BOTmobile RIPon February 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm
I know the comic is sometimes late by several hours in some cases, or doesn’t end up getting posted until the next day in others, but this time I have a really, really good excuse (or really, really bad excuse, depending on the way you look at it): Many of you JEFbot readers may remember the “BOTmobile” – my Honda Civic Hatchback as seen in this strip – well, while driving home from work Monday night, my car’s temperature gauge suddenly went from “normal” to “screamingly hot” within what seemed like just a few seconds, and I was barely able to drift my vehicle off of busy Sunset Boulevard and onto a neighboring side street before coming to a dead stop, steam billowing out of my hood. After waiting for the car to cool off, I checked the radiator and engine to make sure they had the correct amount of fluids, which they did, but the car wouldn’t even begin to turn over, and I ended up having to gather all my things and walk home from Beverly Hills to West Hollywood (just a couple of miles, but it felt like more carrying a 17″ laptop and all my folders and paperwork from the office.) Needless to say, that kind of put a damper on getting home in time to finish drawing Tuesday’s strip, as it was pretty late by the time I was able to stumble through my door that night.
The next morning, I took the day off from work, got the car towed to my mechanic and then walked back the few miles to my apartment (I’ve gotten a lot of exercise in the past couple days) to anxiously wait for the diagnosis. When it came, it wasn’t good. Basically, something inside the engine had busted (duh) which resulted in a blown head gasket. Also, coolant from the radiator had somehow gotten inside the engine which was causing it to heat up almost instantly, as soon as the mechanic would start it. It seemed the only way to fix the car would be for the engine to be rebuilt, which would cost more than my poor BOTmobile was actually worth. In brief: the rest of the day was spent hoofing it back and forth from the auto shop getting all the stuff out of my car, making calls to figure out what I was going to do with the vehicle, finally getting the car donated and towed off, then researching online what kind of new car I could afford and where to get it.
As stressful as all this was, the experience could have been much worse. If my car had broken down at work (35 miles away), or a few minutes earlier as I was going over Coldwater Canyon instead of in Beverly Hills (recommended, if you’re going to be stuck), it could’ve been a nightmare. I’ve also been anticipating getting a new car over the past year or so (my car currently has over 300,000 miles on it), so I wasn’t completely unprepared. While I would’ve preferred to wait until later in the year to buy something new, I’m happy I was forced to do this now, rather than on the way, say, to a comic convention with all my JEFbot stuff in the car.
Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know why the strip isn’t up. I’ll keep you updated on the BOTmobile saga as it plays out, and if all goes well, I’ll be able to work on the strip today and get it posted later tonight. Thanks for your patience.
Dude that sucks. I’m thinking from reading other peoples stories, it was the headgasket that went. That lets coolant get into the motor and doesn’t allow the heads to cool (the heads let gas and air in and make the engine go). Often times if the car heats up like yours dead, the head gets warped and has to be replaced along with the top of the engine needing some work.
I’ve had my fair share of car problems lately. The clutch on my Accord recently decided to not work a year after it was installed. I had issues with it on and off, but recently it stopped playing nice. ><
Also, look into the Accords. I had a 2000 LX for awhile before trading for a van that I should have bought in the first place. Great ride, awesome mileage in town, roomy and comfy. I got mine for 5400 out the door with 131k on it. Needed a few minor things done after I picked it up but otherwise great car.
i got a Honda Fit!
THE FIT IS GO! Worst car commercials ever… though I remember it, so I guess it did its job.
What?! Jason, you’re not going to recommend the Dodge Challenger that is your Gravatar pic?
Sorry, but I’m keeping the awesome cars to myself. 😉
yep, it was the head gasket, TCG. thanks for the explanation about what it does – actually makes things a bit clearer about what happened. my engine has been slowly breaking down for a while now, burning up oil and such. it was just a matter of time, really.
sorry to hear about your Accord. car probs suck.
