Friday, July 28, 2006

Car Talk

We are down to one vehicle. One might think this is odd, considering that we currently own three vehicles, but unfortunately, this is becoming a common, albeit unwelcome, occurrence at our home.

We own a 1995 Nissan Quest; a 1995 tan Ford 12-passenger van; and a 1995 red conversion van. They have all decided to have problems at the same time. (For a while, we even had four vehicles, the fourth being the 1987 Mazda 626 which John traded this past spring for a tow home for the tan van.) All of our vehicles are over 10 years old, and they act like it!

Last week my brother and I were on a road trip together in the tan van. In the middle of nowhere, something locked up and the main belt that runs the whole van fell off, bringing our trip to a screeching halt (literally). We sat on the side of a construction zone with no shoulder for about an hour and a half on the hottest day of the year trying to call to get a tow truck.

On the bright side, we were close to a small bit of shade (otherwise we would have been cooked!); most businesses were still open so eventually we did manage to get a tow truck; my brother was with me and was driving when the van broke (I had originally planned on making the trip alone); and John thought he could fix the problem. This was a very good thing- and he was right. We got a tow back to a service area where, after a few new parts and about an hour of sweating over the van, John got it fixed. Whew! This van still has issues, but maybe it will hang in there a while longer, since it is currently the only van running.

While I was away with this van, John had to drive the red van. It pooped out on him the very next day after the tan van fiasco. He was forced to try to fix the Nissan, which had been broken down in the driveway for a few months with unidentified Serious Problems. He had thought we lost the transmission on the Nissan, but fortunately found that it was something fix-able. SO... we have both been driving along happily in the tan van and the Nissan for one week.

And today the Nissan broke. Won't start. And so we are down to one vehicle. We got the red van to the transmission shop this afternoon and the transmission guy said it is possible that the problem is a $100 problem instead of the $1200 transmission replacement that we fear it is. This would be a very good thing! And we are hoping that the problem with the Nissan is only the starter, which John has become exceptionally good at replacing.

Click and Clack would have a field day with us.

1 comment:

janjanmom said...

Perhaps a trade-in would be fun. If you pay cash, it is possible to get a good deal and reduce the number of vehicles in the drive.

NAH! Car trouble bonds a family forever and that is what is really important!! Just think of all the cool stories you have...priceless!