Car issues

I just brought my car for its second oil-change. I can’t believe I had the car for over 8 months now. Like all “old” or just older cars, the car has several chronic issues that I should deal with, but as a financially-challenged student, I will just live with it and hope that these chronic issues do not become acute ones. And I do hope that warmer weather ahead will solve some of these issues, unfortunately, with the warm weather another major chronic issue will return. Here are my car issues:

Power steering fluid leakage:
Since the end of October last year, I haven’t had to top-up the power steering fluid at all. Somehow, the cold shrunk the leak-site, which is very good news for me because I don’t have to crank open the hood every other day to refill the power steering fluid tank. But I predict by April I’ll have the same old problem again. I plan to get this fixed but it will cost at least $360…sigh.

For some unknown reason, the car will occasionally stall when it has been idling at a red-light for some time. This has happened three times now. Even though, I can immediately restart it again, I’ve been conditioned to become slightly anxious every time I’m at a red-light now. I did ask the mechanic about it and he said that it could be due to a loose ignition connection. But when I asked, “Why then would it only happen when the car is not moving, wouldn’t the loose ignition issue occur when the car is moving too?” He laughed and said good point. Since I cannot afford to have him look into this issue, we let it go.

Electrical shut-off:
I think this issue is closely related to the stalling issue. Several times when I’ve parked and as I’m removing the key from the ignition, somehow an electrical shut-off occur – the clock & several dashboard-meters get reset. And the alarm also gets reset and forgets that I’m in the car, and when I open the door to get out, the alarm will go off. The alarm thinks that someone is trying to get in the car without the key. I’ll have to quickly close the door and use the key to lock and unlock the door, and then the alarm will stop. So far, I think this has happened about ten times now. I don’t even bother to set the clock anymore. I’ve been doing a search online on both stalling and electrical shut-off issues, and some probable problematic areas that I found were the air-filter, spark plugs, and ignition coil. But I’m trying to find a cost-free resolution. The last two days, I’ve tried to apply pressure on the key when I’m turning off the ignition (if it’s the loose ignition connection problem), so far this issue has not occured. I guess I’ll continue to do this until the car proves that this tactic doesn’t work.

Faulty A/C:
Well, it’s cold now so this is not a problem but I do remember the drive in 35C heat last summer. But I’m not sure if I can afford to fix this problem. I guess it’s another issue that I’ll have to live with.

Faulty cruise-control:
I found out that this was faulty during the drive to Newark last year. But then, I seldom drive long distance, so it’s a non-issue.

But, hey, the car has a moon-roof and an 8-disc CD player with a good sound system! And overall it has been a very good car for its $2000 price-tag. So, I’m not complaining.

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