When they notice the paint is exuberantly jumping off of their car, normal people consider it might be a good time to buy a new car. But this, of course, is my car. It’s older than my blog. I’d say it was older than dirt, but some of the original dirt is still on it.
I was surprised to notice the paint vanishment, though. I figured if you just left your car at the curb and never bothered it with soap or wax or anything, the paint would just stay put out of loyalty if nothing else. Or if it was inclined to wander, it would be sealed down with all the bird poop. I mean, otherwise, what is the point of parking under the power lines?
Actually, I was a little set back by the bird poop accumulation, which has far exceeded previous efforts, and was beginning to develop some topography. In my usual deductive fashion, I thought it was evidence of my efforts to attract more birds to the garden, or maybe evidence of a new digestive enthusiasm on the part of the regulars. Took me a few days before it occurred to me that my standard car hygiene–God’s Car Wash–had pretty much shut down for the last year. We did get two inches of rain a couple weekends ago but that was by far the most we’d had since last January. If you’ve been dissuaded from moving to Oregon because it rains all the time, fear no more. Now we’re the land of smoke and dead trees.
So after the rain a lot of the car looks a little neater now, not that I was inclined to get a new one anyway. It would be fun, and if I did it would be all-electric, but even an all-electric car has nothing on mine, virtue-wise. Mine’s all-gas but it’s parked. And there’s a significant cost to the planet of manufacturing a new one. And the electricity for a car might come from coal. So. No new car for me, unless someone creams this one. Have at it.
Besides, there’s a lot to be said for mine. If someone scuffs it up, as someone apparently just did last week, I don’t really care. That’s a freedom. My curb-feelers work great, and will until a little more rubber is scraped off the sidewalls. My blind-spot protection is second to none, as long as I have a passenger with a good set of lungs. Thanks to the hole in the floorboards that Dave created with his imaginary brake pedal, we’ve got a good auxiliary Fred Flintstone power boost system, or good enough–he’s seventy now, so he can’t keep up highway speeds for long like he used to.
The sound system isn’t all it could be, I’ll admit that. We still have a thumping bass but the treble is way out of practice and both of us have trouble with the lyrics of everything except Build Me Up Buttercup.
It might be nice to be able to unlock the doors from a few feet away, but you don’t really need them unlocked until you get there anyway, even if it’s raining, which it isn’t anymore. We do each have to roll our own windows down by hand. But that’s fun. It’s worth it just to put a young person in the seat and watch them feel along the side panel for the button like they’re trying to find the spot that makes the bookcase wall turn around in a mystery movie.
I’m sure I could get used to one bell or one whistle if I had it. I’d probably get to where I couldn’t imagine doing without it. But there’s also a lot to be said for keeping the number of things you can’t live without to a minimum.
Ah, you have a red car. That explains why the paint is vanishing. Red fades faster than any other color. Black comes in second (I have a black car.) The fading is also the case with hair dye and fabrics.
I asked Google about this, and he had this to say:
Unlike other color pigments, red paint reflects red light. For this to happen it must absorb green, blue, and UV light. These shorter wavelengths of light often have a greater energy and bleach paint pigments more than other colors. This is the reason why cars with red paint fade faster.
During the summer, I sometimes can pick out my black car from all the other ones in a parking lot by the bird poop on it. (I have lots of trees.)
Gotta say, it's still plenty red, and not really faded at all, but the top has eczema.
A Toyota will last forever if you are loyal. Mine is ten years old, with a life expectancy that will outlast me.
Hey Buzzard! Nice to see you. Mine is fifteen now. I might get it up to 70,000 miles this year.
15? What a baby! My Civic was 22 when I sold it for three grand. Ya got years left!
My Ranger just turned 27 last month, Still going strong, but the Midnight Blue paint has freckles.