Well the gasket keeps everything in shape. Not sure I really explained that right. Once the gasket goes, the coolant seeps into the cylinders and burns off, meaning you run low on coolant. Engine overheats and kaboom. Epic fail. Glad you got a new ride. Honda’s are pretty awesome cars.
oh wow its weird to be one of the first few commentors.
anyways! my car is about to go. the transmission is starting to break. Luckily though almost everything I need to get to is within minutes of my house so my car will last a little longer, but im still going to need a new one. I’d replace the transmission but with its age its just not worth it. It’s gonna be tough letting go of my honda too, it was my first car that i bought, and owned, with my own money. Was dirt cheap too and fully loaded with a v6 engine. The boingo mobile. had it for a good 7 years too.
I’m gonna miss that car…
yeah, getting in the top few comments is sometimes pretty challenging, steve. heheh.
sorry to hear about your transmission, but that’s awesome that your house is in a great location for your needs. if i didn’t have to drive to work i could probably walk to most everything i’d need to get to, except for a bunch of friends and family.
i’m gonna miss my Honda, too! was a good car and the first one i’d bought with my own money as well. i’m hoping its spirit lives on in the new one!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses,excuses! *GRIN*
In all seriousness, glad you’re okay and nothing really bad happened. Good luck with the new car. And wow, 300,000 miles is very impressive! Mine is going on 80,000 and I want to get a new one.
i wish i didn’t have all these extreme excuses, TPC! wish i could just say i fell asleep or something. heheh. thanks for the luck on the new car – i’m hoping it lasts as long as my Civic.
Ooh. Rotsa Ruck! Hey, it could have been worse. You could have been badly injured. Glad you’re not. Good luck finding your new Botmobile.
very true, KB. extremely thankful that things played out the way they did. thanks for the “Ruck!” 😀
No charge! 😀
Sorry to here about the car, Jeff.
I’ve heard that you can get a good deal on used government cars, though!
thanks, Soul Man! i did check out some of those gov’t auctions, but had my eye on a new car at a dealership that i was able to get! i’ll post pics soon.
NOOOOooooooOOOOO! I loved the BotMobile!
i know! it sucks, 11TN! but you gotta see the new ‘mobile. it’s pretty sweet. 🙂
You haven’t thought about purchasing a new”er” engine to replace the blown one, since the repair work would have been more than the value (blue book) of the car. And you’d still have some wheels and an almost new drive train.
that’s true, Bl4ckw0lf, but the car actually needed more work than just the engine. i fear it would’ve just become a money pit.
must suck to be your car^^
but we had a funny accident a couple of years ago, too.
my friend had a ford fiesta back in the days and insanely tortured his car with long-range max-speed (he got a nice collection of tickets during his runs^^), cross-field rallies (the farms around, as well as the cows on it hated him for his kind of humor) and power-drifts on empty parking-lots
anyways, one day we drove in his car over to gotha (around 15 km away from my hometown), and I started to wonder why my feet suddenly got wet…
he claimed it was a leaking water-bottle (and according to the junkyard he transported around, it sounded plausible), but after another couple of kilometers, his engine started to scream (ever heard how hot metal rips apart?), and with a huge boom we had the pleasure to see how his engine-cowling got deformed by a jumped out piston.
he immediately stomped into the brakes, stopped aside the road and looked completely stunned the the crater his engine hat left in the cowling… then he slowly turned around, looked right into my face and laughed his ass off.
still shocked, I joined his laughter, but this was the last time I got into a car, while he was the driver
I blew a piston rod in a rented Dodge Reliant (not!) K Wagon on a lengthy voyage from NY to Atlanta for the World Science Fiction convention in ’86 at about the half way point. Looked like the Alien Chest Burster had punched out of the smoking hole in the engine block.
Our wheels dead, my newlywed wife and another couple endured an EPIC seventeen-hour bus journey the rest of the way to Atlanta from South Hill, VA arriving, arriving at 3AM over a day after our original plan!
after hearing from you and Malkav, remind me to never have a piston rod “experience” ever, Samuraiartguy!
cool story, Malkav! and your friend sounds like a driving maniac! (i’ve had a couple friends like that. it’s both fun/terrifying to drive with them.) glad you made it through your adventures with him in one piece. 😉
The BOTmobile will live on, in the archives. Good luck with getting BOT2mobile
true that, Peg. i’m happy it has its place there, as i’m sure the new BOTmobile will, too. 🙂
As soon as I read “head gasket” I was like “Aw SHIT, son.”
