Thursday, October 22, 2009

One of 'those' weeks...

Based on the picture above, I betcha you can guess what this blog is gonna be about. So here's the deal. Saturday night I'm awakened by the sound of wretching in the bathroom next door. It's one of my daughters. She has the flu. H1N1 or a strain of the seasonal bug? We don't know. They treat every flu as if it is H1N1 these days.

Sunday morning I get up and decide to make a run to Walmart for such necessities as Lysol (by the gallon), 7 UP, chicken noodle soup, and tissues. I park, run in, grab my items, and run back out. And the Jimmy won't start.


I sit there for a few minutes trying to decide who to call, realize everyone else is in church, and debate walking all the way home with my bags. I give the key one last crank and lo and behold, it starts!

I drive straight home, pull into the garage, turn the key off, then try to start it again and, you guessed it, NADA! Not even a click. Silence, except for the sound of me beating my head against the steering wheel.

It's Sunday. No one to call in my tiny hamlet. I have to get to work the next morning. I call my brother after church. He brings over his battery charger. A battery replacement is something doable on a Sunday. Except for it wasn't the battery. Naturally.

Monday I drive my kid's car to work. Imagine driving to the Statehouse and parking in the legislative parking lot with a car that has stuffed animals on the dash and riding in the back.

I leave work early Monday, get home, pray by some miracle Jimmy starts, kicks a tire when it doesn't, and call the repair shop. I ended up having to call a tow truck and pay forty bucks to have the Jimmy towed three blocks. Sigh.

The repair shop couldn't get to the Jimmy until Tuesday which meant another day of driving the kid's car. Yesterday I walked to the repair shop to pick the Jimmy up. Fortunately I didn't have to replace the starter, but I did have to replace the wire leading to the starter. For now I'm back in business.

Have you had car trouble that's left you stranded at an inconvenient place or time? Any repair shop horror stories to share?

Today I'm taking my mum out for lunch to celebrate her upcoming birthday. We'll browse through some shops, as well. I'll have to browse. I spent all my #$@! money on a wrecker and a starter wire...

Hope you have a great day and can make it to the weekend!

~Bullet Hole~


Gillian Layne said...

All of my money seems to go to A) fixing the old truck to keep in running, or B) putting gas in the old truck because the kids never stop running.

Can I say a AAA card is worth it's weight in gold? Really, I've used one for almost 15 years now. Just one service call and you've more than redeemed your money, and you get discounts at movies, shoe stores, hotels, etc. But nothing beats the comfort of a 24 hour a day hotline to come get you and your car.

TerriOsburn said...

I'll second the AAA rec. It saved my butt more than once in the last few years. I let it go now but only because I have a new car with warranty and roadside assistance plus I have roadside with my insurance.

I can't even count the times I've gotten stranded by a vehicle. Couple years ago, my alternator died while I was driving. I was in an unfamiliar area, of course, and kept going as long as I could. It was interesting to watch things die one at a time. The lights and then the guages and eventually, the engine. LOL!

Drove every last drop of direct power out of that battery too. Three tows and almost $600 later, she was back on the road. Then a year later, her transmission went. Is it any wonder I got rid of that vehicle?

Becky LeJeune said...

Over the course of a year, my first car's battery died (don't they check those when you get your oil changed?) I blew a tire literally hours after having them all checked for our move cross-country (and my car had shitty sport rims that no one stocked tires for). When we got cross-country, my transmission was on the verge of dying, something I'd been trying to get them to diagnose for a number of years at that point. I replaced the brake system and was then in need of a new windshield before the check engine light came on and never went off. (Everything but the windshield fixed by this time).

With an estimate of yet another over $1,000 repair I finally gave up and went car shopping thinking I would have a few years without inconvenient days without a car whilst waiting for mechanics to get to it and maybe, even though out the money for the new car, not be out thousands for one that's on it's final leg (though everything in that old car had to be new again at some point, right?).

New car obtained, I ended up spending a week back and forth at the mechanic for a loud squealing noise my car was making that mysteriously disappeared every time anyone but me came near. Yeah, all I can say is that if you think something is wrong, stay on their ass! My 2 month old car had a broken line that was leaking steering fluid. Not long after, I had 3 separate recalls on the car. I'm thinking if you pay as much as you do for a vehicle, you should at least be able to drive home with the knowledge that's been put together correctly.

catslady said...

It just happened to my daughter who is away at college. She went to a local Walmart to get art supplies and it wouldn't start. It was evening and starting to rain but I must say many people stopped to help her. She had already called her boss for help and they were able to get it charged and she got a new battery right there at Walmart. Glad it wasn't the starter or that she was stranded somewhere lonely. She does have triple A but many times that takes a while. Luckily it all worked out.

Kathy Bacus said...

I agree with you on AAA, Gillian, and I'm just about ready to enroll. Since I am now commuting 45 minutes to and from work rather than being close enough to walk, it makes a big difference in terms of peace of mind knowing you can get a service truck out when you need it.

Of course, as a trooper in rural Iowa, I also remember the long waits folks with AAA had during particularly bad winters.

Definitely something to think about.


Kathy Bacus said...

Oh, buddy, Terri, been-there-done-that with the alternator. I also had the U-joints go out of my Jimmy when I was driving through the Post Office to drop off mail. My front tires literally were at a 45 degree slant! HUGE repair bill, of course. Plus the tow. And the humiliation of blocking the mailbox drive-through. Sigh.


Kathy Bacus said...

Sounds like you were ready for a new car, Becky, but isn't it exasperating to bite the bullet, buy another vehicle, and start having problems right away?

And I swear there are gremlins in our vehicles designed to make noise when we're there and stop when we drive into the repair shop so the shop guys can give us that 'another ditzy broad' look. I had this happen last week with my new fridge. It makes groaning, belching sounds that drive you up a wall. I call the place I bought it, the guy comes out, and the #@! refrigerator won't make a sound that isn't normal. I know the guy thought I was imagining things. He'd been gone an hour when the appliance started burping and groaning again. Arrrgh!


Kathy Bacus said...

I'm glad your daughter had folks willing to help her out, catslady. Good thing that particular Walmart carried car batteries. Sadly, ours doesn't have an automotive component.

I'm just hoping my battery (a 75 month battery purchased 22 months ago) lasts through what may be another brutal winter here in the Heartland.


Shel said...

My brakes are on their last legs. I kept hoping to survive until November, but no such luck. It's going to the shop tomorrow or Saturday. Luckily I can take the train to work most days... Wish me luck!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I feel for you. We used to have an Explorer that was about 5 years old at the time we owned it. It had a tricky battery connection that used to go out at the most inconvenient times - including the morning I went into labor with my first child!

And towing insurance was always something I never minded paying :)