Francis now has all kinds of new parts; parts that make the braking happen. This is a good thing. It turns out that almost every part of the brakes that connected to the wheels had...issues. Many issues. Cylinders when away, discs went away, various pads, rotors...expensive issues.
Still--fixing these problems on Francis was way cheaper than buying a different Focus of the same year and similarly equipped. (Car Guy sold Francis to me WAY below the blue book value. Because Car Guy is magical. Also because he bought a Nissan and the dealer threw Francis in--meaning Francis didn't cost him all that much, either.)
The odd part is that the brakes never FELT bad. I was purposefully looking for a car that had very good brakes, because the Taurus' brakes were always less-than-adequate. It was as if the brakes Ford put on the Taurus had discs the size of quarters. They had as much an effect on stopping the car as a mosquito has in stopping a charging elephant. The Focus' brakes felt great when I test drove it. But now they feel way more awesome. Francis' brakes are MASSIVELY IMPROVED, not just a little bit. So bad brakes on a Focus must be 10,000,000 times better than good brakes on a Taurus. So there's that.
Here's hoping that all the brake repair that went into Francis means his brakes won't randomly give out on me. I've had that happen way too many times. I've even gone so far as to warn The Brother never to let me drive HIS car, because the brakes will certainly fail while I am behind the wheel. That happens when I drive cars. I will hit the brakes and think, "Again?" I do this instead of thinking, "Dear God, please let me live," which I imagine is what most people think when their brakes go out. It happens so often I keep a bottle of brake fluid in my cars at all times. Most people do that with a bit of oil, maybe some antifreeze...but not me. If I'm taking a trip in a car that isn't mine, I take the brake fluid with me. Because you never know.
It's a good thing I've had plenty of brake-failure practice. Considering the sheer volume of times I've had brakes fail, it's miraculous that I've only had one brake-related accident.
But practice with brake failure still doesn't make it fun to hurtle forward through an intersection, clutching the wheel as if wheel-clutching will improve stopping power. I'd really rather never have to deal with that again. Let's hope this massive brake repairdeals with any of those problems for a few years.
So, brakes fixed. Now let's see what other plot twists this summer throws at me. Will I be smote from on high? Will the library explode? Will I be washed away in a cataclysmic flood? Stay tuned and find out.
Meanwhile, tonight at the library I'm throwing a birthday party for Harry Potter. The kids will be making wands using this tutorial. It's a fun craft and a pretty easy one--you should try it!