So I sold my old car this weekend (not the one you see at the top of this post). With 185,000 miles, it was still in fairly good shape, but it had developed several small problems... the windshield wipers waved erratically, some of the dashboard lights were out, and so on. I had had the feeling for some time that any time when I was driving down the road all four wheels might pop off simultaneously like you see in the movies.
Among these problems was a slipping belt. This is not hard or expensive to fix--15 minutes with a wrench--but it makes the most awful noise, like the engine is about to tear itself apart. I didn't take the time to fix it because I knew I would be selling the car anyway. Friends who rode with my would hide their faces out of shame when the screeching started up.
Last week, I reached a new low. I was driving down a suburban street, when the screeching started up. No one was around, except a solitary dog trotting down the sidewalk. And even the dog stopped short and stared, clearly thinking "What is wrong with that car?"