This is a story to which I’m sure many of you can relate.

I hate my car. I hate it so much that I dream of someone else totaling it so I can get a different one.

I’ve been inspired to write this in response to Sheryl Prentice’s column last week about how she drives a brand-spanking-new and much-deserved 2020 Ford Explorer after her last car met its end in a head-on collision.

Allow me to justify my rage: I drive a 2001 Mercury Sable, a four-door sedan with the turn radius of a pontoon.

It’s the same car I had through college. My dad bought it from the neighbor whose mother died and didn’t need her car anymore.

Once, while I was driving it, the late driver’s license fell from the passenger visor. That was a, um, surprise.

It had low miles, and it was in pretty good shape, since it had only been used to drive to Walmart once a week.

So, I started using it to drive back and forth to Ball State and my parent’s house in Westfield. And they used their cars to come get me when mine decided it didn’t want to work.

I have lots of examples of this.

One great one is when my transmission fluid was leaking, but it leaked just enough to where it wouldn’t move when I was in the Muncie Walmart parking lot. My parents drove up, filled the fluid, and made sure I could get home.

We thought that would solve things, but no. Later, in the middle of a McDonald’s drive thru, the same thing happened, but I had more fluid in my car, so Bobby and I filled ’er up and drove on home.

Later, the car wouldn’t drive unless it was warmed up completely. Pushing down on the gas resulted in a “vroom” but no movement.

A couple of years ago, my alternator started to fail when I was driving south from Marion to Muncie on I-69. I luckily pulled into my parking space at my apartment before the car shut down.

I thank God every day that my dad was a mechanic, so he’s usually able to fix my car for me, to an extent. The day after my alternator failed, he and my mom drove up from Westfield and replaced the part in the hot sun.

A little while after that, one of the cylinders started to stick, making my car accelerate at a snail’s pace.

As of recent, the mechanism inside the driver’s side door has decided it likes to stick, making it so I can open my door, but trying to close it makes it bounce back open and not latch shut.

But, the granddaddy of them all was when my entire transmission gave out while I was about to cross railroad tracks.

Coincidentally, that happened on my trip up to Kendallville almost a year ago now to interview for my job here at KPC. I drove up from Muncie on the highway, interviewed, then decided to take S.R. 9 back down to the Anderson area.

Everything was going great, until I reached Columbia City. I braked, since I was coming up on railroad tracks, and when I tried to accelerate, nothing happened.

I knew exactly what it was as soon as it happened. I whipped my chariot into a parking lot and called my parents, who were at work and also two hours away.

Four hours later, I was rescued. I have to give a big shout out to Big G’s Sports Cafe that let my car sit in their parking lot for a few days until I could get a tow.

But, with a brand new transmission, full tune-up, alignment and a few new tires, it now drives, and that’s all I need.

Sara Barker is a reporter for The Advance Leader and The News Sun. If she had a choice, she would drive a bright red 2020 Chevrolet Blazer. Contact her at and on Twitter @SaraBKPC.

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