Bad car karma

I've lived in Cleveland for a year and a half, and during that time I've had to have suspension repairs performed on two different cars.

When I lived in Chicago, there was a period of three years during which I got hit every twelve months. I got paranoid, so I bought a car I thought would be indestructible: a BMW with all-wheel drive, traction control, and stability control. It was rock solid and had more airbags than Congress. During my first year in Cleveland, I had to pay $1500 to have its axles replaced or some equally ludicrous thing. The car had other reliability issues, and I felt like it wasn't worth the money, so I traded down.

I've been driving a Mazda3 since September. I just had both front wheel bearings replaced. It cost $825. Living on the East Side, I have no easy access to highways, so I'm doomed to commute crosstown on these motheaten roads.

To be fair, I may have bad car karma. I am the veteran of seven moving blowouts. Nobody I've ever talked to has had more than one or two. This is the legacy of a youth spent driving beaters that were bought for cash. And on the other hand, I may just be hard on cars. I don't speed excessively, but I do accelerate hard, brake hard, and utilize space in lanes that others aren't using. Now I know why people leave some lanes unused: they're bumpy.