Friday, August 12, 2005

Zoom Zoom Sputter

Well, after completing my vicarage, I had one exciting trip home. What should have been a two day trip turned into a four day affair. I left Sunday after church and then decided to stay one extra day in St. Louis at my friends' place. Then I left early Tuesday morning to drive the last leg home, and was making really good time when my engine died just before the I-55/ I-80 interchange, which was about 6 hours from Detroit. All of a sudden the engine just stalled and I coasted to a stop, fortunately I still had a shoulder because I was about 50-100 feet from a construction zone w/ no shoulders (thank God!). So after examining the oil, antifreeze, etc, and determining that the engine hadn't overheated and the fluids were fine, I tried to restart it---which it did, and I was preparing to merge back into traffic when it stalled again, and this time I couldn't restart it. I ended up walking about a mile to a factory and they let me use their phone to call AAA. They came to tow the car, and by the time he arrived, he was able to start it to drive it up onto his flatbed truck. So I got to the repair shop and they said it was about an hour and a half from closing, and that even if they got to look at it, they'd probably need till the next day for parts. I said no problem, I've got two sisters in the Chicago area and I'll go stay w/ one of them. They gave me a free loaner car (meanwhile I'd found out that one of my sisters was out of town) so I drove to my sister Dori's place about 1 hour away. I waited at their house about 2 hours before I tried calling back to my parents only to find out that BOTH sisters were out of town! What Luck! (Murphy's Law). So I drove back toward the car repair and found a motel for the night. In the morning I talked to the mechanic and they said they ran the car for 2 hours and couldn't get the engine to fail to reproduce my problem, and drove it for 12 miles and couldn't either. They said the diagnostic computer said everything was o.k., including the fuel pressure. Nevertheless, they suspected a weak fuel pump was the culprit, but at a $600 repair, they said they didn't want to replace that on a guess. I was thankful for his honesty. He told me that the engine
would fail again, and there was no telling when it would happen. So I drove
on towards Michigan, praying the whole way that God would let my engine make
it home (or at least to the next stretch of road with a shoulder :)
Fortunately God kept me safe the whole way home, and it didn't quit in any
construction areas. But it did die on the freeway once again in Indiana, but after
10 minutes I got it started again. I drove to Battle Creek Michigan where I
stopped at a rest area and couldn't get it started there for over a half
hour, but finally got it going and made it safely home Wednesday evening.
Needless to say, God heard the prayers of everyone praying for my safe travel,
and despite the difficulties, things could have gone far worse. I was
curious to see how much weight was in the car when I got home, and my dad
and I weighed the luggage and found that I had 1100 lbs in the car
(including my weight) and the max. cargo capacity according to the owner's
manual is 850 lbs. :) Well, that probably had something to do w/ my engine
being overstrained (did NOT overheat), but I did take it very easy and slow to be gentle on it ;) God is good, this is true.


Orycteropus Afer said...

Vaya con dios (y con a well-running vehicle).

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Glad to see you made it home. If you like I can give you some tips on traveling light. :)


edericks1080 said...
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