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Oh, Jolene.

The Sunbird has several small things wrong with it and altogether, they are stressing me out.

1. The A/C belt is slipping and squealing. The belt itself is less than a year old but was a “closeout” item on RockAuto. I suspect it wasn’t good to begin with. It can be adjusted (tightened), but I’ve adjusted it as far as it can go. So, I need to order a new belt and possibly even a slightly shorter one.

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2. The struts and shocks are crap all the way around. It floats and bounces down the highway. And sounds like an old creaky bed when I go over bumps.

3. I think it needs a heater core. I swear I smelled a slight antifreeze odor this past winter when I used the heat. We are going to pressure test it next week or next weekend to check for sure. Thankfully, I did some research and the dash doesn’t have to come out to replace the core if it needs one.

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4. The front brakes need to be done in a bad way. They groan and grind and squeak. I have pads and rotors for the front. We are hopefully doing those next week when we check the cooling system.

5. Intermittent “check engine” light. It comes and goes as it pleases and is never on for more than 15 seconds at a time. I traced the code back to an oxygen sensor error. I have a new sensor for it as well, but fixing just that rarely cures anything. Plus, the car runs well aside from an occasional low idle, so I haven’t messed with that either.

6. It’s filthy because I drove it in a terrible thunderstorm last weekend and through my muddy backyard to its garage.

7. The driver’s side window visor is broken. I have its  replacement ready, thankfully.

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Illustration for article titled Oh, Jolene.
Image: Mazda616

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