Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Daily Drive- Christmas edition (late I know...)

Ok, it's a day late and all, but lots of stuff has been happening and all that... so just gimme a break.

Not exactly over the river or through any woods, but we are off to my mom's house for x-mas morning brunch. Even the dog squeezed in to the picture.

This is what Christmas is all about for me... that's it, right there. Nothing is better to me than seeing my children revel in glee. That is as good as it gets.

Well, this is pretty cool too... my first boat. Now I can fly fish in all kinds of places I couldn't before... HOT DAMN!

Unfortunately Christmas wasn't all smiles and laughter; my car (2002 Saturn VUE) decided to start having a crazy electrical problem... where the ngine simply shuts off while I'm driving, leaving me with no power brakes or power steering. Needless to say, the problem is a major issue. Well, the first such incident was Friday night as I was trying to go to the gym. The engine shut off while I was driving downhill... leaving me with very little brakes and almost no steering. I was able to avoid a collision and stopped at the corner. While trying to get a tow truck, about an hour later the car started. Saturday morning I drove the car to the dealership and left it for the day. They were unable to find any problems, so I picked it back up and drove it home... where it would not start again after I shut it off. I left it sitting all day SUnday and then started it again Sunday night. It seemed ok... so we drove it to Mom's on Sunday for brunch. When it was time to go, the car would not start yet again. At this point I was now pissed. We moved all our stuff into my Mom's car and were about to leave when I went back to my car to roll the windows up... and the car started! We drove the car to my mother-in-law's house, since we were now running an hour late for lunch/ dinner there. Later that evening, out of paranoia, I started the car and left it running so that I could load the kids' goodies and get every body in the car and off to home... but the engine was getting hot sitting there idling so I drove around the block and my daughter came along with me... when the car shut off again and left me stranded a few blocks away from the house... again. After my daughter cried nervously about being afraid (breaking Daddy's heart), the car finally started back up and I grabbed my wife and son and away we went back home. No problems on the freeway (scary) and we got off the freeway just about 2 miles from home when the damned thing shut off AGAIN. I got out after realizing the car was not restarting and ran home to get my wife's car to get the family back home. I rode my bike back to the car and tried to start the car for more than an hour before giving up for the night. Pissed and tired. After leaving the car over night in a parking space, I rode the bike back to the car and it started, so I drove it back to the dealership and gave them "a piece of my mind". Outcome? I'm selling a kidney and part of my liver to pay for the repair; new ECM is needed. That's the engine's computer that tells it that it is supposed to be running, among other things. GREAT! The day after Christmas I find out that I need to sell half of the shtuff I own to pay for this repair. The car is used, I bought it in 2005 after the 3 year 30,000 mile warranty expired and no other warranty was offered. I've got 93,000 miles on it now, so there is nothing I can do. Needless to say, the car that I have loved owning for the past year is now something that is leaving me "disappointed". It sucks. It really sucks, but I am lucky that there were no injuries and that we all got home safe and the car can actually be repaired... right? It still sucks though and is making me really angry- which is why I am venting my rage here! Now maybe I will be able to stay out of the clock tower with my rifle. Maybe...

Other than that lovely happening, Christmas was great. Yeah, I admit that the events of the day with the car took some of the shine off the day, but my kids had a great time and got lots of really cool stuff that made them very happy... AND I got to spend time with people I love very much. I have to be thankful for that.

I hope that you all had less dramatic but deeply gratifying holidays.

Tim

15 comments:

CK said...

Great lookin' family, dog and boat. Sorry 'bout your daily drive--at least no one was hurt (phew!).

Happiest of holidays to you and yours :-).

Rich said...

hmm, fuel for that daily drive video-- I think so. I just need a video camera.

Glad u guys were able to make it safely. I've seen too many crashed out cars this holiday weekend!!

Noted Chef said...

Hi Tim, glad you guys got home safely. Isn't it frustrating when the mechanics won't believe you initially about things like that! I had exactly the same problem with the ECM of my old Jeep Cherokee a few years back. The first time it cut out on us, we were miles from anywhere fly fishing near The Dalles, OR. Luckily we came across some folks in a motor-home after walking down the river a bit. It was several weeks later and several more cut-outs before we could get a mechanic to track down the problem.

