Car Corner
Fate at 100,000 miles

October 1, 2003
By Scott Lewis

September turned into an unusual month. My 93 Camaro, which I am the original owner, decided to give me great pause.

100,000 Miles

I turn my Camaro's odometer over the 100,000 mile mark during the first week of September. But that was just the beginning. If you believe in fate you will like this tale.

The day after the car turned the century mark the transmission mount broke. No big deal. This happened before at around 50,000 miles. But more things started going wrong. The bezel that holds the power window, power locks, and power mirror controls (on the drivers door) popped out of place and would not go back.

I was expecting the panel to give me problems. A few months ago the power window switch stopped working. I ordered a replacement from the local Chevrolet dealership. It was only about $12. When I popped the bezel out and replaced the window switch I had trouble getting the bezel to stay in place. The retaining clips would keep slipping out of their slots. I bought new clips (2 at $0.93 each), but they slipped out too. Since I had the new ones I was less worried about breaking the old clips, so I used a set of needle-nose pliers to bend then to grip better.

This worked, but the bezel seemed like it was ready to pop out at a moments notice. There was far too much tension on it, and the tension was not to hold it properly in place.

My wife's car went into the shop, and she was going to need to drive my car. That's when the bezel popped out and would not go back in.

Next, I sold my 67 Camaro. I was offered $14,500 for the car from a guy in Sacramento. I had it listed at $15,000 non-negotiable. But he was paying $1,300 to have it delivered to him in California. I took his offer, and the rest as they say is history. The classic convertible is gone.

Back to the 93 Camaro. I was driving the family around and my wife reached for the stereo and the power/volume knob broke off. Later that day I was opening the doors from the drivers side and the power locks didn't work. I reach across the interior to use the passenger switch. It was loose, and did not work. Placing the passenger switch in its center "rest" position allowed the drivers power switch to work.

My wife wanted to listen to a CD she had, so I dropped it into the CD changer in the trunk of the 93 Camaro. After about 3 or 4 songs the CD player stopped playing.

What more could go wrong? As luck would have it the CD player came back on. It has gone out before, so it is not a problem I am concerned with. Even without counting the CD changer, that's still four broken pieces in the same week I turned the odometer over 100,000 miles AND I sell my classic 67 Camaro.

Is this fate? Wait there's more.

When I went to the auto parts store to get a transmission mount I had my oldest son work the break pedal and turn signals while I checks all the taillights. All were working except one of the two bulbs that are in the 3rd mount brake light. I picked up a replacement bulb with the transmission mount. However, a week later the left turn signal stopped working. One of the taillight bulbs went out... only a few days after I checked them all.

When the panel for the power windows, locks and mirror arrived at the dealer it was blank. What? Yes, it was a perfect piece of plastic that had no holes for any of the controls. Now, I can understand a part mix up, but why did they make this part in the first place. Power windows and power locks were STANDARD equipment on 93 Camaros. I do not know if the power mirror was standard. So there is no reason a blank panel should ever have been made. Also, the holes are molded in, so it would not be expected that you should cut the holes into the blank panel. They ordered another panel and it had all the proper holes to mount all the controls.

So, is all this fate? Is someone trying to tell me something? Is it time to buy a new car?

I had not planned on buying another car until after we take a trip to Florida next year. Now I am seriously thinking I should consider getting a new car now. Should I skip waiting for the 2005 Mustang and see what's available now?

I'll keep you posted.

In the mean time I fixed the turn signal with a new taillight bulb, replace both bulbs for the third brake light, replaced the power lock switch on the passenger's door, replaced the bezel that holds the power controls on the drivers door, replaced the volume knob to the stereo, and even replaced a burnt out bulb for one of the fog lights.

Wow, the car seems much better now. Maybe I should finally take the time to replace the EMAP thing on the intake manifold so I can get the "Service Engine Soon" light to go out. And the tires could use a balancing. Then the car would be as good as new.

We'll see!