There comes a point in every car enthusiasts life when, no matter how much they know about cars, they become stumped.
Enter Ben Seitz, a 20 year-old college student, out for an Associates degree in a commuter college on the outskirts of Cincinnati. Ben was on his way to his Wednesday morning class, glad to be free from traffic on the normally busy I-71 North, when the worst happened; the oil temperature gauge hit the unholiest of territories: the red zone. Knowing better, Ben switches his heat to full blast, and opens the flaps, eases down to 2,000rpm, and eases off the throttle. Normally, for anyone, this is a quick fix, enough to buy time for a safe place to check fluid levels and make sure this anomaly is simply that. However, Ben Seitz, young college student and Advertising hopeful is about to take a ride through...the Check Engine Light Zone.
Cold air, colder than any Rolls Royce A/C has ever claimed to produce, came rushing in through the vents in this poor Toyota Celica. Instantly I knew this was going to be a problem, pulling over as quickly as possible in a gas station just 1 mile away from the College. after 20 minutes and ensuring the fluids were ok, I went to the radiator. "AHA!" said I "The fluid levels are dangerously low, simple fix!" After scouring the entire 15 feet of the Mobil gas station, I settled on a jug of water as the best fix to get the car moving again. But in vain! be it not 1 full mile away I could tell the temperature was not up to the task. "Damn The!" shouted I, pulling quickly into a shopping centre to retrieve the sacred fluid of the Automobile: Peak Coolant. The odds were against me, as Peak, or any other peasant level fluid is not recommended in my car, but 'tis the only option I had at the juncture. Once the Sacred Fluid was drunk, I, ever so carefully, willed on the love of my life to make it safely back home.
After many searches, estimates, and professional inspections, It had come down to the one option that no real Auto Enthusiast wishes upon him, his car, or his wallet: The Toyota Dealership.
Yes, I called up AAA, asked them to tow it to a dealership, and told them the problems I had experienced, suggesting it may be a broken Thermostat. Toyota, like any American surgeon, did exactly what I, the patient, said and replaced the Thermostat without even looking at the car ($500 repair, mind you. $271 for labor)
Alas! All was well! But then, tragedy! In that same god-damned Mobil station, my car once again suffered the same crippling action that it had succumbed to not 1 week earlier! AAA showed up, again (This time at a not so free $80 fee) and took it back to the same dealership. This time I was told it was not only my fault for suggesting that it may be the Thermostat, but also either my Head was warped, and even worse, possibly the Engine Block.
Enter Ben Seitz, a still 20-year old College student, out for nothing more than to be reunited with his best friend, Geoff. (I seemed to have neglected to inform you, the reader, that I have developed a very very close relationship with my good friend and car, Geoff. Geoff is a 2001 Toyota Celica, yes the ones with the lovely sounding 2ZZ engines that were also put into the equally as beautiful Lotus Elise.)
What is it that I ask of the? The reader? I ask nothing more than pity for my car. I also ask for an opinion. Do you think a Kickstarter would be shameful? I'm running out of rope here, and my car is needed not only for College but for a job. Estimates for a new engine, Should it come to it, are as high as $5000! hopefully, I only need a new Head, which costs a not-sound-gut-wrenching-but-still-gut-stinging $1300, all without labor.
What does Opposite Lock think? Shameful? I understand, in another life I would have ridiculed any man who had neglected his car to this point, but today?
(Please Note: I am not asking for money (not yet?) I'm asking opinions of what people would think if someone in a situation such as mine would Crowd Source a repair.)