Thursday, April 19, 2012

What's worse - a car that won't stop or a car that won't go?

Let me tell - both are bad and expensive.  A few weeks ago, I had my car in the shop because it wouldn't go into Park or turn off. It was like "Unstoppable" without Denzel Washington.  (And anything without Denzel Washington can't be all that great.) Today, my car is back in the shop because it won't go.

As usual, we had a busy day - swim practice, play rehearsal, basketball practice, with a stop at Best Buys and plans to play tennis thrown in for variety. Luckily, I had traded carpool days for play rehearsal.

As I was driving with two of the kids, the CheckCharging System and AdvCheck Off lights came on, along with the icon of the car swerving on the road. I don't know much about cars, but I do know that those are not good lights. So I did what I do whenever a light flashes on my dashboard - I hit the "Reset" button. The swervy car light went off, but then came back on. Yes, I was very surprised that "Reset" did not in fact, return my car to normal operating condition. I continued on wondering what the lights meant.

As I turned the corner, I quickly found out. They mean: your car is now shutting off.  Yes, right now. Regardless of the fact that you are turning across a very busy street at 5 pm on a rainy afternoon. Now.

Next lesson of the afternoon - it is nearly impossible for a woman, or at least this one, to push a full-size SUV out of an intersection. Thanks to the 4 men who jumped out of their cars and moved me and my kids out of the middle of the street safely to the corner.

And then the fun begins. Broken down car, rain, rush hour, annoyed drivers, and bored kids.  Wish I had a drink to go along with all the excitement.

A note for those who are honking and yelling - no, I didn't plan for my car to break down here in your way. Yes, I know I can't "park" here. Yes, I do wish I could move out of your way. Sorry I didn't find a better place to breakdown. Yes, I know what emergency flashers are, they went off, probably has something to do with all the power going out in my car.  I'd roll down my window to wave you past, but my windows are powered, too. Maybe it's a white towel you're supposed to hang off your car to signal some distress. Sorry, all I have is a red Michael's shopping bag, maybe folks could take the hint. And yes, I am chatting on the phone - calling roadside assistance and every tow truck company in the neighborhood. One should be here within the hour.

The kids have found someway to entertain themselves with the stuff in the backseat. Unfortunately that includes playing toss with a tennis ball, fencing with an umbrella, and making the happy family figurines fly into space and crash into the sky, i.e. the roof of my car. Too bad I just had the car detailed or they'd probably have dinner stashed back there, too.

The tow truck has showed up and the guy jumped the battery. The car started and I was ready to go home.  "Are you sure?" The tow truck guy asked, skeptical of my plan to drive merrily home.  He suggested that I go directly to the shop.  But in all my car wisdom, I thought I'd go home and figure it all out in the comfort of my own home (or pass this off to my husband for him to figure out).  I was sure - my car is running, I'm going home.  Tow truck guy suggested he follow me (I think he suspected I wasn't going to make it).

I buckled up to make a U-turn to head home.  And I realized that although the car was running, I couldn't roll up my window. Or turn on my headlights. Or turn the steering wheel.  Even the little swervy car icon wasn't blinking.   I guess its back to the shop.

At least the kids enjoyed the excitement of watching a car loaded onto a tow truck and riding up front.

(written to the sound of honking horns)

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Classic!! Oh my goodness. Thank God you all were safe. Next time listen to the tow truck guy.