Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How to Ruin Even the Most Reliable Car

Can anyone name a job more harmful to cars than realtor? Think about it: I drive around San Francisco all day, stopping and starting. If I looked at 18 houses yesterday, that means I started up my car 18 times. I was limited by time, of course, so I ZOOMED away from each stop sign, BLASTED up hills and then JAMMED on my brakes at the bottom.

And now, my poor car is hurting. This morning I put a tank of overpriced gas into it, did the math in my head and realized that my very efficient Acura TSX is getting 17 miles per gallon.

But it would get worse.

A few hours later, while driving around looking at houses, I noticed a strange metallic scraping sound coming from the left side of the car. You got it: brakes.

Lets step back a moment to discuss the devil's compact you must make in order to own a car in San Francisco. Your choice is this: brakes or clutches. If you drive a manual transmission, you will replace your clutch at least twice as often as someone living in a normal place. If you drive an automatic, you can expect to replace your brake pads at least twice as often as people living just about ANYWHERE else in the world except for Juneau, Alaska. And if you live in Juneau, it's really not a problem, because there's only about 15 miles of roads in Juneau.

So here I am, or should I say, here my car is. My poor Acura, the penultimate sensible yet sporty car born of a vehicle-owning career that has included 3 Alfa Romeos, plus Triumph and Ducati motorcycles. At age 40, I have chosen vehicular good sense, having finally realized that my interest in cars runs only skin-deep. Sadly, my occupation is hard enough to drive even the most stellar car into the ground. I apologize, Acura, not only for the brakes and the hard driving, but also for the Legos, the water bottles, the Pokemon cards strewn across the back street. And the "Open House" signs in the trunk. You deserve better.

And Dad, when you call next Sunday, will you please explain to Sandra Bullock the price difference between new brake pads and new brake rotors?

It's the sound of money being crushed under my tires.

4 Comments:

Blogger moosh said...

too bad you can't take the bus everywhere! not with those hills tho.

2:27 AM  
Anonymous flush puppy said...

um, i've ridden with you. It ain't just the hills, bud. "And I deny you!" (ok, that was ted, but still.)

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Lesley said...

Who are you kidding. Your dad will try and convince Sandra Bullock you need a new car.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Noodles said...

You are good at writing things and I think you are a good driver too.

7:26 PM  

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