Crazy driv­ing will wear out ve­hi­cles

Austin American-Statesman - - STATESMAN CARS - By Tom and Ray Magliozzi

Dear Tom and Ray:

Could you please set­tle an on­go­ing dis­cus­sion that my fam­ily has had for years? On one side is my mother, my six sis­ters and me. (That is not a typo; I re­ally am one of seven girls. The baby is now 19, and we all are li­censed driv­ers.) On the other side is my fa­ther. You would think that af­ter 40 years of be­ing more and more se­verely out­num­bered, he would’ve learned to just nod and go along with what we say like a good boy, but on this one point, he has proved him­self to be ridicu­lously stub­born.

There are very few things my mother, my sis­ters and I agree on, but one of them is this: None of us likes Dad to drive our car be­cause, in our col­lec­tive opin­ion, he is too rough on a car. He waits un­til the last pos­si­ble nanosec­ond to stop at a red light but pulls away from a green light like the devil him­self is on his tail. He

Con­tin­ued from D weaves in and out of traf­fic like he’s for­ever in a hurry. Fur­ther­more, he seems never to hear the lit­tle odd noises that any ve­hi­cle makes to tell you that some­thing might be amiss and then won­ders why his ve­hi­cles are for­ever break­ing down. In fact, he just lost the trans­mis­sion in his F-150 and swears that it just “went.” But I’d swear that it was mak­ing weird grind­ing noises weeks be­fore he had to park it per­ma­nently in the drive­way.

Here’s the kicker: My fa­ther swears that the way one drives has no bear­ing what­so­ever on how long a car lasts.

Could you please im­press upon my dad that he kills cars with the way he drives and that we are jus­ti­fied in be­ing re­luc­tant to let him bor­row ours when he, yet again, runs what­ever he’s driv­ing into the ground? Thanks

Well, of course, you and your mother and sis­ters are ab­so­lutely right, Rachel. You’re right on all counts. And he’s wrong on all counts. He’s driv­ing the cars hard, and they’re break­ing down be­cause of it. But I would just for­get about it and pre­tend you never wrote to us.

Me, too. What you’re fail­ing to see is that driv­ing like a nut is your Dad’s only out­let. And if you deny him that im­por­tant es­cape valve, it might be he who blows the next gas­ket rather than his Ford F-150.

This is his way of deal­ing with 40 years of hav­ing to wait hours for the bath­room, of hav­ing to live among in­te­rior walls painted col­ors he’s never even heard of. This guy has a stress­ful life, Rachel!

His car is the only place where the poor guy has any au­ton­omy. And now you want to bully him out of that, too?

I wouldn’t do it, Rachel. It’s clear that you love your dad. We can tell from your let­ter. And it’s clear that — hav­ing given in to the sis­ter­hood on ev­ery­thing else — he loves you, too. So I say, let the poor guy run his cars into the ground in peace.

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