As I was driving around in this nasty heat, my mind went back to a few years ago when we had decided to take a small vacation in July. We decided to travel to a favorite vacation spot about 2 hours away. On the way there our car decided to break down. We had just put a new engine in and should have been good to go, but no. An hour into the two hour drive through nothing but desert we were stranded on the side of the freeway. Fortunately we did have some cell phone coverage, and fortunately we also had towing coverage on our vehicle.
That day it was also extremely hot, and with the vehicle dead we could not get the air conditioning going while we were waiting the hour and a half for the tow truck to get out to us. For some reason, on that particular trip, we couldn’t find our blue ice, so we had decided to bring an ice chest full of cold and frozen water bottles, and several large jugs full of ice. Definitely overkill for a two hour trip. We were able to keep everyone relatively cool and hydrated, (including several young children and a nursing infant) and avoid any heat related problems. I have often looked back on that experience and considered the atypical choice to bring so much frozen water with us a miracle. It is entirely possible that it may have even saved the life of our young child. Not only were we fortunate to have the water with us that day, but they were able to tow us all the way to a shop within walking distance of our hotel, and the repair turned out to be rather minor.
Keeping used cars running takes a little money, and a lot of luck. It also takes more knowledge and experience than I have, so this next post is probably more about saving me from my own ignorance than anything else.
We have an extra car sitting in our garage. I personally see no need to have more cars than drivers, but we held on to it because it was paid for and we will have extra drivers home for the summer, and a new driver a few months after that. It had been running really rough and not always shifting properly, but it would be good one day, bad the next. Then the silly alarm system kept going off at all hours, so we finally just disconnected the battery. Since then it has been sitting, gathering dust, with a flat tire as a bonus. What a waste of garage space I thought.
Decided it was time to see if it would run again or not – basically registration is coming up. Hubby pulled the tire, found a large nail, and got that fixed. Then he pulled out the battery that was no longer holding the charge, found it well past its life expectancy, and replaced it. For the price of a flat repair and new battery I feel like we have a new vehicle! We still need to test it out further, but it looks like the bad battery was probably the cause of all the sporadic issues we were having. Go figure.