What is it with cars?

Why do bad things happen on Friday nights when no-one can do anything about it until Monday?! Let me explain. Nat and I were driving home from the train station on Friday night (21-Oct) and stopped at a set of traffic lights. There was this almighty "bang" and shudder through the car - we thought someone had run up the back of us. Nope. When the lights went green, the car made this awful "whining" noise that emanated from the gearbox region. This can't be good. So we pulled over and I jumped out and had a listen to the car while it was idling in "Park" and it sounded fine. As soon as it went into gear - the whining sounded more like grinding noise. Ah - definitely not good.

So we nursed the car home and called the road-side assistance that comes with our vehicle warranty. A mechanic arrives about 20 minutes later (impressive). He has a listen and informs me the torque converter has probably thrown a bearing (or worse). Verdict: call Ford and arrange a warranty repair ASAP...oh, and don't drive the car. OK, so there goes our weekend plans to go skiing out the window. Our only car is off the road with a pregnant wife and sick daughter and no-one can do anything until MONDAY! Great. That's just super.

So we enact what is hereto known as "Plan B"; as in "Plan 'Bike'".....as in get rid of bike. Nat and I have been talking about getting rid of my bike for a few months and this "no car" situation really forced us into action. So went we did the rounds of a few dealers and found that 2nd hand small cars with low milage are only fractionally cheaper than an equivalent new car. So we said screw it - and signed up for a new Mitsubishi Lancer :) 2.0L, 5 speed manual with all the trimmings! Yay. The local Mitsubishi dealer gave us a good deal and fair trade on the bike. To sweeten the deal, they even loaned us a car until the Lancer is delivered which was a generous gesture that we really appreciate.

In the meantime, Ford have informed me the Falcon could be off the road for up to TWO WEEKS because when the torque converter imploded, it filled the rest of the gearbox with metal fragments thus destroying it as well. Sux to be Ford - this is all a warranty repair. Apparently the new gearbox and torque converter, fitted is worth over AUD$8000! Yikes!! The new-car warranty runs out on Dec-10 this year ! We really dodged a bullet with this one.

So after my relaxing weekend turned stressful and all our skiing plans went out the window, I'm actually pretty happy with how things worked out. We got rid of the bike, bought a new car and managed to work around our car-less situation. Now all I have to do is rearrange the garage to fit two cars :-/ Anyone got a spare tardis?


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