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05 October 2006 @ 08:25 am
doom befalls!!  
i knew things were going too well, and that something would have to give. sadly, the thing that gave out was my beloved car, Scottie.

i purchased Scottie from my predecessor for 500 good ol' fashioned american dollars, because i would then have a car immediately upon arriving in Japan, and because he was cheap. i had waivered on the decision though because for a car in Japan, Scottie is very old (approaching 10 years), and i had no idea what kind of problems or maintainace he may have or need.

Scottie had had what appeared to be a small oil leak that i noticed a little while ago. i figured i'd get it checked out when i was getting my shakken (the big expensive inspections you have to do on cars in Japan...every 2 years for cars under 10 years old, every year for cars 10 years or older). i noticed that the problem had seemed to be worse this week, there was more oil in my spot than usual. i started to get worried. then, on tuesday night, i ran an errand to the nearby thrift store for a friend, picking up a microwave and driving back home. when i got out of the car, i noticed there was an oil trail all the way down the street heading toward the shop. fuck.

i asked kelly to look at it the next day (she's a car girl, races and all that cool stuff), and we put some more oil in it to see how it would do. this morning, the oil level was down to next to nothing. this is a MAJOR MAJOR problem. a problem bad enough that Kelly and i get the feeling i'm gonna have to rent or buy another car. we're taking him into a shop as soon as we get out of school today.

not only is this a problem because i NEED the car for getting to work...but i was supposed to drive people to Hiroshima tomorrow for the long weekend. no matter what the diagnosis on the car is, i will not be able to take it on a five hour drive. without a second car, there's not enough room for everyone to go. if i stay home though, which i plan to now to try and get this car situation resolved, then it's down to enough people to squeeze into just one car. ::sigh:: no road trip for me this weekend sadly. of all the times to fall apart. oh well.

in a way, it's good this happened now, because i have the long weekend to try and see about getting things straightened out. i also won't have to pay for the expensive inspections in Dec. Scottie would require (shakken is about $1000). it's just that...i don't have any idea what the best course of action is. i don't know ANYTHING about cars. i don't know what my options for replacing it are. and i know ZERO japanese car language. it's gonna be one of those living in a foreign country challenges, heh.

right now, all i can say is that i miss Tula, my honda at home.
Mood: worriedworried
Not any Morepuck22 on October 5th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
don't worry MEPK
don't worry MEPK

I'll do a magic car dance and (hopefully) everything will be ok.

your in Japan?

I'm clueless but I'm thinking, praying, hoping, meditating and doing magic for you.

Mellenabsentmammoth on October 5th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
Re: don't worry MEPK
thanks for the support. i definately need all the positive energy i can get.

and yes, i'm in japan now ^_^
lady_mclady_mc on October 5th, 2006 01:30 am (UTC)
Think - at least it didn't die IN HIROSHIMA!!

Mellenabsentmammoth on October 5th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
good call indeed!
Shadowantisocial_shdw on October 5th, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
I can come over and take a look at it if you want.

Can you see where the oil is coming from?

When there is oil in it engine, does it still seem to run ok?

Any weird noises?
Mellenabsentmammoth on October 5th, 2006 09:29 am (UTC)
hehe, please come and look at it! get on a plane now!

the oil seems to be coming from the front of the car somewhere. i can't really see where, but it's definately coming out quickly. it's already probably empty again. it's a SEVERE leak.

the car doesn't make any noises that i can hear that sound weird or different then before.

i should probably add this though...

last week, on my way to work, i took a corner a little too sharply and the left side of the car went into one of the concrete rain gutters on the side of the road. the front wheel went in, i heard some scraping. because it was around a corner, the bend in the gutter allowed the wheel to come up out of the gutter again. it was very fast, but it shook the car something fierce. i checked the car as best i could when i got to school, and i couldn't see anything terribly wrong at the time, but i couldn't get under the car to really look. i still can't, it's not really high enough off the ground for me to fit under without a lift. i'm thinking this is incident is probably related to my problem now...i must have scraped something on the left side that made this leak happen...
Shadowantisocial_shdw on October 5th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
What kind of car is this?

Do you know how far the gutter went under the car?

Possible issues:

Check the oil pan around the edges where it bolts into the block. Also, check for drips coming out of the bolt to the oil pan. Also check for oil around the oil filter.

Under the hood, check around the valve cover, and around where the head meets the block.

While you're at it, check your oil, and wipe it on a clean white rag/paper towel. Make sure you only see oil. Look for any milky substance, and/or any metal shavings.

Just in case, after the car has been off for awhile, open the radiator cap, and make sure the fluid is not milky white/tan.

Check for cracks/holes in the head/block/valve cover/oil pan.
Mellenabsentmammoth on October 5th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)
thanks so much for all the pointers adam. the car is a suzuki alto, about 9 or 10 years old. i don't really know exactly how far the car went in...i am fairly sure it was only the front wheel and not the back one too though. this also happened about the speed of about 40KM/hr, however many miles that is per hour.
strenge fruit: <3risetto on October 5th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
Force your BoE to help you! They're the ones who made it so you need a car!

I'm sorry you have to miss Hiroshima.. But it will always be there waiting for you!

(But now think of all the awesome car colours you can choose from! I say go for pink!)
Mellen: gaijin faceabsentmammoth on October 6th, 2006 02:04 am (UTC)
honestly, from Kelly's experiences in the past and my own understanding of the BoE, we're better off getting the work done on our own and then just getting the BoE to do the paperwork after.

otherwise, you end up with two bumbling guys (fujita and iwaki are NICE, but definately not the most competant pair) trying not only to do something you probably didn't ask them to do, but also so caught up with trying to say it in a language they don't speak at all that they don't listen when you tell them it's not what you wanted them to do, whether you say it in Japanese or not.