I had an early (mid 90s) Ford Taurus, that had a head gasket go bad (notorious flaw in early versions of the model). It started behaving badly, and then was blowing a fine mist of engine oil on the INSIDE of the windshield where we tried to operate the defrosters… And yup, the cost of the rebuild was more than the value of the vehicle.
As Hellboy sez, “that’s all for YOU.”
most people i’ve told about my car have a similar reaction when i get to the “head gasket” part as you, Samuraiartguy. seems once the head gasket’s involved, it’s all over.
That seriously sucks. I can sympathize; my little car (affectionately named the WolfMobile by someone who wasn’t me) did kinda the same thing earlier this winter. Except in this case, it was totally my fault, because I’d run the stupid thing out of oil. I’m getting a new engine this week and getting it installed sometime soon, but it’s been a bummer the last several months without it.
I’m fond of Subarus, personally, but they are a very Alaskan vehicle (great on ice and snow and starting at -40 when nothing else wants to work). Not sure what car belongs in California. 😉
glad to hear you were able to save the WolfMobile, T! funny, in my situation, i had just put a quart of oil in the engine that afternoon, at work, during lunch, but to no avail – that engine’s time was up. 🙁
never had a Subaru, but my two previous cars, a Honda and a Toyota, both passed the 300,000 mile mark on the odometer, so i’m sticking with them for now!
ouch that sucks.you could look at it as a way of easing your conscience on wether to buy a new car and leave you old one and its memories behind.
you had a logn workout to keep healthy.
what am i kidding putting a sivler lining on this scenario is like tossing a sheet on a bull in a china shop, it doesnt help much.
i still appreciate your silver lining, drakeye! fortunately, my conscience is pretty clear – i think i got the most i could out of that vehicle, and it served me well. definitely had a ton of great times with it. 🙂
I’d suggest either a Hyundai Elantra or a Ford Focus because Common Rail Diesel engine cars perform just as well as gasoline cars without having costlier fuel. But before that, has the ‘Can no longer be repaired’ thing been confirmed? I mean I’ve seen vehicles here that look like they belong in the scrap heap work like a dream with a few replaced parts
i’ve been looking at Fords over the past year or so, Jiro, since i’ve been hearing a lot of good things about the tech inside and was open to the idea of getting one. but i’d also been looking at the new Hondas, and briefly dabbled in possibly getting a KIA Soul. ended up getting a Honda Fit, and i’m loving it!
as far as the “can no longer be repaired” thing goes, my mechanic basically said it just wouldn’t make sense to spend more than the car’s worth on getting the engine rebuilt. plus, there was a bunch of other work that needed to be done on it, so it just wasn’t practical to get it fixed, sadly.
I’m gonna be out of touch for a while. Best wishes for the future.
Linda? Put your foot down and demand some bionic jumblies! Keep your chin up.
where are you going, Infamous Nefarious!? wherever it is, best of luck to ya and godspeed! and thanks for the well wishes for Lin/Xin, too. 🙂
Hondas are amazingly long-lived cars, but when they’re done, they’re done.
My Civic Wagon went to 340 thousand and one wretched out-of-state rear-ending by a Chevy Nova tank (the Nova had to be towed, I drove mine the six hours home to the shop) before the electrical system started to go, so the oil light didn’t blink on to tell me there was a leak . . .
glad to hear you’ve had great experiences with Hondas, too, Sarah W. (besides the electrical system going kaput.) i’m surprised your car even survived an encounter with a Chevy Nova – i’ve driven one of those, and your description of “tank” is exactly right! those things are beasts.
UGH! I hate car stuff! It’s the absolute worst!
Well you can always replace a car. We can’t replace you so I’m glad it wasn’t worse. Take your time, get some rest and get the comic up when you can.
awww, thanks, Pixie! was running around again today getting some final papers signed in Santa Monica for the new car, so wasn’t able to get the strip up. hoping to work on it some tonight, then finish the rest tomorrow. and, yes: car problems are the worst!!!
I am sorry to here that the BOTmobile died. I am fairly attached to my car and would be devistated if it died on me right now. You have my sympathies.
On the car buying front, all I can say is: Do not buy a PT Cruiser (or any Dodge/Chrysler product). We just got rid of one that we put more money into than we paid on it. We traded the wife’s POS Cruiser for a VW Tiguan and she couldn’t be happier.
