Saturday, December 3, 2011

Always Something

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 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 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 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 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 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. 


  1. Yep it's always something. One of my "new" used tires is losing air already, but slow. I'm sure the tire guy will fix it though, he's one of those good guys too.

  2. Thank God for the good guys ...and thank God I married one of the good guys!

    When I got stranded, I still had three or four stops on my errand list. Yeoldfurt had a list of his own he was working on at home, but he dropped everything and came to my rescue. He trundled me around without complaint and even bought me lunch while we were out. In spite of all the car problems lately, we're thousands ahead than if we took on a car payment. Along with a car payment comes higher insurance rates too. Yup, 'it's cheaper to keep 'er' does not just apply to spouses. A lot of vehicles fall into that category too ...ours do.

    Merry Christmas, Mayb ...have a good evening.

    : )

  3. If you get by with $30.00 you will be lucky/blessed.

    Right Truth

  4. @Mamma Bear...
    Well that will be a Thanksgiving to remember, won't it! I'm glad it's behind you and hope none of it was too expensive to fix.

    That's the lowest tow bill I've ever paid. If my old truck had made it all the way to the shop, he wouldn't have let me pay him at all. Small town and the wrecker driver is a good guy. He drives a monster big wrecker's a dolly, not a tow, so it was all just out of the goodness of his heart. It's been rough lately with the vehicles, but I am very blessed.

    : )

  5. We've had our share of stalled out, broken down and won't starts. No fun. This has been one expensive year for us with having the replace our septic pump, it was only 5 years old...our desktop computer, it was 3 years old...and the worst of it we bought a brand new SUV and the transmission went out the first week. TRUE, every word! They replaced the transmission, but I have been on pins and needles that something else will happen to it. Hang in there girl and make sure you back Trey some cookies!

  6. We're hanging in, Joycee. Baking some cookies for Trey is a great idea. I think I will!