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And yet another - non-poem ...
but - a true story that had to be told ...
© - Tom Hyland - 4-12-10
Past Friday evening, about 8:15 PM -
Came off Route 70 onto 695 - Baltimore Beltway -
No Warning - No Whistles - No Bells -
Doing about 60 mph in second lane -
CAR COMPLETELY DIED!
Engine Light popped ON -
Luckily, slow lane was clear -
Right Blinker on - coasted to shoulder safely.
Was heavy traffic - thank God I got over!
A very serious accident could have occurred otherwise!
Checked - gas, oil, water - all Okay.
Starter turned, but not engine.
Engine light constantly on!
Called insurance company for Tow.
Called niece to pick me up.
21st Century Insurance program worked well.
Two computerized Update phone calls received.
Car delivered to Service place around 11 PM.
Saturday, niece and I went there - Place was CLOSED!
Checked everything again - nothing obvious -
Starter cranked, but serpentine belt didn’t turn?
Thought maybe the air filter might be clogged.
Removed it - a tad dirty - banged it on the ground -
Cleaned it a bit - then put it in the trunk.
Bernie cranked - I squirted starter fluid - Nothing!
Finally - we gave up - locked the car up -
Left a note for the mechanic -
Hid the key - and left.
Bernie took me home - the other side of town.
Nothing I could do, but wait until Monday.
My best guess was that maybe the Timing Belt broke?
Ole Silver did have about Ninety-Seven Thousand miles on him.
Could that be it?
Called Louie, the Full-Time driver from the Pharmacy.
As luck would have it, his ‘company car’ was broke also!
Called Wayne, one of the Owners, relayed the situation.
Plan - Louie would pick me up Monday morning.
Louie showed up in his historic ‘Stang.’
He drove Wayne’s car, and I drove John’s.
First call - from Ed, shop owner -
Yep - it was the timing belt!
They had to check further,
To make sure no valves were damaged.
Second call - valves okay, but water pump needed.
Third call - one motor mount needed - Damn!
By the end of the day Ed called with the Total -
$888.98 = DOUBLE DAMN!
I did not have that kind of money!
Wayne said: “We’ll work something out.”
He lived in Catonsville, near the shop -
And took me there, wrote a company check -
I thanked him and paid the bill.
Ole Silver kicked right over - and off we went!
Stopped over Bernie’s and had dinner.
Filled her in with the ‘Rest of The Story.’
On the way home that night, something was wrong!
The engine kept racing at almost 3,000 Rpm’s!
When I tried to slow down at toll-booth -
Had to ride brakes hard, and shift into Neutral -
Rpm’s then wavered between 3,500 to 4,000 -
Something seriously wrong!
Made it home - pulled into driveway -
Turned off ignition - Re-started -
Engine racing at 3,000 Rpm’s!
Tuesday morning, called Ed at shop -
“I am not a Happy Camper!”
Bring it in, so mechanic can check.
This trip was the SCARIEST in my life!
Around the beltway, heavy with traffic -
My foot was OFF the gas pedal, and yet doing 60!
Gained speed to 65, going downhill -
Had to ride brakes - they were Smoking as I pulled in!
Made me think of the Toyota Guy in recent news!
Tom, the mechanic who did the job rushed right over.
I popped the hood - he said: “Start it!”
He unplugged some electric sensor gizmo -
And Bingo! Silver dropped to an idle!
Then, he removed the air filter cover -
And removed the hose to the carbeuretor -
Reached inside and pulled out a grayish-white Clump.
There’s your problem! Your BAD!
The little rectangular foam filter gizmo -
Had been sucked into the carb opening -
And was starving the air from entering.
My removing the air filter on Saturday had Caused this!
In five minutes or less, this guy had Diagnosed -
The problem - and FIXED it!
Now I was a ‘Happy Camper.’
DUMB! But HAPPY!
Moral of this story?
A little bit of knowledge is sometimes Dangerous!
My hard-headed desire to get my car running -
Caused a worse problem to occur.
Ed told me that they took my car out twice -
For a test-run on Route 70 -and it ran fine!
But - those seventeen miles back home -
Were enough to suck the foam in!
The GOOD NEWS?
The Pharmacy Owners usually re-imburse me
For auto expenses - So - my portion will only be -
A little over Two Hundred Bucks!
If your owner’s manual recommends that -
The Timing Belt be replaced at 100,000 miles -
BELIEVE IT !
I WAS LUCKY!
FOOTNOTE - THE CLUMP THING?
HE THREW IT AWAY - TOTALLY UNNECESSARY!
© - TKH.
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|Reviewed by J'nia Fowler
|OMGoodness Tom. What an awful adventure. Glad you are ok and that it didn't cost you an arm and a leg to fix it. J|
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
|They don't make things like they used to ... glad you're okay, Tom.
(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
|Reviewed by Georg Mateos
|My grandfather's Ford T could run with paraffin, tractor oil and never got stuck in mud, and it hadn't no key just a cranking device that some time would kick back trying to rip off your arm.
My Volvo service can get you 1000 bucks poorer or 250 bucks if you are wise and don't let no mechanic "find" more than there is.
|Reviewed by Ed Matlack
|I knew that foam thing was totally unnecessary, but you lucked out as I thought of it being the engine seizing, thankfully it was "just" that timing belt...whats really weird is that you spoke of a Carb in the engine and a new engine in cars like that PT Cruiser have all fuel injectors, unless there still is a carb somewhere in the engine, but I kinda doubt it...glad you didn't have to pay too much...time to get another car, that cruiser seems to be a sort of yellowish fruit that makes an aide to drink...? ;-) Ed|
|Reviewed by Mark Lichterman
|Very, very scary story/poem or whatever. One never knows does one? I have a '05(the first year) Pontaic Solstice with absolutely no problems. Of course I've only about 21,000 miles on it and am still under my five year extended warantee and have gone in fathfully for oil changes and etc. But you never know when the shit hits the fan... In your case almost literally!
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|Thanks for the "heads up," Tom. I love your attitude. Love and peace,