I hope you find the car you want without having to settle for the car you can afford. If you don’t love it on the lot, you are not going to love it anymore when you get it home.
thanks, Senso – yeah, i’m pretty sad about the car, but i did get to spend a lot of time with it on Tuesday before it got towed off, so at least i had some closure. and it had been getting progressively scarier to drive over the past year or so, so it was time.
ooOOoh, i like those Tiguans, and good to know about the PT Cruiser, as i always thought those looked pretty cool. and i happened to get the exact car i was looking for at a great price! everything just kind of came together over the past few days, so i’m counting myself very lucky. 🙂
I’m sorry to hear of the demise of the Botmobile. As you said though, it could have been MUCH worse. At least you were already thinking about new cars. And 300,000 miles? Awesome!
You should have called me. I would have come to get you. OK, well maybe not – it would have taken way longer than you walking home. But still, you should have called *someone* to rescue you. Maybe that is just married life talking, though. I’m used to always having someone I can rely on in such situations.
So, new car. Yay! Hmmm… trying to think of what kind of car I picture you in.
ha! next time my car breaks down (hopefully not for a very, very long time) i’ll call you Shanna! heheh. you’re right, though – it was probably silly of me to walk all the way home and i should’ve just called someone, but i wasn’t really thinking clearly. i just started on the path and didn’t look back. 🙂
the new car looks kinda like the old car, only more streamlined and stretched vertically. i’ll try and take a pic tomorrow in the daylight so i can post it with a new blog!
Well, that sucks. There’s honestly not much else that I can say here. At least you were close to home. My dad’s truck blew its engine once when we were camping 50 miles away from our house. At least we had other vehicles there to take us home, but towing it all the way back was a pain.
Enough about that though, sad to hear that your car passed away. It will always be remembered for its ability to take you to the places you wanted/needed to go to at a faster rate then walking.
yeah, “that sucks” pretty much sums it up, GB! sorry to hear about your ruined camping trip. i definitely count myself lucky that the BOTmobile broke down where it did. i think trying to get me as close to home as possible was pretty much its final, awesome act. 🙂
And what a wonderful final act that was.
oh no’s! the egg is dead!
i know! so sad! so many good times with it! you’ll have to check out the new “egg,” fig. 🙂
Oh man! As you said, at least you weren’t super far away. I’ve got a Honda Fit and LOVE IT! It’s actually pretty huge inside, I’m 6’3″ and can sit in the back! Get’s 30mpg around the city, 40+ hwy (not a hybrid). Has some good pep and is fun to drive. I had a sunroof installed at the dealer (they don’t come with one). Has a usb port to plug a flash drive in for music and a pretty nice stereo. New they run around 13K – 16K. The automatics come with paddle shifters, I have the manual, like a real stick better. 😉
No worries about the comic being late! Life happens and I know you’ll get to it when you find the time. 🙂 Good luck finding something!
wooHOO! happy to hear you’re loving your Fit as that’s exactly what i got to replace my Civic, Richtpt! i agree – it’s pretty awesome how much space there is in that thing. all the better to fill up with merch for comic conventions this year!
hoping to get the comic up tomorrow – thanks for the “no worries”!
AWESOME!! Having a small car is also fun when it comes to parking, though those huge SUV’s seem to always park next to me so I almost lose my car in the parking lot. haha! ENJOY!! (and don’t forget the secret compartment! )
oh noes! this is why i hate cars -.- i hopes u find something cheap!
yeah, sometimes i wish i had taken auto shop in high school, MrSnow. i hate not knowing exactly what’s going on with my car!
Aw man. That was the only way to know if you were over! What am I going to do if I have any technical problems or anything nerdy to tell you!?
ha! well, i’ve already gotten a BOTmobile II, Nat, so you’ll have to come over and check it out the next time i’m in the neighborhood. and you better have something cool and nerdy to tell me. 😉
Glad you didn’t get stuck somewhere bad, and were able to get your car replaced quickly. Now just take care of your new car so it can also last you 300,000 miles!
i hope that’ll be the case, Oz – this will be the third car i’ve owned that has topped 300,000 miles if so! 🙂
Congrats on the new car, Jeff. I wish we could afford one. If we have a similar emergency, we’re sunk.