame knocked all out of whack. Due to the Highly Screwed Up nature of insurance laws in Virginia, it was a major fight for us to keep him and get him repaired at that time. (The insurance companies have basically got it rigged so that if any car is ever so much as dinged, they can basically say, "The car's totalled, here's your $500 to go buy a new one." Saves them tons of money in the long run over actually paying for repairs and such.)

However, as of late, Bruce has been developing a more and more pronounced oil leak ... to the point where I didn't want to turn on the engine any more because he smelled of smoke and I was worried about finding myself in a "carbeque" situation. So on camstone's recommendation from sometime in the dim dark past, we took Bruce over to Reston Automotive, with the instructions to go do that voodoo that they do so well.

Well, they hoisted him up on a lift, pulled out his oil pan, pumped him full of dye, and discovered basically that the stuff was spewing out of every corner. While they were poking around in his innards, they also noticed that the brake pads were worn down, almost to the point of being hot metal-on-metal action, which (besides leaky oilpans) is another affliction common to Subaru Legacy variants.

Bruce has had both oil leak and brake pad repairs before, both from reputable places and from con artists; the only thing that makes this occurrence notable is that they both hit at the same time. (I'm not convinced that the current oil leak isn't actually just an extension of the previous oil leak, and that the bastards at the dealership just hadn't done the job properly.) The total cost is going to come to somewhere around $1,100 or so, which is a lot to drop at once, but is still a lot cheaper than buying a new car. Bruce has been paid off for three years now, and I intend to keep him (and keep him maintained) for many years to come.

The good news is that laurie_robey and I are finally in the relatively comfortable position of being able to just sigh and plunk down that kind of money when we need to, as opposed to many times in our past when this kind of thing would have meant either more revolving debt, or eating ramen for two months.

So chin up, Bruce! At least hopefully now you'll be back in top form! The next step will be to take you to the body shop, so we can get those leaky windows re-sealed. But that'll happen ... later.

-They Call Me Heat Miser
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