today i woke early, showered, put on presentable normal-people clothes, and went to the hospital with my dad. and then, of course, switched out of the presentable normal-people clothes into scrubs, so that i could come watch his cases. ( shadowing at the hospital. warning: brief descriptions of procedures, mild gore. )
...and then i came home and called the mechanic.
the short form is that the oil leaks i've been seeing over the past several months may be partly due to old gaskets, but that the root problem is internal blow-by. the good solution to this problem is to either overhauling the engine or putting in a 'new' rebuilt one. his take was it makes more sense to put in a new engine, because after labor costs at his shop and the machine shop, overhauling the current engine costs more, and a factory-rebuilt engine comes with a 100,000mi/3yr warranty.( options and choices... )
...there are no choices that are not painful. but in the end...well, right now, i can (kinda) afford to fix Matilda properly. i was hoping to save that money, but i hadn't yet decided what i'd be saving for, or where i'd put it, or anything. and this roadtrip has been time spent travelling, living, learning, joyous, difficult...but always intensely interesting
, always full
. and travelling in this particular car has made it so that even the time spent behind the wheel is wide-eyed laughing beautiful life; it lends another dimension, a little more soul. and, dammit, i'm only halfway around! there's miles and miles to go!
more practically, putting in a rebuilt, under-warranty engine would mean she should run well for at least a few more years with minimal maintenance...and if i want to sell her, i'm a hell of a lot more likely to be able to do it when she's got a new engine, as opposed to wonky rings, blow-by, and a multitude of oil leaks.
so, a little unexpectedly, it's still worth it. there was a little question, but not much. my mother put it together before i did, said, "Look, it seems pretty clear that what you really want is to fix this car." and my dad said, "I think you're making the right decision, given the situation. But in the future...don't ever
give your car a name." *laugh*
(since i started making the plans for this roadtrip, i've been saying "10,000 miles or as far as the car will take me," and saying that if she died on the road i'd just ditch, ship everything back in boxes, and fly home. but...i failed to consider exactly how attached i am to this vehicle, and more importantly, that driving all over lovely twisty highways and having a ridiculously powerfully good time would make it that much harder to just let Waltzing Matilda go, especially to such a rough and ungraceful end.)( more detailed car geekery... )
and now the day is done. time for sleeping, soon. tomorrow is another full day.