Can things just stop breaking down?
When it was time to pick up my daughter from work, I decided to take my mother’s car. It hasn’t been driven since I brought it home from the garage, after a near miss with a deer. To recap, I swerved to avoid a deer in the road and ended up going in – then out – the ditch. I was able to drive almost all the way home before I had to pull over because the front passenger tire had gone flat. While at the garage, they found the tire was fine, with no leaks, so it looked like the bead was broken, allowing air to slowly leak out as I drove. Telling them what happened, they made sure to check under the car and saw no signs of damage from going through the ditch. The tire was done, plus a wheel alignment, and that was it.
I wasn’t going to take it out during our deep freeze, but it’s warmer now and I figured it was time to finally get it back on the road.
Along the way, there were a couple of odd things I noticed. One was a sound from the engine that I don’t remember being there before. I think it’s coming from the serpentine belt. There was also an odd “kachunk” from the back every now and then, but I had no idea what that could be. Everything outwardly looked fine.
Once at my daughter’s work, though, I sent an email to my brother, telling him about it and asking about the possibility of him coming out and just taking the car for a spin and listening to the noises.
Then my daughter got off work and we started home.
We were just pulling up to the town’s single traffic light when another noise started.
I was already pulling into the right turn lane when it started, so I was well positioned to pull straight into a gas station at the corner and stop the car.
I found this.
Well, not quite this. I took this photo after I moved the car to where there was an air pump. By then, the tire was completely loose from the rim. I could stick my fingers into the tire.
Now, I could have done the whole CAA thing, but we were in town, and there is a garage I’ve been to before, just half a block away.
So I messaged my husband, and he and our other daughter came to get us in our van.
It’s the furthest he’s driven a vehicle in years, since his back injury.
The car will stay at the gas station; I left my contact info in the convenience store, so no one would think it was abandoned. I tried to move it away from the air pump, which I never drove all the way to in the first place, so others could get to it and use it.
No garage is open on Sunday, so I will call on Monday (or leave a message on Sunday) and ask them to take care of the vehicle – and where the keys are.
Since it’s going to be in a garage anyhow, I’m going to tell them about the noises I’m hearing and, after the tire is fixed, asked if they can try and find the source of the problems and, if they find it, give me an estimate for the repairs.
Taking care of my mother’s car is turning out to be more of a burden than I expected it to me.
However, we have much to be grateful for.
The plan for last weekend had been for me to use her car to drive my daughter to work in town, then drive to the town my mother lives in to pick her up, the drive to my sister’s farm in another town, on a day that ended up storming. This could have happened on the highway in the middle of a snow storm, instead of in town, right next to a gas station, which is a very short distance from a garage. We were safe at all times.
That doesn’t stop me from stressing out. With having just replaced the hot water tank, knowing we need a new well pump, knowing we’ll need to do more maintenance on our own van (it sounds like either another bearing needs replacing, or a CV joint), all on top of things like the long list of upgrades and repairs needed on the house, this was really the last thing I needed. Taking care of my mother’s car was supposed to mean also having a reliable back up vehicle is something went wrong with our own vehicle.
It’s not working out that way.
So while, logically, I can recognize and be grateful for how well things actually turned out, the physical stress of it is doing things like exacerbating the mystery pain in my side, making it difficult for me to sit up straight or breath properly. My brain and my body are not in sync right now.
Tomorrow, my daughter has a short shift. That means I’ll be staying in town for the few hours. I’ll be able to check on the car, at least, but I want to be driving our own vehicle as little as possible. As for the car, the gas station isn’t open 24 hours but it does have security cameras, and its closed for only about 4 hours, so there will be people about. Still… it’s not ideal.
I really didn’t need this again.