The car

One of the greatest aspects of my life is my car. I have a long history with this particular car and it is the one object that brings me the most joy and the most grief in my whole life.

I own a Volkswagen Jetta III GLX VR6

Witness The
Almighty Jetta

Mine's white but it has the standard BBS rims just like the car on the page has. Now you need to understand that this car is a fantastic car. It has the same amount of power as a Jeep Wrangler and the acceleration of a BMW 325i. And it's a joy to drive. Sweet and subtle steering, responsive braking and accelerating, silent, and you can really nail the pedal to the metal.

I first met this car from its original owner. Before I moved up north I went to university for engineering, here in pooradise for a year and a half. I met the owner, a girl of german upbringing, that btw I ended up obsessed about for a short time but i think mainly because of her car (come on, i was 17, give me a break), at the university through a friend of mine. We quickly became friends due to our similar backgrounds and i often went to house parties at her place.

I admired her car and a few times she gave me rides in it, it was so powerful and gorgeous. At the time I was driving a 1988 toyota corolla, 1.6L and 80hp. That car might have been a bit of a junker, but it never gave me any trouble, it was a noble car. But driving around in that tin can really made me wish I had a bigger and better car, i'm only human.

I knew she used the Jetta to race around the city (since there's nobody policing the streets and highways, it's pretty much up to the driver how fast he or she wants to go, there's laws that prohibit stuff, but nobody enforcing them thus street racing is a daily event here, only in pooradise). I also knew that the car had some issues but nothing too bad. But soon after I moved up north i lost pretty much all contact with this girl and didn't hear from her or the car for the following 4 years.

When I returned from the north and found myself with the need to have a car to survive in the city, i drove around in my mom's car for 4 months until finally it was decided that another car was needed. And so the search started for an affordable, good quality car.

This country is weird, property seems to lose value but certain vehicles only seem to gain value the older they get.

Two months passed and due to little time to look nothing came up. Until one day the son of a friend of my family announced that he was moving to the states and he wanted to sell his car for cheap. I asked to see the car.

And guess what, there it was, the '95 pearl white jetta. I was unsure whether this was my friend's former car at first, given that the VR6's are exotic in pooradise yet not completely alien, so I hesitated on wether this was my friend's former car. But it turned out it was because her name was all over the old documents.

She had sold it to a man I know who had it for 3 years in safe keeping and treated it better than he trated his family, and he was nice to his family. After a while he realized and got sick of what I hate abotu the car, and sold it to my family's friend's son, an affluential man who at the time was president of the pooradise's local hq of a well known luxurious yet sporty auto maker's branch. The man obviously knew what he was buying and did it filled with joy, or so he said.

Not long after he bought the car a chance to move to the states to work came and he took it, forcing him to sell the car. He owned it for less than 5 months and had he kept it he would have faced all the problems i faced since i bought it.

So my own vanity and stupidity I obtained the amount of cash, $7500 to be exact, and bought the beast. It took some coordination and cooperation between me, my family and the seller to get the car to me, but eventually I got it.

And the ordeal began.

First day I had it, i was going on a little uphill part of a highway south of the city and the heating radiator burst, letting all the water vapour from the engine into the cabin of the car. The mechanic said since it was never used, water didn't circulate through the part too much and thus rust formed and accumulated weakening the material and well... poof!. Since heaters aren't a necessity here at all, i proceeded to authorize my mechanic to bypass the heater and forget about getting a replacement part. Replacement parts for that car are a huge bitch to find, mainly because it's an exotic car, the only JettaIII in the country as far as I know (there's many GTIs and VR6's, but only one JettaIII), and thus the parts have to be brought over from the states or germany.

The car ran fine for another 2 months like that, and then it started leaking water. I had to refill the expansion tank once every 2 weeks at first. Over a month it came to be 1 week.... 4 days.... 3 days... took it to the shop, again. The mechanic points out that the side supports of the radiator, which are made of plastic (who the hell designs with plastic in mind for a radiator... what a jackass) were cracked at the top hose hookup point. But wait! There's more! In the inspection he noticed that the oil filter housing cap was cracked and leakign oil (hmmm... no wonder I had to pour 1L of oil to the engine every month). Also, the oil pan gasket was past its pride and also leaking oil.

The mechanic couldn't find the parts himself, so I had to look for them from US providers and hope that there would be some way to bring them. The only supplier on the internet was one that did not ship ouside of the states, and only shipped to the paying customer's credit card's mailing address, as to avoid credit fraud and so on. But this presented an extra challenge, and my aunt who lives in the states offered to help. Anyway, long story short, my aunt had to ask her husband to find the parts from parts retailers in the area because the internet people wouldnt send the parts. So the parts were shipped to miami and an uncle who lives here and was visiting miami picked them up and brought them over. Total time transcurred from the time the mechanic told me my car's a piece of shit until the parts were received: 2.5 months.

Now we're talking what has happened since April 17, which is when I got the parts. On the 18th I took the jetta to the mechanic who had it all done by the 21st. And aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh... I have my baby back. I swear once it came out it was running smoother and stronger. Saturday and sunday were ecstasy... i drove everywhere.

And monday came. As I was driving to my girlfriend's house to take some bank documents to her, I heard a pfffffffffffff sound and the "gimme water" light on the dashboard started blinking. I thought: "crap". Luckily the engine was not running too hot at the moment and I was almost at my girlfriend's house. I entered the building, parked the car and swore for a little while, vigorously hitting the car with my head and kicking the wheels. Of course that did very little to fix it. I opened the hood and saw vapour everywhere.

Not again.

I left the car there and my girlfriend drove me home. Next day I picked up the mechanic dude from the shop and took him to see the car, I had hoped it was just a loose hose or something. But no! The radiator hose that feeds water to the engine had a hole in it. The hypothesis is that since the hoses are old and since they were running on a lower pressure for a while because of the busted radiator, the rubber gave way and POP! the whole was created.

So for now, the car rests comfortably in the visitor's parking of my girlfriends place and my mechanic is figuring out a way to get a new hose. As soon as the hose is installed I'll put the car up on sale.