Sunday, March 30, 2008

Car trouble

Lori and went to a friends 40th surprise birthday party yesterday. It's normally a 30 minute ride, but this one took a bit longer as the last mile was on foot. About 20 minutes into the ride I stopped at a traffic light and when the light turned green the car accelerated VERY, VERY slowly and then picked up speed normally. At each light the same thing happened until the engine finally died. I managed to pull the car up on the grass. I looked under the hood and under the car, but nothing obvious looked wrong. I got the presents from the back seat and Lori and I walked the last mile to the house.

Went we got to the house everyone was busy setting up for the party. I got a phone book and looked up a repair shop close by in the yellow pages and found one that would look at the car right away if I could get it there before they closed. I have an AARP road side assistance plan so called them for a tow. The woman I spoke to was probably from India, because communicating with her was not easy. I had to repeat or spell everything several times before she understood where my car was located and where I wanted them to tow it. I held on while she contacted the towing service and told me to wait by the car and the tow truck would be there under 1 hour and 10 minutes.

I wrote down a few phone numbers I figured I need and hoofed it back to the car. It was a little over 30 minutes until the truck showed up. I signed a receipt and the guy loaded the car on the flat bed. We were at the repair shop in a few minutes.

They took the car into the shop right away and looked at the car right away as promised. They hooked up a battery tester to the battery and diagnosed it was shot and had a bad cell. They told me there was a 90% chance it was just the battery. The girl replaced it less than a 1/2 hour. The car started right up, but the alternator was charging the battery. Bummer dude, but all the part stores are closed or stop deliveries 45 minutes ago. I can't get the alternator until Monday.

Great, I'm 20 miles from home and no car. I know, I'll call for a rental car. No luck, because they all closed at 1:00 on a Saturday, except for the airport locations. Crap, the closest on is even farther than my house.

I know, we'll call one of Lori;s kids to pick us up later. My son has a broken collar bone and can't drive. Her daughter is at a party 30 miles away and won't drive after drinking. And her son could pick us up now (about 6:00), but will be going out later with his girl friend.

We didn't want to leave, so decided to take a cab home after the party.

The party was fun and there was lots of home made snacky foods and plenty of gin & tonic to drown my sorrows in. I knew I didn't have to drive home, so drank my fair share of booze as did Lori.

Lori and I were chatting with different people, so I don't know how much she drank, but went I found her, she was toasted! Time to go, so they called a cab for me. We waited by the front door and outside on the porch for some fresh air.

The longer we waited for the taxi, the more Lori was crashing. The cab finally showed up. She told me this morning it was touch and go keeping it down in the cab, but she made it without incident. The cab ride was $43.

I have to take a cab back to pick up my car tomorrow, so it will be another $43. That and the cost of the repair and that is going be one very expensive repair.

But such is life, right! At least I didn't have to pay for the tow to the shop. Thank you AARP!


lime said...

oh man, what a bummer. glad you both got where you needed to be safely and it's not a bigger repair than that though.

Blondie... said...

I have so been there when the car problems steamroll you! At least its not something super still sucks though.
I would have been lit like
Cheers to y'all and I hope you get your car back soon.

Patti said...

Car troubles do suck. You have a good attitude about things though Tony!

Samantha Alice said...

But you were safe the whole time, and can afford to fix the car! Yay!

jillie said...

I can sum it up for you in two words...CARS SUCK!

But it sounds as if you had a great time at the party despite everything else. Glad Lori didn't upchuck, it would have probably costed you!!