Thursday, January 12, 2006


My car has been having a few problems lately so I finally broke down (me, not the car) and dropped it off at the shop. After taking a look at my poor, old, 1991 Volvo, Palmer the shop owner called to ask a few questions and let me know what needed to be done.

Palmer (with his Jamaican accent): Ma'am when was the last time you had a tune-up?

Me: Ummm... {hedging} I don't really remember.
{thinking I don't want to tell him that I haven't had one since moving to Georgia in 1998}

Palmer: You need new spark plugs, a distributor cap and a rotor. Do you remember when they were changed?

Me: Aren't they original to the car?

Palmer: Oh my. The air filter needs to be changed too.

Me: Oh! {delighted with myself because I remember having this done "recently"} I had that changed two oil changes ago. It needs to be done already?

Palmer: Yes Ma'am it's dirty and not seated properly. It's allowing leaves and debris into the lines so those too need to be cleaned out. When was your last oil change?

Me: Ummm, gosh I don't remember, let me look it up. {shuffling through papers} Oh, December 29, 2004!

Palmer: Well Ma'am, you're due for an oil change.

Me: OK yeah, it's probably needed at this point. Oh, I had a new battery put in the car in November '04 and the radio hasn't worked since because I don't have the code, is it possible to get that code?

Pathetic, I know!

Let me stop here and say in my own defense, since December '04 I've only put 3,119 miles on my car. So, I'm not way over due on the mileage for an oil change, but yes I know, over due on time. Also, since I drive so little, most of the time I honestly don't even notice that there's no radio. {Yes Daphne, I know that alone would have you in the market for a new vehicle!}

Driving my car home from the shop today with it's tune-up and all of it's new parts, it felt like a new car. I'm $160 lighter, but Palmer did say that my car should last at least another 10 years. I love my old Volvo, so the thought of having it for years to come and the idea of no car payments, made me very happy.


  1. You crack me up girl! OK, well you should be good to go for another 3 or 4 years now, right? ;-)

  2. Anonymous7:54 PM

    I don't need a new car (my 7 year old Isuzu Rodeo is a workhorse and only has 57,000 miles on it), but my next car will be a Volvo. I drove one as a rental when I was in Colorado and was in love.

    I'm bad at my oil changes too for the same reason as you. A 3 mile one way commute doesn't rack up miles.

  3. Anonymous10:36 PM

    Wish I lived near you, I can't believe you got all that done for $160! I may drive my car to Palmer next time it needs a tune up (no matter that it's probably 100's of miles out of the way!)


  4. it only cost $160?!?!? I want your mechanics name and number. The Honda people want to charge me like 500$ for a tune up, and they want you to have it like ALL THE TIME. Its ridiculous. (thus, i've never had a tune up either!!)

  5. I want a Volvo in the worst way. My Taurus is going to have to last a few more years though.

    You sure got off cheap for all that work and you're car is go to go for a few more years!

  6. The reason that I take my car to Palmer is that he does good work and he is extremely inexpensive. I love my old Volvo and when I bought it I was doing a lot of commuting, racking up the mileage so I wanted a car that would last. Now that I put less than 4,000 miles a year on it, it should keep going for many years to come. It is such a safe, heavy, tank-like car I'd hate to get rid of it.

  7. Volvo's just keep going and going and going........sort of like the energizer battery. Hang on to that puppy! It will be the perfect safety ride for Baby Shanahan!

  8. $160 is really cheap!!! Go Volvo!!! I just bought a new car this year. I'm hoping it will last a good 20 years or so!!!


  9. Stitches. Just plain stitches in my side from reading this post. I am glad that you had to pay only $160! As you were going through the list, I was thinking...crap...there goes the first class plane ticket to China.

  10. Wow! I put that many miles on my van in 2-3 months.


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