WOW, is it ever warm this afternoon! It's tons better than it was over the weekend, to be sure, but the sun sure is strong. Plus, I just got out of my un-air-conditioned car, so even though OUTSIDE is more temperate by far than it was during the heat wave, I personally feel like I've been sitting in an oven for a while.
The good news is, at least my car was willing to start after sitting in the sun all afternoon. I seem to detect a pattern with the car's stalling issues: in hot, sunny weather, if I use the car once and then try to start it again too soon afterwards, the engine flat-out refuses to turn over. This does not happen in cool or cold weather, nor have I seen it happen on a rainy day (yet). So even though the temperature gauge on the dashboard does not seem to indicate any problem, I'm thinking that once the car has been driven, the engine needs to cool down somewhat before the car becomes willing to start again. (And even then, once it starts, there is a real risk that it'll stall under the wrong set of circumstances. I hate that, because it's a pain to start again.)
Fortunately, lunch plus a few other errands with Joe M. lasted a good 2.5 hours, and apparently that was PLENTY of time for the engine to cool off. It was a little slow to turn over, just as it was when I left the house this morning, but it did start and it didn't stall once I was on my way.
The car has been tuned up relatively recently (last year or the year before). I've been to the mechanic at least twice, I think three times, about this "the car won't start" issue but no one can find anything. So I think the car is just getting senile. The fact that it's 19 years old is surely not helping matters, let's put it that way. If my car were human, it'd be old enough to vote.
Anyway, even though I've been hemming and hawing about getting a new car, THIS kind of issue is why I'm considering making that kind of investment in the first place. If I take any kind of freelance job, be it as an assistive-tech trainer, a church organist, an interpreter, a mobility instructor -- all of which are things I'd be interested in doing for a living -- they will ALL require driving out to the location where the job is. There is no flipping way I can afford to have a car that will simply refuse to start on me for reasons that are still undiagnosed, especially not if I'm out in the middle of nowhere when it happens.
So, my first order of business is to find out what kind of tuition I'm going to be looking at for the training I'd need for some of the above jobs. (Read: "all but the interpreting", because I've already taken training for that.) When I know that, I'll know what kind of car I can afford. And if I need either a student loan or a car loan, I'll know that, as well.
Whew. Did I mention how warm it is today? I still feel half-melted from that less-than-two-mile drive from Joe M's street to mine. Time to crank up the fan.