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Got a car. 90% anyway. (Mountain of obstacles part 2)
Posted: Posted November 6th
Edited November 6th by Xhin

So Friday I had a long fiasco to get my tag and insurance:

[Xhin successfully adults, despite a mountain of obstacles]

Saturday

Saturday my friend was going to give me a ride up to the car so I could get it, then we were going to go back and hang out over the weekend.

This is not the way things went.

We got up there, everything checked out. I decided I would pull into the gas station next to where the car was because it was pretty low (and we had a nice 30 mile drive to do).

  • Pulled into the gas station the wrong way. Okay, not a big deal, new car and all. Turned back around.

  • Can't find the gas release lever at all. Checked all around the driver side, in the glove box, and on the console. Nothing.

  • Called my dad, he said the gas release lever was in the trunk.

  • There's no button for the trunk either. Call my dad, he says I have to use the key.

  • The key won't open the trunk. In fact it bends almost to the breaking point instead. Call my dad, he says theres another key in the car.

  • Root around the seat, console, glove box. Find a little metal key.

  • This key won't open the trunk either. Doesn't fit either. On closer inspection it looks like a house key. Call my dad, he says the key is in a magnetic key thing behind the rear driver tire.

  • It's not there. He says it might be by the bumper. It's not there either. Tells me to look at the frame of the car, not there either.

  • He says "well I have a spare key on my keyring if you come up here (20 miles away). I can't make that on how little fuel I have so I get my friend to take me up there.

  • We get there, my dad has the key and says we should drive him back with us too so he can help try to get the trunk open.

  • New key works perfectly to get the trunk open. The gas release lever is in here. We get the gas door open. My friend has to go home because he has a dinner party to go to, I'm like cool things seem legit here. He leaves.

  • I get 20$ worth of gas (it has to be prepay). Now the gas cap won't unscrew. My dad tries and breaks it getting it off. But it can get gas now, so he starts pumping it.

  • I'm standing back and I start to notice that there's gas just pouring out into the ground. I tell him to stop. We get our money back and drive back to the car lot to see wtf.

  • Apparently the filler tube that runs from where you put gas in to the tank itself is crooked, out of the tube, and squashed in one place.

  • My dad says he can fix it but he needs his tools, which are 20 miles away where we picked him up. I don't have the gas to get there.

  • He devises a plan where he'll put gas directly in the tank hole and I'll look at the counter to tell him if it's working or not. We do this, the gas refuses to for most of the time, and when it does we get maybe 20-30c at a time so putting 5$ worth in takes like 15 minutes. It also dumps about half of it onto the ground, but we got some in there at least.

  • We get to where we picked him up. The door's locked. We wait for who he's staying with to get back while he shows he some really delicious edible wild plants.

  • She gets back and decides that she's going to kick him out. My dad calls around and finds a place he can stay temporarily. I agree to drive him there when we're done. We pack up his stuff, which takes up pretty much the entire car, and drive back to the car lot.

  • There, he works on the gas pipe, tries to bend it back into place. Is not successful.

  • He decides instead to take a different gas pipe off the parts car that's conveniently on the same car lot. We could take the gas cap too.

  • It's also missing a gas cap.

  • There's a bolt on there that he just can't take off no matter what he does. He doesn't have many tools with him. About this time we run out of daylight too and I forgot to bring my flashlight (I *always* bring it so wtf) so we decide to stay at my mom's house for the night and go back Sunday to finish the job, with some better tools too.

  • However my mom's house is 30 miles away and we used up all the gas getting to his place. So we once again do the gas directly in the hole as half of it spills onto the ground thing. Takes only 12 minutes this time.

  • I drive back, but at this point I'm *starving* because I didn't eat all day and hadnt been able to get to the store for a week. I decide to stop at burger King.

  • We get there, and he's paranoid about leaving his expensive cameras in the car unlocked. I understand (I'm the same way about my computer), so I lock all the doors. We eat.

  • Neither key will unlock the driver door. That's weird, but whatever I'll just go in through the passenger door and unlock it that way.

  • Unlocked, the door still won't open. We try lots of stuff but nothing works. I say fuck it and climb in through the passenger side. We go home and go to sleep.

    To be continued in post #2....

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    There are 12 Replies

    Sunday (today)

  • We get up,, I climb in through the passenger door and go to the gas station because we're out of gas again. Get out through the window, fill another 5$ through the hole. This time it l an impressive 7 minutes and there's barely any spillage at all. Progress! I get back in through the window.

  • He says I should go back and get my ratchet set so we have more tools. He just wants the ratchet part; he's got sockets. I come home, climb out the passenger door, grab all three of my ratchet sets, climb in through the window. All three are missing the ratchet part, which I can't find in my room at all anywhere.

  • I decide to go to the hardware store to get one. I try climbing out e window. It's about the same. He recommends also getting crescent wrenches, I get a flathead for my personal use, we ended up using all three today.

  • I climb back in through the window and we drive back to the car lot. The new plan is to use our new tools to get the gas pipe off the parts car. I climb out the window (feet first)one to help him. He tries many things but *still* can't get the bolt off the bracket that's holding the pipe down. He decides to cut through the bracket instead, because we still have the old bracket. Asks me if I have a hacksaw.

  • I don't, but I always keep a pair of big tin snips in my man-purse. He tries to use it, can't get more than a nick in the bracket; the problem is that it's steel and so are the snips.

  • I decide to try. I twist and bend the snips, use a wrench on them for more twisting torque, and agonizingly rip piece after piece of the metal bracket off over the course of 40 minutes.

  • We get the pipe out, get the old one out, put the new one in, just need to put the brackets on it. About this time we run out of daylight, but fortunately I have my flashlight this time.