Your Westie's lovely. We've got one too. Check out http://pooscapades.blogspot.com

Hope you have a great 2007 and I'd like to let you know I'm thoroughly enjoying The Spokesmen podcast.

Paul McEnany said...

Tim, that sucks!

Maybe you should use all that blogging money to buy a porsche or a lexus instead. Oh, fuck! Nevermind... :)

And that hair in the boat picture is friggin' awesome!

Paterfamilias said...

Let me be the one to say, you should have bought something Japanese!

Glad it's working out, hopefully you only had to return the barbie doll and your son's mp3 player and not that yacht to pay for the repair...

I posted our Japan trip photos check out the blog mister Tim.

Talk to you soon!

George said...

My dad had the same problem with his Saturn.

He solved his problem somewhat differently then you did......

Someone where he works accidentally backed a large box van into it and compressed the car by a good two feet or so.

Problem solved.

Donna Tocci said...

Tim - very glad nobody was hurt with the car issues and that you all got where you needed to go safely (even if it was a little late).
Nice to see the photos of everyone having such a good time together.
Boat looks cool - does the dog get to go fishing, too?

Flatman said...

That's some great hair in that boat pic! ;)

Sorry about the car troubles... that sucks. I worked at a Saturn dealership long ago and probably could have swung you a deal on a new ECM...too bad!

Good luck on getting the troubles all worked out.

T-Guy J said...

I think you might be able to parlay the troubles into a new car...and that is a great gift to buy for yourself.

NICE BOAT :-)

James said...

The car trouble is a bummer, but like everyone else said, it is great that no one got hurt. In fact, I’d say it’s a Festivus miracle. Seriously though, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope your holidays pick up from this point on.

Anonymous said...

PTL nobody was injured. Unfortunate that it happened. And, not to sound like a Saturn dealer, but... that car has Honda engine and tranny-I think that's Japanese. It just so hapens it was a computer chip-that figures. Maybe they need to switch to Mac!

Merry Christmas!!!

Neil@ROAD said...

I hate car problems! Earlier this month my wife's car wouldn't start either. When we got it repaired it was $1,300! I hate cars!

Anonymous said...

I KNOW JUST HOW YOU FEEL MY
2002 VUE AWD DID THE SAME THING WITH THE STOPING AND THAN STARTING THING. TOOK IT IN AND THAT EXPENSIVE EXTENDED NATIONAL WARRANTY WOULD NOT COVER IT BECAUSE IT WAS A SENSOR. THAN THE THERMOSTAT WENT HAD TO TAKE THE ENGINE APART ANOTHER 530.00. NOW I HAVE A CHECK ENGINE LIGHT NOW CAUSE BY THE CAR BEING STARTED IN SUBFREEZING TEMPERTURES. THE CONDITION IS CAUSE BY CRANKSHAFT VAPORS AT THE THROTTLE PLATE BASE. THE REMEDY RELOCATE PRIMARY POSIIVE CRANKSHAFT VENTILATION HOSE. SATURN DEALERSHIP AND EVEN NATIONAL WARRANTY WILL TELL YOU THEY KNOW NOTHING THE FACT IS THAT THERE IS SERVICE DOCUMENT ON HTTP://SERVICE.GM.COM THAT IDENTIFIES THE PROBLEM SO IF GM IS AWARE OF IT THEN WHY DON'T SATURN FIX IT, AND STOP SAYING THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT. OR MAYBE THEY SHOULD NOT SALE CAR IN PLACES WHERE THE WEATHER DROPS BELOW ZERO

Kevin Dean said...

Wow!! And I thouhgt it was just our car. I too experienced the same scare. Driving down a busy highway 70mph then all of a sudden the car shuts off. The car was brand new a couple of months old. We have had the car for less than 2 years and it has been in the shop more than it has been out!

Sonny said...

It's kinda scary when you have to ride a car like that after paying good money for it and since it's out of the warranty period you can't do much either.

The manufacturer should be held liable especially since it has happened to others s it's an isolated case.