Hoping That Old Smokey Is Not Burning Out On Me

Plop. Scrape. Crunch. Ping. Ping. Ping. Silence.

Hmmm. What the heck is my car trying to say to me? My car and I obviously do not speak the same language. In my language that would translate to my hip/back hurts like crazy, so I’m going to rest my weary bones…thus the sudden silence upon sitting. I am not a car doctor (mechanic), nor am I an informed operator. My extent of auto intellect rests in the ability to drive from one short distance to another. Shoot, my car contains parts I don’t even know how to pronounce, therefore I am at a loss.

I take a left turn on my street two doors from my house, and it makes all this racket. I must mention it is dark, and Dirt Man is not yet home. I go inside for a flashlight to peer beneath the car. Hmmm….there’s a pipe hanging out? Exhaust pipe? Is it supposed to be hanging that low? Did it scrape the asphalt? Was that the noise I heard?

Since I’m not sure, I decide to walk back to where I heard the sound and make sure something did not fall out from beneath my car into the road. I also want to rule out hitting anything like a small animal or running over something that could have damaged those important pieces that I don’t know the names of that live under my car.

Thankfully, I do not see any blood, guts, or otherwise evidence that I have run over any forms of life, nor do I see any tree limbs, rocks, or other debris. I do not detect any objects lying in the road or off to the sides that could have fallen from my car.

Dirt Man comes home and checks out my car. All looks fine. I ask about the “thing” hanging from the rear. Ok, it is the exhaust and it’s right where it’s supposed to be.

A few days later we take the car out in the daylight. No noise. What? So, it only likes yelling at me? Dirt Man pulls it into the neighborhood school parking lot, and we proceed to go on a nauseating “stop, go, lunge, brake, to the left as quickly as we can, and sharp right circle, and over and over” amusement park ride. Car: Small crunch. Ping. Ping. Keeps on going. Me: Trying not to throw up. Dirt Man: “Sounds like it might be in the brakes.” We go back onto the roadway. Ping. Ping. Ping. (Sounds like something is flapping.) Silence. No more noise for the rest of the day. The rain starts coming down, so therefore, Dirt Man will not be out trying to work on the “Old Smokey Oyster” as I named it last year. (It took time to find the perfect name!)

I continue on with my errands for the rest of the day. Smokey starts, stops, and does all I command of him. Silently. He is not speaking to me. I wonder if he is going to catch me off guard in some forsaken place and leave me stranded. I guess there’s no reason to be concerned since I probably will not go more than two miles from my house. Seriously, I seldom ever put more than ten miles a week on my car…usually it’s more like five.

I always find it interesting how much a car tells about a person’s personality and priorities. While I find the new models of the Outback to be seductive and alluring, it is not a necessary expense. If I worked outside my home, I’d consider the investment of a new car. I find the Old Smokey Oyster to be dependable (even though it is currently back talking me!) and fits perfectly with my needs. I like simple dependency with the capability of accomplishing small adventures(AWD). I love my Suby. I am not a flashy sports car kind of gal, nor am I a soccer mom van woman, or a big truck driving mama. I like the versatility of a car that is roomy enough to take the dog or haul hiking equipment. And though I always said I hated leather seats, now that I have them and a “bun warmer” built into them, I don’t ever want to go back to cloth or cold seats.

Smokey is getting old, but I’m not ready to say goodbye. After all, he is a member of the family. And not that I particularly like for him to make unforeseen utterances, I wish he’d let us know what his problem is before I take off and get caught in the cold or snow. Can you give a girl a break, Smokey? And not the “Plop. Scrape. Crunch. Ping. Ping. Ping.” kind of break!

30 thoughts on “Hoping That Old Smokey Is Not Burning Out On Me

  1. Awww…we are attached to our cars, too, and have named them. My husband’s is “Bucky” and our green minivan is “Tracey.”

