November was a vehicular nightmare for us as far as maintenance and upkeep goes. I already mentioned this is a geriatric fleet we drive. The 'youngest' one of the bunch is a 2001 F250 and the other two are 1998 and 1996 models. Last month we put two new tires and a rebuilt transmission in the 1998 and cv boots (both sides) on the 1996 ...it was a $2000 month. We are only 3 days into 'this month' and we're looking at another mechanical problem.
I had a list of town errands this morning and decided to take the F250 to give it a little exercise. I guess it was jealous of all the attention the other vehicles have been receiving lately ...it stalled on me just going down the road. Fortunately, I was on a little residential side road. It started right back up when I turned the key, but then stalled out again within seconds. It's a big truck, extended cab, and when the engine quits, so do the power brakes and power steering. That's not a problem I wanted to deal with on the highway so I called Yeoldfurt. I was already in town so we decided to have it towed to the shop just a mile or two up the road.
I have the phone number for the wrecker driver saved in my phone. The wrecker driver, Trey, is a local guy and we're on a first name basis. That's one of the perks to driving old vehicles ...you get to be on a first name basis with the wrecker driver ...and the mechanic. I told him where I was and which vehicle it was this time and he said could be there in 20 minutes. I called Yeoldfurt back to let him know and he said he was on his way too.
Trey turned onto the side street where I was stranded and I flashed my lights to let him know where I was. As he was positioning his truck, I tried to start my truck again ...it started right up. I left it running and told Trey what it had been doing. He said if I wanted to try to drive it to the shop, he would follow me. I said, 'Okay, but I'll pay you anyway.' He laughed and said, 'Not if you roll in on your own, you won't ...let's see if it will make it.' Did I mention he's a good guy?
Half a block on this side street, I had to make a left turn at a traffic light onto the state highway. It's only 40mph on that stretch of highway and no more turns except into the shop parking lot, so it was worth a try. I had to wait for the green light before turning onto the highway and only made it about 100 yards before the truck stalled. I had a little momentum and was on a section of the highway with literally NO SHOULDER ...so instead of hitting the brakes, I dropped it in neutral, gave it some gas and turned the key. It fired up right away and I goosed it up the hill. We only made it another 100 yards or so and it stall again. This time, I was right next to a big gravel parking lot on my right and faced with crossing a major highway intersection up ahead. I didn't want to push my luck any further and cranked it into the gravel parking lot. We tried but Trey ended up having to tow me the couple of blocks. He only charged me $30 and said it sounds to him like a clogged fuel filter which is a relatively cheap fix ...I sure hope he's right.