Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Noooo! Not Again!

Today I will conclude the writings of my recent trip to Bend. I know to some people that is a trip they can do every week and it doesn’t bother them a bit. I’m a bit more of a home body so anything further than a hundred miles raises my anxiety level.

This is mostly because I don’t trust the vehicle I’m driving. I don’t care what the vehicle is or how old or new it is I always seem to encounter a problem on the road. Once a couple years ago we were going to a horse show in Albany, Or and we had a tire blow out, but the problem with an all wheel drive vehicle you can’t just replace one tire, you need to replace them all.

Last fall I went to a conference in Newport, and that took out my power steering.

When I was driving cross country to move out here my thermostat got stuck in the open position. The car ran cool all the way here which means the heat never worked. Leaving Rock Springs at 5am when it was 12 degrees out wasn’t a good idea.

On a recent trip to Colton my check engine light came on, but that was because the kid at the filling station didn’t tighten up the fuel cap.

Every once in a while when I’m on the highway and I smell gasoline, I immediately think I have a leak. Or if I smell antifreeze I think my head gasket is blown. Why can't I smell something good while I'm driving? Something like cookies...

So here I am returning from Bend and my check engine light comes on at Kah-Nee-Ta. I'm a 190 miles from home. AAA will tow 100 miles for free, and I feel better the nearer I get to Portland. This time my transmission seems to be slipping. I drove all the way home. The shop I go to tells me that I should really panic when the light starts flashing; it didn't. As it ends up the problem is a throttle arm switch, a $210 repair.

I’m starting to have an aversion to travel. I wonder how others constantly travel and get away with it. I would like to go somewhere just once and not have a problem.


Blogger Hahn at Home said...

While not yet an aversion--I've arranged my city life so I don't have to go more than a few miles to get anywhere.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

A flashing MIl means "severe misfire".
My throttle proving switch also stopped working recently. Amazingly, it happened as I was driving up my driveway.
It was just sticking. A couple of shots of WD-40 and has worked fine since.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

I don't recommend it with all of your other car problems, but if you stick cookie dough on your engine manifold, your car might then smell like cookies. If you can mind the grease and grime, you would have a snack by the time you got anywhere, too.

They tell me I live in my own fantasy world. At least my fantasy world smells like cookies... :P

8:03 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I completely understand why you are developing an aversion to travel.

When I was a kid, my dad was in the military and we drove everywhere as we couldn't afford to fly. He also bought junkers because he couldn't afford anything new.

So you put a junker on a trip from Brooklyn, NY to Ohatchee, AL and you get at least one problem between here and there. There were times when we killed cars on the side of the road. A Volkswagen Rabbit stationwagon died a horrible death once with two adults, three kids, two cockatiels, a german shepherd, two pekingnese, and a twin size bed and mattress set between NY and AL.

Ahhh... good memories.

I couldn't travel by car anywhere for years after I left home without being just sick to my stomach.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

I've shared before that while I was growing up, my parents would take us for cross-country driving trips in a VW Van. Once all the way to Maine and back. I don't recall we ever had any vehicle problems.

But I wouldn't recommend driving through the badlands in summer without air conditioning and 2 bored kids. lol.

9:37 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Lori, unfortunately I am often called where it is easiest to drive, other wise I would fly or go by rail. I live about 7 miles from town, and that is a bit of a walk...

Gearhead, I did think it was the transmission because the RPM were constantly going up and down like it was slipping.

I like the way you think, Jaggy.

Sharon, it is taking a toll on me. I should get a junker just to see if my chances of success would be better.

Walt, thanks for the reminder. My AC compressor is shot in the truck and it will cost 1K to fix it. I'll have to start using the other car on warm days. That's another thing, I have yet to have a car where the air conditioner was reliable.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Well, I'd drive it until something smokes. But, that's just me. (and you KNOW how that is working out for me)

7:29 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Syd, being without your car for a month is a hint, but you have always pushed the limit of everything. I hope you get your car back today because with the rental fee you are paying you could buy a new one.

8:31 AM  

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