    I don’t know if this is good or bad, while it is fun,…I think of the attachment the boys have to “Tracey.”

    I hope she doesn’t go, …

    • Ha…yeah, it’s white and has atiny oil leak, not losing oil but just a drop will get on the engine and cause a little smoke when we’re going up a mountain! Last year when we were trudging through the mountains in the snow (which he handled very well) I dubbed him Old Smokey Oyster!

  2. Your “Smokey” looks like our “K-9 Kruzr”. We have a 2003 BMW 5 series wagon. It is totally the dogs’ car. We also can haul a Christmas tree in it. It’s not flashy but it’s my favorite car. We also have an M-Roadster with 333 horses under the hood, but that’s for tooling around with the top down to act cool once in a blue moon. There’s the 2001 coupe that is our workhorse and Alex drives it 100 round trip miles every day back and forth to work. The only problem with the K-9, is the dog hair, but as a dog owner, what are you going to do!

  3. I’m with you, Suzi….I can’t see the reasoning is spending the money on a new car is an unnecassary expense. Even when I had a car, I would always buy used models because the car payments were cheaper and I always ended up getting a good car.

    I am so not a car person. I can barely remember when to change the oil, rotate the tires, and put gas in the tank – HA!

    Wishing you many more wonderful years with Smokey!

    Have a marvi Monday!


    • “I can’t see the reasoning in spending the money on a new car because it’s an unnecassry expense.”

      Is what I meant to say – HAHAHAHAHAHHAA!


  4. I know just how you feel. If our mini-van makes any strange noises, my first thought is how much I wouldn’t like being stranded suddenly. Rarely do we venture far from home, but on the one day we went about 20 miles from home, it happened. A fan on the air conditioner broke. It made so much noise that I thought the whole thing was going to explode, but we finally had it towed and found out what it was. Getting stranded away from home is a pain, but we survived it. God is good. Ha! I hope Old Smokey’s bones (bolts?) hold together securely for you. Blessings…

  5. Isn’t it funny that older cars have names, but I don’t know of anyone who has a name for their new car. Do you? Maybe by a certain age, cars deserve a name…that tells more about them than their Company-Given Name. Or maybe by naming them we will them to continue driving on. I’ve had a Herbie and a Little Red. But, now that I have newer cars, they don’t have names. I just say “I’m taking the Jeep.” Maybe when the Jeep gets a little older I will name it…

  6. Well if good old Smokey is a member of the family and you love him then look at it this way, a repair bill is cheaper than car payments—in other words I am with you 🙂

  7. Mysterious car noises (and flat tires) send me into a panic … probably because I live in the middle of nowhere alone and have gotten stranded with no help in sight too many times. My life depends on that darn vehicle so much .. like getting to work early this morning at 30º below zero or a few weeks ago with 18″ of snow … I have to keep it in excellent shape and have a backup plan …. I highly recommend AAA.

    • 30º below zero or a few weeks ago with 18″ of snow -ugh! Wow, how do you do it?! I work from home and seriously only put a few miles a week on my car…I am generally within a block of my house, so no worries.

  8. Mechanical things are never supposed to make odd noises when I’m alone with them, nor are they to ever stop working as they were meant to work. Mechanical things and I simply do not understand one another, and therefore we must be extra-careful to be kind and gentle with one another. I do not like it when non-animate objects turn out to be in control! Perhaps Smokey was just having a bad day?

  9. I hope Old Smokey lasts for many more years to come! I know the feeling- Hubby’s car has more-or-less bitten the dust, so we’re going to have to get a new one in the upcoming months. But we don’t have the hear to trade it… it really has become a part of the family!

  10. I don’t speak car either.

    I find it fascinating that there are people who name their cars and people who don’t. I see in the comments you said you don’t normally. But some people have always named their cars.

    I’ve always been told it is not good for a car to just drive it around town. I was taught that they need to “stretch their legs” every once in awhile.

    I hope your car makes it for many more years!

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