You’re on my team, Murr! Once I find something that suits me, I tend to keep it as long as I can (including cars, appliances, computers, husbands). My current car is a 2005 Prius named Marie, and I shudder to imagine replacing her. As I discovered when my husband bought a new vehicle a couple of years ago, there are so many bells and whistles on cars these days that it’d take me days to learn how to operate a new one and weeks (months?) to feel comfortable in it. Plus, I DON’T need it to “interface” with my cell phone (I have a legacy phone plan for calls and texts that doesn’t even include any cell-based data — costs me only $10/year), respond to voice commands, serve me a hot cup of cocoa, or tell me jokes. Marie runs great, has airbags, anti-lock brakes, and basic cruise control, and that’s plenty to satisfy me. I’d enjoy adding a back-up camera, but not most of the other stuff that seems to come standard now — including lots of auxiliary controls operated via touch screen instead of the separate knobs and buttons God intended.
You don't really need a backup camera either as long as you go really slow and listen really carefully.
You're absolutely right — EXCEPT folks zoom around in parking lots on the assumption that as you're backing YOU can see THEM as soon as your backup lights are on, and they expect you to stop! And I have to get just a wee bit out in the lane in order to see around the humongous SUV that's likely to be my neighbor.
Why are there still birds crapping on our cars at all? I thought the wind-power windmills were supposed to take care of that problem. Clearly they're a miserable failure at bird abatement. We should stop building them and spend the money on more cats.
An old car that runs acceptably is a treasure. The new cars, whether gas or electric, are full of technology which enables your location to be tracked, rendering Bill Gates's vaccine microchips redundant. I have a 22-year-old Honda that runs fine, and I don't think I'll ever replace it. If it finally breaks down someday, I guess I'll have to start walking everywhere, like a European.
Then you'll have bird poop on your head.
That's what those MAGA hats are for.
If I remember correctly, the only reason you bought this one is because the last one got creamed.
True. I tried to sell it to you for a dollar but the mechanic said I shouldn't sell it to anyone I loved.
Nice work keeping that car. I have a 24-year-old Saturn wagon ('97) that just rolled 200,000. It does enjoy an occasional "rich car" trip to the car wash, mostly to get the inside of the windshield really cleaned. The paint hasn't faded but the ritzy "clear coat" started peeling off certain spots years ago. I don't want a car payment or the techno stuff in a newer car. Linda in Kansas
I went to a car wash once to get the inside of the windshield cleaned, but leaving the windows open turned out to be a horrible idea.
I notice that your trusty steed is a Toy-auto. Mine, too. May I assure you that the polka dot paint, and man, oh, man, is, in my experience, unique to Toy-auto. New in 1990, the clearcoat on my pickup wore off fast, and the gray paint began to spot thereafter. I have yet to turn 170,000 on my beloved Rat Rod because it mostly sits parked on the driveway, (convenient to under the hood pack rat infestation, a circumstance unique to the wilds of Tucson), and I may one day Earle Scheib it flat, moonshine-runner black, but it's still got a few hundred thousand miles to go before it sleeps, albeit mostly paintless.
That rat situation is NOT unique to Tucson. Although it's often squirrels. Which are rats.
'nother gem from Murr the Gem.
Quite familiar with this situation:
"My blind-spot protection is second to none, as long as I have a passenger with a good set of lungs."
Btw, our wonderful 2000 Red Volvo got thieved about a year ago. Had expected to have it as long as I was around.
Dude! You have a locked garage! Wha happened?
…and my 11-year-old Kia Forte continues to serve me quite well, despite the fact that as a Realtor I am supposed to be leasing a new Mercedes every year…..one uppity client asked 'why don't you have a better car' and I chastened him by explaining that 'I don't like to spend money on things that depreciate'.
GOOD FOR YOU! In times like these, it's kind of important to have good retorts all ready to fire.
Speaking of birds (were we?), I was walking by the stream in the woods this afternoon, and a barred owl flew up from somewhere on the ground and landed in a small tree, not high up and not far off the road. I saw him, but did not hear him, as his flight was silent. I slowed to 1/4 speed. He faced me. We locked eyes. Slowly I passed, as he swiveled his head to follow me. When I was by, he flew off — in the same direction I was walking. This is an OMEN. I know because I googled it. A bad period is about to end, and someone — mayhaps myself, but it could be you, just as well — will receive a "fortune event" in the coming days. If it turns out it's something to do with your car, that will be very exciting, won't it? Glad I could help!
