Ugh…car problems…

First off, let me say that I absolutely love my 2000 Jimmy.  She’s black with gray leather interior, automatic everything and a sunroof.  She so perfectly matches my personality that the minute I got into her, I knew we were a match made in heaven.  I’ve had her for five years (got her in 2005) and she’s been with me through moving out of my parents’ house for the first time to meeting my husband and making the 30 min trips each way to visit each other, then to visit his family when we moved in together. She became our soul transportation in 2007 when my hubby’s (then boyfriend’s) Blazer finally decided to die and carried us everywhere we needed to go.  In 2008 she rode to Chicago on a trailer on the back of a moving truck driven by my husband.  We experienced our first true cold together and we had to replace her breaks…twice.  She took us back to Hattiesburg for a visit and made us home again.  Multiple trips to Michigan and back again for my brother-in-law’s ex-roommate to pick up and drop of her daughters.  Most recently she took us to Kentucky for a cousin’s wedding and home again.  And if I have my way she’ll not only take us to North Carolina at the end of the summer, she’ll give us as many more years as I can squeeze out of her.  I love my truck.

That being said, she is 10 years old with over 115,000 miles on her.  And she’s a Jimmy, with some of their inherent flaws, though we’ve done our best to correct these and get them fixed to good as new.  But, for those of you who don’t know, the Jimmy has a major flaw that is terribly difficult to fix.  The doors.  The pins go out (the fulcrum the door actually swings on) so that your door doesn’t want to close right (it begins to sag).  This creates its own set of problems when the latch doesn’t meet up with the latch-plate (the little bar part on the side of the car that the latch attaches to).  This can damage the latch itself or, as in our case, the latch plate.  I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but the metal of your car is thinnest where that latch-plate sits.  You slam the door (or have it slammed by idiot mechanics that don’t know how to listen) too many times trying to make it shut, and that metal is just going to bend until it breaks.  And then you have the fun job of trying to pull it back out so you can at least shut the door so you can lock your truck (especially if you’re lucky enough to only have street parking and half the time your car is parked around the corner).  Well, this is the problem we’re having.  Not too big of a deal for my husband, who has become an expert on pulling it back out.  But a huge deal for me, a big woman with apparently the strength of a toddler – or might as well be, since I couldn’t make it work.  Why does it matter?  Well, because my husband’s license expired last Friday and it hasn’t arrived in the mail.  And, being the uber-paranoid, distrusting soul that I am, I won’t let him drive even though it has *technically* been issued and he wouldn’t *technically* be driving without a valid license, I’m not letting him drive.  Which means that I take him to work in the morning and pick him up half way in the evening (thank goodness for coworkers and supervisors that travel in the same direction as you!).
So, this afternoon, I gather my things and walk out to the truck.  I open the door, get in, and put my things on the seat next to me.  I roll down the window (the only way to shut the door, since the inner panel has pulled away from the door frame from repeated “lift and pull” exercises) and pull the door – carefully to me.  Moving carefully, because I know how finicky the door can be, I lift and pull using the outer handle.  And nothing happens.  I try again, thinking I mostly made it, but just need to give it a little firmer tug.  Nope.  So I get out and take a look…and the latch-plate is pushed into the metal backing.  No big deal, hubby does this whenever something goes wrong.  I can to.  So I get out the crowbar and wedge it in as I’ve seen him do countless number of times and tug.  And nothing.  I move it further down, thinking maybe I need more leverage.  Nothing.  I tug and jerk at this thing until I’m nearly ready to cry and I give up and call the husband.  Luckily his supervisor is willing to come drop him off at the house.  Well, he arrives, and a little tugging and bumping later – hallelujah, the door closes!

So, now what?  I can’t take the risk that this will happen again.  So instead, I get to crawl my big butt over the middle console to get into the driver’s side seat.  “That’s not so bad!” maybe you’re thinking….well, think again.  I’m 6’1″ and the seat is already as far back as it will go and I drive with the steering wheel in the upright position.  And I still have trouble fitting.  Part of the problem is that I’m a big girl and could stand to lose a few pounds, sure.  But another part is the fact that I have a 36.5″ inseam.  This makes maneuvering into position especially hard – especially with my size. (and for those wondering, yes, buying pants that fit is very difficult!)  Will I do it? Of course.  There is no other choice.  Will I still complain about it?  Indubitably.  Complaining is, after all, what gives us the sanity to deal with situations that suck without shooting people.  And gives us excuses to write blogs.  ^__^

So, I’m going now.  Gonna get a slice of cheese cake pie (no, it’s not just cheese cake cause I do it differently!) and wait for a call from some friends about going out to dinner.  Oh!  And if you know of a good idea of how to fix it and where in Chicago (you know, if there’s actually a “you” out there reading this), please let me know!  Preferably someone who’s done something about this before.  Peace, love, and cheese cake!

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