Friday, July 18, 2008

Car trouble

Ack, my car. Ack, ack, ack.

Took William and his DeeDee to the zoo this morning, and that went well. William rode on the merry-go-round

and visited all his animal buddies

and learned how long a giraffe's tongue is.

Then, satisfied and sweaty, we got in the car and headed home.

Except that, just a couple miles down the road, the power steering on my car went out. And then the air-conditioning. And the brakes seemed shuddery. As I attempted to continue turning onto the interstate, I felt like I was fighting my own car just to get it to make a turn. I'd need to start lifting weights if I had to do that on a regular basis. I haven't driven a car without power-assisted steering since I learned to drive on my dad's old '66 Plymouth Valiant. Her name was Betsy, and she presented her own set of unique driving and maintenance challenges, but at least you knew to expect them. No one ever expect the Spanish Inquisition, and no one really expects their seven-year-old Japanese car to have a major freak-out on the entrance ramp to I-65.

As the vents began blowing hot, sticky air onto us, William began objecting to his lack of snacks. Diane gamely tried to pass snacks over the seat to him, but he just got more and more upset. And red-faced and sweaty. As did I. We prayed our way home to our house, and I got on the phone with the Mazda dealer. I tearfully summoned Aaron to come over and stay home with William, and bless his heart, he got here almost before I hung up the phone. Shortly thereafter, Kevin the AAA guy picked me up at our house and towed the car to the dealer.

Long story short, two engine belts were completely blown, as was the radiator. It could have been much worse, however. The tow-truck driver and the techs at the dealership were astounded that I managed to drive so far with my car in that state. Not that they would have recommended it. Oh, no no no no. But they were still a little amazed. What I know about cars wouldn't even fill up a whole blog entry, but suffice it to say that big bad things could have happened and didn't. Big bad expensive things. Gasket-type things. I don't know what a head gasket is, but the technician was very solemn when he told me that it could have blown and if it had, that would have been All Bad. It's not good what happened, but I understand now that it could have been so much worse. I'm still bracing for the ultimate bill, which will arrive when they finish installing the new radiator on Monday.

Yes, that's the other ack-y thing. I have to survive 'til at least Monday, maybe Tuesday, without a car. Luckily, Mom's coming up with her car tomorrow. Hurray! She thought when I grew up and moved out, that she could finally hang up her chauffeur's hat for good. Ha ha. You never really get rid of your kids or being responsible for them somehow, do you? Better get that hat out of storage, Mom.


JenFen said...

So glad you made it home safe and you didn't do any additional damage in the process of getting there. Kind of scary. Good luck the next few days without a car.

JenFen said...

So glad you made it home safe and you didn't do any additional damage in the process of getting there. Kind of scary. Good luck the next few days without a car.

Anonymous said...

The zoo was lots of fun! William seemed especially interested in the pygmy alligators and the bamboo grove. We had to sit on three benches made from bamboo - we'll have to try to find him a liitle bamboo bench for his backyard.
The ride home was a little stressful, but we made it!

With love,