Keep working it honey, I need some help, but not with my car. I'll get back to you with specifics.
I have a 2005 Toyota which I never wash because I get the side of the driveway under the pine tree, but the ashtray is clean. And the windows still manually roll up & down. The locks are broken, so I'll get a new car when this one gets stolen. I hope the thief has a black dog, so it matches the hair on the backseat.
You be careful you don't get a back seat full of zucchini.
Dirt, weather and bird droppings will all eventually erode the gloss finish on any car and once that is gone, the paint layers underneath will deteriorate too, until it gets down to the metal which will then rust. You could just run it through a car wash and get the hot wax option, that will help the roof for a while longer.
I would LOVE to have a house with a bookcase wall that turns to reveal a secret room.
Now that I think about it, it's a book that pulls out, isn't it?
My 2013 Prius is a tool. It gets me from A to B, and then back again, as long as there’s gas in the tank. For grins, I washed it this fall prior to the arrival of rain after a 7 or 8 year gap of no wasting water. Pretty much looked the same. If I lived in a salt lick town I might increase the frequency to preserve the chassis and body. I do, however, detail the inside with a vacuum and rag on a more regular schedule, if you could call it that. Mice did take up residency once, in Virginia, making a nest in the cabin filter and eating a leftover snack in the console. What a pair of plastic nibblers! I took them out with peanut butter laced sticky traps. Heartless, I know—they both died of fright, no doubt. One leapt over the console fully stuck to the trap before succumbing. Hey, it was my tool, not theirs! I do miss my Honda Odyssey, though. My friend Brian says you only need two vehicles, a bike and a van—the Prius just doesn’t cut it when remodeling projects call. What was I thinking when I made the switch?!
Or a pickup. We gave ours to the neighbor and thought we'd borrow it from time to time but now it's been parked in the same place for well over a year and I'm not even sure he's gotten it registered. You have to be careful who you give your cars to.
Oh, man… we could not do without a pickup! Although we are just barely outside our city limits, we are considered "the suburbs" and have to procure our own trash collection. Since we have very little trash, we haul it off to the dump ourselves. Saves us a fuckton of money. We also haul our recyclables to the proper place. As we try to use as little packaging as possible (which is well nigh on impossible anymore) we have a compost pile, a home-made recycling bin, and MANY trash cans in the back, so that we can do this as infrequently as possible. The compost does an amazing job of feeding our tomatoes in the summer.
I was reading about some woman who managed to fit all her garbage (plastic from packaging, etc.) in a Mason jar for a year. I think she wrote a book about it. It must've killed her to get one of those plastic-wrapped advertisements in the mail.
The parking spot for our 1995 F-150 Ford pickup when we lived for eight glorious years in an RV was under a spruce tree. Said spruce tree was the roost for a jillion birds (I may be exaggerating) but it was a bunch. Our truck was covered in layer after layer of bird poop. In the parking lot at grocer's one day someone asked me if I parked in the chicken coop.
Admit it. You were kinda proud.
My '05 Corolla is losing the clear coat off the roof and looks kind of splotchy. Gorilla tape holds the passenger side mirror on and the plastic in front is taped and the bumper is stitched with zip ties. It isn't pretty, but it's reliable.
And no one steals it.
My 2007 Corolla had an estimated over 450,000 miles on it when I wrecked it in its 14th year, though truth be told, it had been seriously effed up after being submerged in a freak rainstorm that killed the alternator and the AC compressor. And then even more ravaged by the idiot who replaced the AC condenser and the heater core and in the process screwed up the steering column. I miss that car!
"Submerged in a freak rainstorm?"
Oh my. We have a 21-yr old GMC Envoy SUV that we now keep in Arizona to tow the off-road vehicle trailer wherever the hus wants to ride with his friends. It's got about 230,000 miles on it and I think it will last on and on and on (to be sung to the tune of "on and on and on and on and on". Paint is still nice dark blue and it looks new.
Decades ago we had a no-frills Datsun sedan. The driver's-side door gasket went bad, and rainwater leaked in, puddling under the floormat, where it rusted clear through so you could see the road go by. The state of the paint job wasn't even an issue.