I knew she needed a tuneup. Her recommended maintenance.
I also knew something was up outside the norm. Something amiss. Nothing drastically obvious; nothing needing *immediate* attention.
Still, I knew something was ailing my Subaru. I could tell by feeling, by sound. I’ve spent so many hours in my Subbie and know her so well, down to her nuances, that even when she’s a little off from her norm, I detect it.
But Monday night, I wasn’t expecting *that!* Couldn’t see *that* coming.
It’d been a highly emotional day. The apex of the days around Mother’s Day, details unnecessary. Once Mother’s Day passed, so came the crash. A hard landing on an airstrip in life. Deep feeling, crying, gloom, confusion, a general malaise of such emotion and distress that I actually made it a mission to do some drinking! On a day of severe stress, it *can* help. As a daily coping mechanism, not so much.
The Subbie’s performance through the day was fine. No hint or indication of the trouble to come, aside from the aforementioned low-grade distress. That’s what makes it weird. I’d been planning to take her in for whatever was ailing her along with recommended maintenance at the end of May or June. During the Mercury retrograde, which I’ve been told would assist in the repairs. I expected them to be extensive, i.e., not just an oil change and out the door.
I pulled into my parking spot Monday night. It’d been like I said a bad night of many tears shed and heaviness of the heart. When I pulled in to park, two things became immediately apparent: 1. The front and rear hazard lights didn’t shut off; they continued to flash even with the ignition key removed. 2. A terrible groaning sound from under the hood. My Subbie turns 13 years next month. All the years and all the miles, I’ve never heard her make that sound. Never. And yes, she’s been maintained well all through those years. I’ve been more attentive to maintaining her than myself!
I tumbled out of the car, emotional and more inebriated than I knew. Which is to say, the liquor caught up to me an hour or so after the drinking was stopped. The Champagne Effect. Or Long Island Iced Tea Effect. You drink and drink and feel “fine.” It’s only 4 drinks later or an hour later when you stand that it hits you, the alcohol. Plus I’d hardly eaten, a recipe for disaster.
I tried to get the hazard lights to turn off by switching the ignition on and off. No go. The sound … the groaning, that was new. I sat there in the seat, the door opened, and listened, shocked beneath the haze of alcohol. “This isn’t normal. She’s never done this. Something’s very wrong.” My Subaru’s sick.
Amazingly, given my condition and state of mind, reason prevailed. I proceeded to pull the battery connections so that the flashing hazard lights wouldn’t drain the battery. (I definitely didn’t need to add a dead battery to the troubles!) My downstairs neighbor whom I’d never met officially, only seen in passing, appeared. He happened to be outside (for a smoke?) as I positioned myself under the hood. He appeared and held my flashlight as I worked an adjustable wrench around the battery connectors.
I’m grateful because clenching that little flashlight with my teeth while managing a less-than-ideal wrench for the project in the night while drunk was hardly easy-breezy lemon-peasy! The disconnected battery stopped the flashing light. It also meant (electric-powered) shut and locked doors couldn’t be opened, neither the hood raised by the lever inside! So I devised safety measures. I set a brick to keep the bonnet open and wedged a jacket into the driver’s door so it wouldn’t latch shut.
And there she sits, like that, until tomorrow. Undriveable. I’ve tried various remedies read online to relieve her of the flashing lights; nothing’s worked. If we’re lucky, it’s merely a blown fuse. Whether there’s a connection between the electrical failure — perhaps a short in a wire to the hazard lights — and the engine groaning, or it’s mere coincidence, I cannot know. That’s the job of the Subaru doctors. She goes in tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. It’s a drive to the dealer — they’re rarely in the center of town! Am I concerned? You bet! I just want to get her there in one piece and without further damaging whatever’s wrong in the engine.
I expect to be leaving her overnight — will be pleasantly surprised if the repairs/maintenance can be done in a day. Being without wheels is a challenge indeed. Further complicating the matter? I’ve got a job interview tomorrow! How I’ll get from the dealer to the interview is to be determined. So there’s not just a little stress at this time!
Major and undoubtedly costly car repairs coupled with a need for transport for job interviews. All the 14 years we’ve been together, that Subbie and I, I’ve never heard her make that sound.
Please, universe, keep me and her safe on the roads to the dealer tomorrow. Let her receive the care and repairs that she needs. Our lives together will be long and fruitful and I need her to be in good health and *she* needs to be in good health for herself.
My Subbie’s sick — and soon to be made well in the capable hands of Subaru doctor-dudes. I look forward to having her back up and running.