$70 later I was at the car dealership. They took the car. At this point I am sure that it is a problem with my timing belt. This is how my Eclipse died. I leave the dealership and wait for the call. The call comes and confirms my fear: it is the timing belt. The head is warped and the valves are bent. I am looking at a $3500 repair. Then the dealer throws me for a loop. Since I have followed their recommended maintenance plan and the timing belt replacement is recommended at 105,000 miles, it is covered under the warranty. They are fixing it at their expense. My car has 97,300 miles on it as it sits at the dealer. It looks like the little blue guy may yet live.
On the way to work this morning, my Beetle died. There was no fanfare. I was stuck in traffic on Cooper Street, just idling in front of the Pier 1 by the mall when all of a sudden the engine cut off. There was no bang. There was just the slightest sound of metal striking metal. I tried for a second to get it to start. Traffic started to move around me. I hopped out and pushed the car into the turning lane. A pedestrian ran over and gave me a hand. We managed to push the car off cooper a bit. I proceeded to call the tow truck.