  • The brackets won't go on. We take them out, bang on them with the godhammer (a story for a different time) to try to bend them into shape, I also try a few things. *Still* can't get the brackets on. On and on like this for hours.

  • My flashlight dies, but fortunately it has a hand crank. This is why I'm so adamant about bringing it all the time. 30 cranks gives you 2 minutes of light.

  • Despite this, both of us trying different things and all possible tools we *still* can't get the bracket on. We finally decide to just zip tie it together and make our own bracket out of some bendable steel tomorrow. We can at least put gas in normally now. Maybe.

  • I climb in through the passenger side, drive it to the gas station, and climb out the window. Prepay 20$. I crank the flashlight 40 times so he can see under the car and make sure it doesn't leak as I put gas in.

  • The pump keeps shutting off. I have it by a weird angle so I have to hold the pipe as I pump the gas, which gets annoying quick when I put 20$ in.

  • I climb back in through the passenger door and drive home. On the way back I decide, I have *GOT* to go the store, no matter how tired I am.

  • We go to the store, I climb out the passenger door. The last of my food stamps for the month pays for everything (70$), which is awesome because I only have 100$ left now due to gas and tool buys. Still have to buy stuff tomorrow too.

  • Of course, we don't have any room for my groceries because the car is completely full of my dad's stuff. So I decide he can carry them on his lap. I hand him everything and climb in through the window.

  • I get home, climb out the window, get my bags out, and realize I left my house key and car keys in the ignition. They seem to be stuck. I tug on them really hard and the bread tie I was using as a keyring falls apart, sending the keys flying into the side of the car seat. Which I can't get to optimally because I can't open the driver door.

  • I strain around, but can't see. Can't find my flashlight either. Decide to use my phone flashlight app -- which doesn't work because my phone doesn't have a flash camera. Use the backlight it the phone to dine my flashlight, crank it up, and use it to find my key.

  • My spare car key that is. The house key is still missing. Can't knock because my mom is asleep and gets up at 5am. I did around, still can't find it wtf.

  • Finally realize it somehow fell into the passenger side. I grab it, go in, eat and sit down to chronicle the days events.

    So in conclusion this has been a monumental hassle, and I still have a little to do tomorrow, but my car runs and drives good and I can fill up the tank now.

    Tomorrow we're going to bracket the pipe on in a more permanent way, fix where it connects to the door, do something with the driver door and I'll take my dad 30 miles away (difderent direction to where he's staying). Then I work 5pm-1am.

    It's been nuts the last couple of days, but things are finally finally coming together.

  • Posted November 6th by Xhin
    Xhin
     

    What kind of car did you get?

    Posted November 6th by Q
    Q
     

    A Toyota Corolla. Drives really well with no engine problems whatsoever, but looks like complete shit on the outside (needs a paint job and had a big dent / black streak in the doors from a wreck). Interior isn't particularly great either. Also has these "bugs" like the missing gas/trunk levers and door issues. A couple other door handles are missing too, and there's a crack in the windshield (passenger side).

    As I pointed out though, it runs and drives so that's really what's important; that'll be enough to get me a better job at which point I can get a better car and/or fix this one up.

    Posted November 6th by Xhin
    Xhin
     

    Well a car that runs and gets you around is better than no car.

    Posted November 6th by Q
    Q
     

    Reading this entire thing completely frustrated me.






    GOOD JOB! NOT AN EASY TASK TO DO!

    Edited November 6th by Fox Forever
    Fox Forever

    While reading it, i got the sudden impression it's a hybrid. As in, it's a hybrid of multiple cars, which is why the keys work here and there, but not over there, where another key works, but doesn't work on the first bit. And your gas filling issue, i don't know, sounds like someone improperly installed something. And here i called my server computer the frankenserver 'cause the new power supply won't let me close the case. You, sir, have the frankencar.

    Posted November 6th by Kohlrak
    Kohlrak

    That was a fun read. Glad it worked out.

    Posted November 7th by Bubba
    Bubba
     

    You have the patience of a saint good sir. Holy crap.

    My question is, who sold you this car, and where they aware of the issue with the gas pipe? I feel like you got shafted somehow.

    Regardless, car = go places and do things to buy better car to do more places and do more things.

    Posted November 7th by Forte Lambardi
    Forte Lambardi

    My dad got the car a while back. Got it until a wreck, left at a car lot/shop for repairs -- those repairs evidently botched the gas pipe.

    The car was free. Well, I mean, my dad owed me about 1200$ so I said the car would square that debt. My alternatives were:

  • work 4+ months without spending anything (it would actually be longer because my food stamps got cut in half) to save up for a used car (job doesn't pay much)

  • get a second job during the day, cut that time in half.

    Neither of those options are great. I'd rather just deal with 3 days of bullshit and a car that's a bit of a project to make nice but runs good.

    With a car I can do a lot more money-wise.

  • Posted November 8th by Xhin
    Xhin
     

    The thing about used cars are, if they break down, you often spend enough repairing it that you're better off having bought the more expensive used car or a new car.

    That said, it's a bit different if you're starting off with a free car, and/or didn't have any other option. 'Tis the trouble with life.

    Posted November 8th by Kohlrak
    Kohlrak

    "With a car I can do a lot more money-wise."

    Save up and get yourself a little jeep patriot or something similar. You can get them pretty cheap that are only a few years old and they last a while.

    Posted November 8th by Q
    Q
     

    All this talk about old cars has me nostalgic, here is are some pictures of my very first car:





    Posted November 9th by Q
    Q
     
    Reply to: Got a car. 90% anyway. (Mountain of obstacles part 2)

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