Magnificent Nonperformance


Preferred Option – someway to have the Cavalier examined and adjusted so that it can pass Aircare, runs well and hopefully save gas $$$;


Secondary Option – a functional vehicle capable of passing Aircare as replacement for the Cavalier.

Either option must be reflective of financial reality – I am so tapped out that I don’t have/cannot afford the gas to drive someone to the West Coast Express to catch the 5:27 AM train to get to the hospital in Richmond for a knee operation. While careful budgeting and spending could free up a little cash flow it is highly unlikely to exceed $50 a month and is subject to being needed for any unanticipated expense.

In other words I need a repair or a vehicle that falls at the extreme luck/miracle end of the spectrum.

At this point it should be clear that the Cavalier failed Aircare – but at least it did so spectacularly. On the hydrocarbon idle test were the maximum allowable limit is 101 ppm the Cavalier was at 2000 ppm.

I do not know why but with such a spectacular failure I found myself more philosophical than anxious and panicky. Since it was not even close there were no ‘if only I had done this or that’ thoughts to beat myself up with.

I remember the mental horror show I went through when the VW that had been my home through several years of homelessness barely failed Aircare. The mental meltdown, the anxiety and panic, took days to run their course. If fortune had not smiled, made available a Plymouth Duster for $100 and interrupted the mental downward spiral it could well have led to a full blown relapse into the darkness of mental illness.

This time the failure to pass Aircare left me a little shaken and stirred but not nonfunctional. People complaining about the exhaust from the Cavalier resulting in the suspecion it would not pass Aircare so it was not a total shock. Although dealing with the anxiety this possibility caused, keeping it from becoming a consuming anxiety and blossoming into panic resulted in an ongoing struggle with its own mental ups and downs.

Anxiety and panic threaten my mental health on this matter because I depend on this vehicle to get to work, to food, to the pool to swim (a mainstay of my mental and physical health), to group, to volunteer commitments, to committees (housing, homelessness, mental health etc.), to a myriad of other commitments and involvements.

The limited, impractical nature of the bus service in Abbotsford means that the only way to get to where I need to be when I need to be there is to have my own vehicle for transportation. In particular a work shift that ends at 1:30 AM across town from my abode.

The job that enables me to pay for my housing and without which I would quickly be homeless and on the streets of Abbotsford once again.

As is the case for many citizens, a car is not a luxury but a necessity.

Fortune has smiled in that, thanks to a friend, I was able to pay for the full three months of insurance I could get because the Cavalier passed Aircare last time. Fortune because, unlike a year of insurance where you can get on a monthly payment plan, all three months of insurance must be paid up front.

I had the $100 set aside in my budget for the monthly insurance payment but needed a total of $282. A good friend loaned me the difference so that I could have three months to deal with this issue. Fortune may have smiled a little there as he was so busy he had not been to bed in over 24 hours.

My mechanically adept friend Thomas recommended I take it to Hub Motors (he trusts their work and service) to have them ‘put it on the machine’ and determine exactly what the problem is. Which is why having the full three months allowed is so important – it gives time to scrape up the cash for an automobile visit to Hub Motors.

In the meantime Thomas and others will be keeping their eyes peeled for a super bargain on a vehicle of some type to meet my need to get to work, to food, to the pool, to group, to committees, et al.

Should you see me around Abbotsford with my tambourine panhandling, it is to address these transportation needs.

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