Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet Little Hyundai Santa Fe

Recently, my parents very generously offered John and me to trade cars with them. I had been driving a Hyundai Santa Fe which, when maintained properly, runs great. However, I am not equipped with the skills to be able to monitor the car as needed. Because of this, they offered me their car in exchange for the Hyundai. Although the Hyundai left me stranded many times, it certainly taught me a lot about how to manage car related, stressful situations. I thought I would share a few of my “favorite” character building moments.

So, one of the first times this car had an issue I was driving to work and was on the freeway when the car suddenly jolted (about throwing me out of the window) and the engine revved very high. Worriedly, I called my dad who suggested I put the car into neutral to see if the RPMs would go down when the car was not in gear. Never having put the car in neutral before when driving, I accidently shifted the car one gear too far into reverse (keep in mind I am driving on the freeway). The car, obviously, screeched to a halt - faster than I ever thought possible. At this moment, I was sitting in the left lane with my car completely stopped and turned off. I was scared to turn the car on because I didn’t want it to blow up, but my dad finally convinced me to turn it on. Thankfully, it turned on and I drove away as if nothing happened. Everything was ok. Fin.

One time I was going through the drive through at Wendy’s, and I put in my order and went to turn the corner to go pick up my food, but as soon as I tried to turn, my power steering went out and I could not make the turn tight enough to get to the window. I drove away without my food and drove home without power steering. Everything was ok. Fin.

This other time I had been having issues with my brakes. Every time I would slow down the brakes would go “thunk-thunk-thunk” until I came to a complete stop. I called my dad who then came to come get the car to look at the brakes. While he was driving the car away, the brakes basically failed and he was stranded on the side of the road. John and I went to pick him up. Everything was ok. Fin.

One time I was driving to work on the freeway and the exit I got off on had a stop light. At the stop light, my car turned off and would not turn back on. Of course it was rush hour and people for some reason have serious issues seeing emergency blinkers and continued to drive up behind me and honk their horn as if I was purposely not driving away at the green light. After about 20 minutes of this, I was so irritated that people kept honking their horns that I just about got out of my car to personally direct these people and traffic around my car. Finally two very nice people that I worked with pushed my car across the intersection into a parking lot. It took me a few hours to calm down, but everything was ok. Fin.

This other time I was driving home from work on the freeway and passed a brand new minivan and I thought to myself, “I would never drive a minivan. In fact, I would rather have an old beat up car than a new minivan.” I continued this thought even further as I decided to call my husband and tell him this. As I was telling him this, the car jolted and would no longer accelerate. Super annoying. I pulled over on the freeway and waited for a tow truck to come get me. Everything was ok. Fin.

Shortly (meaning 5 minutes) after the car was repaired from the above incident, I got on the freeway and same exact thing happened again. I mean, I had not even gone 5 miles after getting the car back, and I was stranded again. Another tow truck came (it was the same driver too – we were good friends by this point). Everything was ok. Fin.

One time my husband was driving the car to go fly fishing in the middle of nowhere with a friend. After getting there, the car wouldn’t turn on. A tow truck came. Everything was ok. Fin.

Shortly (meaning 3 hours) after the car was repaired from the above incident, John tried to go fly fishing again and the car turned off in the middle of a busy intersection. He sat there and waited for the police until someone helped him push the car out of the intersection and into a park. The police finally showed up and told him he wasn’t allowed to park in the park… really?? A tow truck came. Everything was ok. Fin.

This other time, I was trying to go to work and the driver side door would not unlock. I then decided that this didn’t have to be a problem and I would unlock the car from the passenger side. Except, even the passenger side door would re-lock as soon as I unlocked it (not allowing me to get into the car). Keep in mind this was at 7 AM, and I was very frustrated because my parking pass for work was in this car. So I woke John up and in my go-mode, requested that he make my car unlock for me. He finally got the passenger side to unlock but could not unlock the driver’s side door even from the inside. He suggested I climb over the seats to get into the driver’s seat. I think not. I grabbed my parking pass and took a different car. Everything was ok. Fin.

Listed above are just a few of many adventures with this car. I didn’t even get into the time I was stranded at 7-11 or when my brake fluid completely leaked out of my car, or the fact that I had to pour oil into the car every week or so (or the fact that the radio is louder outside of the car than inside, or the very-difficult-to-turn-off panic button). Although in the moment these were all extremely stressful situations, I can now say that I know what to do if my car stops running in the middle of an intersection or freeway. And that’s what matters, right?

Below you will find a few pictures of my stranded moments (I needed something to do while waiting hours for the tow truck…). I edited the photos to make these moments look more beautifully glamorous.

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