Thursday, June 1

Court Jester of the Road

Since I fancy myself a soccer-mom type, I have a van. I wanted a van from the moment I had an infant seat carrying that new little bundle. It just seemed family-like and much more convenient. The day I brought it home, you'd have thought it was a corvette the way I acted. It had the features I wanted - opening doors on both sides, bucket seats in the second row (rather than bench). The bonus was that it was my #1 color choice - Patriot Blue. It was also only 10 months old with 19,000 miles on it as a demo car. Life was great. I bee-bopped down the road with my little tykes in tow, each getting out of their respective sides of the van, separated by an aisle so they couldn't argue about who was on whose side, and life was just great. That is, until last summer.

I got in the car. It purred to life, but when I went to back out, I couldn't turn the steering wheel. Car gets towed, power steering belt broken. Things went well for a few weeks, until I headed with my kids out to the state park in Timbuktu. As I'm curving around the back roads leading in, van won't steer around the curves. Barely make it to the parking lot. Attempt to call repair shop failed because there is no cell phone service in the deep woods. Pay phone helps track down a wrecker to tow car again. Power steering hose leak. Things were repaired several times, then other things broke. On and on it went throughout the summer for a total of $1000 in little repairs. When hurricane Katrina hit, Hero Guy suddenly decided that our van had been the victim of a flood somewhere and we had been saddled with the results.

At the end of the summer, things seemed peachy and I even went on a couple of short day trips within a couple of hours of home. Then in July, I took a 4 hour trip down to the City. In February, I took a 5 hour trip to DC. Things have gone well, until today.

I was driving along, minding my own business, when I had the sensation that my foot had slipped off the gas pedal; a momentary loss of power that resumed. 30 seconds later the 'check engine' light came on, and from past experience I knew to pop into my friendly repair shop that was close by. On the way there, I realized that although I was driving 40 mph, the RPM gauage was showing 4,000. Even a car-dummy like me identified that as 'a sign'. Twenty minutes and one exam by the vehicle gynecologist revealed that indeed, something bad happened. Who knows what, but he's fixing it.

Car repair guy lectured Hero Guy about buying a new truck instead of getting me a new vehicle. Hero Guy groaned that indeed, we've gotten a 'flood car'. I decided that next time I accidentally enter my van's twin, I'm going to hot-wire it and leave them with the surprise they deserve for not locking their vehicle.

4 of Your THINKS:

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness Jennifer, that's the last thing one wants to hear when one has the perfect auto of their dreams. I'm so sorry and hope the damage is not toooo bad. :o(

- Debbie Stewart

Anonymous said...

Bummer!! I also wanted the whole mini van thing due to wanting to be the ultimate soccor Mom. I am now over that and I'm so tired of the mini van stage and want a nice Tahoe instead. Good luck with the van thing.

eph2810 said...

Yeah - cars spell trouble - especially if you buy a used one. Sometimes the miles don't mean anything, because you don't know how the previous owner drove the the car. I am just glad that you were okay. Thanks for stopping by :)
Blessings on your Friday.

Anonymous said...

You sound like you've been struck with the our luck. We have horrible luck with cars! However, our van has been doing very well, except to the occasional dead battery due to my leaving the interior lights on. However, if our van died I'd be out to buy another ASAP because there's nothing better than a van for a family of 5 on long trips. abb