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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Code Blue - Vehicle Down!

If my van was a dog, it would be 88 years old! That explains a lot of things!

I have a 2002 GMC Savannah conversion van, fully loaded. Because we have a large family, and travel with our children and their sports, it’s ideal. The luxury of our van has made life, the long trips, and the regular riding around more comfortable.

As a young van, it had a few hiccups, nothing I call major.

In the past few years, as the vehicle has matured, we’ve had to visit the mechanic for a little maintenance. Lately, I’ve wanted to kick it in the gas tank! I’ve also had thoughts of driving it over a cliff. Oh wait; there are NO cliffs where I live. There aren’t even hills, unless you count over passes. I don’t!

Last summer, we had to replace the engine. That was a major blow to the pocket. This year, the fourth week of March, the day before our Spring Break trip, it stopped! It caused me a tow from my road side assistance. It needed a distributor cap. About a $200+ blow. It didn’t stop our trip!

Two weeks later, second week of April, Mr. Husband drove it around all day running errands and such. Later in the day, it WOULDN’T START! This time it was the fuel pump! DANG! That was a $600+ blow. I had to use tow number two.

The very next week and a half, fourth week in April, my son warmed up the van, I jump in to take him to school. I put it in reverse, give it a little gas, and it goes dead, and not to be started again! I could have SCREAMED!

The third time, within a month that van has let me down. This time I used one of my daughter’s tows on her roadside assistance. When it got to the garage, it started! It would not act up for them. I picked it up the next morning and drove it for two days. You guessed it. That van refused to start again. Good thing, it was at home in the driveway.

The second week of May, we had it towed again, this time to a dealership. That’s three of four of my tows! The dealership said, it needs a fuel pump.

Fuel pump? I know they didn’t say fuel pump. The mechanic that put the fuel pump on picked it up. Not causing me, my last tow. He put another NEW fuel pump on. That was the end of May!

June 2, I drove it an hour away to my parent’s house, all over the city, and back home. Picked up my son, his friend and dropped them off at the gym. I then stopped by Sally’s beauty supply, and was inside for two minutes. You guessed it. It wouldn’t start AGAIN! That’s where it stayed for two days; the mechanic was out of town. I visited it periodically, trying to start it. Finally the mechanic did look at it, checked it and looked some more. This time, it needed a distributor. Remember, we put a distributor cap on in March. Now it needed the rest! This was a $300+ blow.

I picked it up last Friday, June 18. I told the mechanic, I didn’t want to see him for a very long time. I got in my van and drove the hell off. The next day we drove an hour away with the church, an outing for the youth. I had a van load of kids. Everything was just fine. Sunday, we drove the van to church, and after service we get in, and you guessed it. IT WOULDN’T START!!!!!

Monday, I went back to check on it. It started, and I drove it right back to the mechanic. He couldn’t believe it! I went home and got ready for work. Leaving in the Cadillac, I realized the air wasn’t on. I pull over to make sure I have coolant. That’s what I think Mr. Husband would do. There was plenty. I jumped back in the car, and tried to air again. There was a thump, and white smoke rolled from the vents. This can NOT be happening. I turned around, stopped and got a cream soda, and took me, BACK HOME!

Monday evening the mechanic called. “I’ve got you ready. This should be it!” He changed coils, something else, and replaced the crank shaft sensor. I got me keys, hopped into the driver’s seat and put the key in the ignition. IT WOULDN’T START!!!

With a crooked smile on my face, I walked back inside. “Did I give you the wrong key?” he asked.

“Nope, it wouldn’t start!” He almost fell on the counter. He then says we’ve changed everything but the computer. OMG NOOOOOOOOOO! As of today, Thursday, I’ve not heard from him.

My kids said get a new one. Are you kidding me! As we get older we take medicine for our ailments, and when needed we transfuse, and transplant, and remove. We will continue to patch, transplant and transfuse whatever is needed on that vehicle! It’s practically brand new, again!


mr. nichols said...

This post really resonated with me. You'll see why when you read my recent one. Like you, I get very attached to my car. It becomes an extension of me and as much as it is irritating when things don't work or go wrong, it's not something you can just dispose of like one-week old pizza. it has value, priceless value and it's hard to let go. believe me, i know.

La'Tonya Richardson said...

Mr. Nichols,
It's more than attachment! I'm about to pay that BLEEP off. I want to use that money to pay off other bills. It's a small house note. I want to know what it feels like to NOT have a vehicle note for a minute.

mr. nichols said...

yeah i feel you. i had paid off my car last year and then the incident happened. square one for me. not a fun place to be, financially or emotionally.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I am also assuming that your warranty expired 3 days before all this trouble began?

ACK! What a hassle! I'd begin to suspect the mechanic is "fixin'" it all right. Fixin' it so you need to come back every 5 days.

Anonymous said...

Girl, just be glad you don't live in TX. That is one of my greatest fears, for the car not to start or quit on the freeway. Oh, and you know kids think money grows on trees.

Sonia Nelson

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