On Simon, on the occasion of 80,000

I drove the long way home yesterday, and to my immense satisfaction, pulled up to my apartment building just as he had hit 80,000 miles.

(I have no idea why it looks like it’s raining in my car.)

At six years old, he’s all grown up. I’ve had him for nearly 50,000 wonderful miles. We go everywhere together, and I imagine that I will keep him until he dies, or until I have kids, or something else gets in my way.

And of course, on this most excellent occasion, Simon found himself in the shop, having an oil change and some transmission issues. A few months ago (six months? nine? I think it was summer but who knows), I was driving down Colorado Blvd when my car freaked out. Now, I’m not one who has any experience in dealing with car problems, so my car jerking and shuddering and jumping all over the place while the D light was blinking was positively terrifying.

I called the Honda dealership. Of course, I should have anticipated their response: “That normally doesn’t happen in a Civic. We normally see that in Odysseys and Pilots.” Alas, they informed that it was a pressure switch in my transmission and that I need to bring my car in. “Can I drive on it for a bit?” I asked. They told me that I could, but I’d probably get terrible gas mileage.

Here we are so many months later. The D light stopped blinking and the never did the shuddering jumping jerking business again, so I never brought it in. But it’s been worrying the back of my brain, as transmission issues do. The gas mileage has remained pretty steady, so no complaints here.

I took the car into my mechanic, who’s basically the best mechanic ever. He calls me to tell me that he doesn’t really feel any loss of power when he drives. I cut in about the D light. “The D light was blinking!? No one told me about that! I’ll call you back!” The phone went dead. He called me back about a half an hour later to tell me that yes, it is a transmission pressure switch error code but it’s also another error code.

But then he tells me not to worry, because it’s not bad enough to deal with. (I love this guy. He’ll let you know what’s urgent and what’s not.) I still need to be super vigilant about my transmission, because at the first sign of trouble, I’m going to need to replace something about the solenoids and the pressure switch, or worse, the whole damn thing.

I’ve got his blessing to keep driving on it and he’s going to give me the name of his transmission people. So, Simon and I shall keep adventuring until it’s time to do some serious surgery. At that point, if it’s the $400 repair, I won’t hesitate, but if it’s the entire transmission, we’ll have to do some serious thinking about whether or not it’s worth it. But for now, I’m still just as excited about him as I was the day that I got him.

I bought Simon when I was 20. It was February 4, 2008 (yeah, I guess that’s weird, but it’s a date I’ll never forget). When I turned the car on for the first time, the odometer read 33,111. I knew right then that I had to have him. (That, and the fact that I spent as much time as I could in my Grandma Mary’s car when I was a kid because she had a digital speedometer. I thought her car was the best ever. And yet, somehow, I’d managed to get a digital speedometer of my own! Luckiest girl ever, I swear.)

Simon at night, with bubbles. Illinois. 2009?

Simon, at dusk. Illinois, Halloween, 2010.

(side note: Old Dave may have been right about the sex appeal [or lack thereof] of Birkenstocks.)

In the four years that I’ve had him, he’s been crushed, crunched, cracked, and spray painted. He’s hit bugs, curbs, rocks, potholes. He’s driven and driven and driven. And I have loved every single minute of it.

Simon in Wisconsin, barely. Winter/Spring 2010.

Simon reflecting in Rocky Mountain National Park, June 2009.

Oh and the best part?

80,000 miles divided by 6 years is 13,333.33 miles per year, on average. It’s just one of those things that was meant to be.

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