The Age of Repair and Replacement

Jun 24, 2011 | 2 comments

Look, Ma! No handle!

     They used to say that each year in a dog’s life was the equivalent of seven human years.  Now that dogs are living longer, it has become just five or six years.  No matter.  I think that the years of a car’s life must have a similar correlation to us humans.           
     I say that because I’ve noticed that between the ages of 50 and 70 people need to start repairing or replacing their parts more frequently.  So do cars of an equivalent age.  Take our PT Cruiser, for example.  This month it is ten years old and it is beginning to show its age.  Never mind that it has 211,000 miles to its credit.  It’s not the engine that’s showing wear and tear (knock wood.)  It’s some of the other parts.
     Right now it’s the left rear turn signal light.  We are told that the problem lies with the light socket which needs to be replaced.  None of the local parts shops have the needed socket.  Neither does the Chrysler dealer. (Or is that Daimler-Chrysler now?)  That, we are told, is because PT Cruisers are no longer being made, so ditto the sockets.
     Our mechanic is checking the wrecking yards.  It sort of reminds me of a friend who was waiting for a liver transplant.  He joked that he should be checking in with the morgue on a daily basis.  Too close to truth to be very funny…
     Meanwhile, it’s back to arm signals for right turns just like in the old days.  There’s one problem, though.  I have to remember that I can’t just wind down the window.  There’s no handle.  I have to reach over with my right hand and press down the button so the window will go down electronically, then stick my left arm out the window, all the while gracefully transferring hands on the steering wheel.  And do those other drivers even know what this arm signal means?
     It’s annoying to me that we seem forced into complying with our current throw-away society.  I love my Cruiser. I like the way it looks and the way it drives and its carrying capacity and its roominess.  It still gets good gas mileage – 31 to 35 miles to the gallon.
     I don’t want another car.  Truth to tell, I can’t afford a new car and I don’t want to risk buying another set of troubles with a used car.  With all of the world’s land fill problems and recycling issues, wouldn’t it make sense to plan for longevity of our things along with ourselves?  Starting with my PT Cruiser, of course.


  1. Mark

    Get someone who’s handy with a soldering iron to wire the bulb to the socket permanently. Just make it work with what’s there.

    • sydney

      Thanks, Mark, but I think the socket is found and the work is being done ‘as we speak.’ However, I will pass on the information just in case… I’m not exactly sure what the problem is. It sounded like the socket was pretty much toast (cause: corrosion) so I don’t know if there was any there there to solder to.


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