Our pal Eric Nusbaum says goodbye to his car:
When I say I drove my car for the last time, I mean that my car will never be driven again by anybody. It has a blown head gasket. (A head gasket is what prevents coolant and oil from leaking into the engine’s cylinders.) Fluids pouring into the engine have damaged it to the point of no sane return. In other words, the car would be more expensive to repair than it’s actually worth. My mechanic—his shop is actually called My Mechanic—all but refused to fix it. Replacing the gasket itself would cost about $1,500. And that would only be an appetizer to the ensuing main course of engine damage. For context, the Kelley Blue Book Value on the Legend in “fair condition” was $2,781. What about cars in poor condition? “Kelley Blue Book does not provide values for cars that meet this criteria.”
This was a long time coming. In the last two years, I’ve spent about a thousand dollars repairing cylinders, brakes, and other assorted parts. Meanwhile, much has been left in semi-intentional disrepair. The bumper was only about three-fourths attached. The driver-side window hadn’t shut properly since 2007; when I took the car over 40, air would stream in and whistle in my ear. Much of this is typical of Acura Legends, I’ve learned recently. They drive great, but their engines are set in such a way that makes them difficult to access, and costly to repair. Thousands upon thousands of words have been written in online forums about the regularity with which they blow their head gaskets.
I got my license when I was sixteen. My mother, a mechanic’s daughter, made sure I learned to drive a stick shift. I like driving fine but I’m 40-years-old and I’ve never owned a car. City living and all.