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As of 2000, I am the proud owner of a 1987 Volkswagen Cabriolet. I bought it off Ebay at the attractive price of $462.99.

Looking down on my car

Update - May 17, 2005 - Suddenly Quiet

Something happened to my car on Sunday. I was parked on a decline, and I backed up quickly to avoid rolling forward. I heard a clunk when this happened, and I couldn't get the shifter in first gear. I drove away using second gear and wondering what I had done to my car. When I got home it was dark, so I just parked it and went inside. The car sat on Monday because I decided to walk to work.

I drove the car today, and things were still weird. The car sounds difference, especially when I start it. First gear is back -- actually I was able to get to first gear after a while back on Sunday. I turned off the radio so I could better listen to the car. On the drive home from work I think I figured out what was different: my car is just a lot quieter now than it used to be. My best guess is that one of the engine mounts has changed in some way. My car has been loud since I bought it in 2000, even though I replaced the whole exhaust past the manifold. A couple years ago I took my car to Kelly Imports, and they told me the noise was a bad water pump. While I won't claim that the water pump is perfect, I found it hard to believe all that noise and vibration was caused by the water pump, so I didn't have them do any work. The other thing that makes me suspect the engine mount is that now when I am cruising around 40 mph in 4th gear, I can tap the gas and trigger a loud clunk. I am guessing that clunk is the engine rocking back and forth. However, I must admit that I do not understand how the engine mounts work or how they are positioned.

I started to wonder if my exhaust was louder than usual, but then I realized that for once, the sound from the tailpipe was louder than the sound from the engine. The starter sounds totally foreign, but remarkably like my friend David's Cabriolet. As my friend Tricia would attest, the poor sound of my VW starting used to evoke sympathy for such an old car working so hard. Today it almost sounds like a normal car!

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