Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Car Trouble Mystery

Have you ever heard those reports of people who are driving along a lonely road at night when all of a sudden their engine loses power and they coast to a stop? Then they see a bright light and a great big saucer-shaped ship above them and it totally wrecks their evening plans?

Well, that's what my afternoon was like, only without the lonely road and the saucer people thing.

I was leaving my driveway to go pick up Jeff from work when my car mysteriously goes silent. I drift a couple of feet and then I stop. I'm still in my driveway.

Sigh.I turn off the car completely and then restart it. Everything starts up again normally. Hmm, I say to myself, that was odd.

So off I go downtown and for a few minutes everything is ducky. Then, just when I'm heading for a major intersection with four lanes of traffic, my car decides to have an encounter with its own personal UFO again. Damn you, Saucer People! This is not funny!

The radio is playing, but that's all I have.

No power, no brakes. Uh oh.

I discover I have lucky personal horse-shoes because I'm able to safely drift over two lanes and coast down an inclined little road I'm about to pass...right into the parking lot of the place where my brother-in-law works as a mechanic. I couldn't have picked a better spot to break down if I'd tried!

I didn't actually have enough control over the vehicle to stop in an actual parking spot, but I come to a safe stop. Good enough. I turn off the car. Whew. I've never been so glad to be at Canadian Tire.

Alas, after Jeff arrives and our family mechanic inspects the car, it is pronounced that our car seemingly is just fine. We get in it and drive home. Well, Jeff drives us home. I am deeply suspicious.

Jeff joked that maybe its just my own personal electrical field that is causing trouble. After all, I can't wear watches for any length of time without breaking them. Hmmm...that is actually a troubling thought. But it's more likely it's just our old car getting an attitude--another troubling thought.

In my opinion it is much preferable for a car a) to have a problem, which is then b) fixed. And c) then you drive home.

But here we are two days later, and the old Dodge is running smugly. It feels like it may be teasing me.

I had a conversation with Kim last night where we discussed car trouble inconveniences past and present.

"Cars are supposed to be inanimate objects", she mused, "but sometimes I doubt that. "


Candace said...

Well that's just eerie. Yikes. And I agree that it's FAR preferable to have an actual problem get diagnosed and then FIXED. Urgh.

On the brighter side, maybe you can call up one of those shows about the paranormal and make some $ off of this deal. ;-)

Ms.L said...

I agree with Kim:)
I'm glad your lucky horse-shoes were working for ya!

blackcrag said...

It might be, dear Spider, that your poor little car is coughing up the remainder of it's usefulness.

These are little pains, to ease both you and it, through it's passing to the Great Garage in the Sky. Your car kindly eased you into a safe area before it conked out because it is, indeed, animate, and cares about your well-being.

Dagoth said...

Hi Spider

I had a car that would conk out when you went around a corner. It was a hard thing to find but it turned out that a post on the battery was broken from the plates inside the battery (it's not something that you can see is wrong). When I would go around a corner the plates in the acid would "drift" away from the post, loosing contact, and killing the engine...sometimes these things can be hard to find...

Liz said...

That sounds exactly like what happened to one of my cars. Think it ended up being the fuel pump but I sold it off. Sometimes I wish I had the motivation to learn how to work on cars.

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

I am glad your little car made it to my house today, with the burden of an Amazonian jungle in its trunk.... perhaps Blackcrag is correct in surmising that your car, while feeling unwell, was trying to get you to a safe harbour before everything went ooey-kaplooey.

Zambo said...

Hi Spider Girl.

It sounds a lot like the alternator is acting up, if I had to guess...I'm no mechanic, by any means, but I've had enough alternators go to know the signs...But then again, it could be just about anything the way cars are built these days...

I hope that things are going well otherwise though...

Maybe you're an "X-Woman"...and you do have a personal electrical field...Hmmm...Or maybe your Dodge is a bit...well...dodgy...(sorry)...

It was pretty lucky that it lost all power right near where your brother-in-law, the mechanic, works!

Take care out there, Spider Girl!

I hope you're enjoying your time off!

Your Pal,


[Mat] said...

I doubt it too.

Hope it doesn't do that to you again. :)

The Phoenix said...

Do you by chance drive a Nissan Altima? I heard some type of sensor in the engine was doing something like that all over the country. It's on recall.

Anonymous said...

Your car is running a MS Windows program.

Then again, I remember a stalling problem caused by a crack in the fuel pickup in the tank. The crack occurred because we drove until the tank was almost empty, and then filled it in the hot part of the day (some 30 degrees C!); the temperature change was enough to cause the problem. And it was weird.

Pol* said...

Inanimate object MY ASS! Even my mechanic husband can not explain away the very personalized issues our plethora of used cars have had.
So, WHY does the car HONK long and loud when T starts it and NEVER when I do?
Remember my Honda? No one could steal it because no one else could convince it to stay running! (and the radio didn't work when turning a sharp right.) And it literally caught on FIRE when Chris drove it.
Or WHY does the other car's steering wheel zap me painfully everytime I start it on a hill, but not T on the very same incline? Or why did our truck chug, sputter and stall on the highway for me every 8-10 times I drove it over 80KM/hour, but not for T ever (so that he thinks I am driving it "wrong") But when he drove the Fiero (and only when he drove it) would the clutch slip so desperately that it would stall off a stop -- and that same car electrically overheated to a standstill on me twice in the short time we had it.
Oh they have personalities my friend and they hold grudges and they KNOW when you don't trust them, it's like they "smell fear".

Pol* said...

Oh! I forgot the JEEP with the mystery acceleration problem! By FAR the most terrifying glitch ever! It would suddenly rev-up and accelerate! Like someone was pressing the gas! Have you ever tried to stop at a light behind someone with your accelorator pressed down? It's NOT possible! So I would SLAM it into neutral so I could use the brakes, and the engine would REDLINE under the freedom from the tranny, then to get going again I would have to force it back into drive and literally SQUEAL away with a great clunk and lots of smoking rubber. At first it only happened to me the first couple times. But I discovered if I turned it off and back on it might fix it (about 1/2 the time) then one day it didn't matter how many times I shut it off....... grrr. and EEEEEK! Luckily by then it had happened to T once or twice 2. NEVER knew when or where it would happen. A jeep forum suggested others had experienced the same issue, but no cure was available. So we sold it (with a warning)

Spider Walk said...

I would say you had a guardian Angel looking out for you. Although I know you will NEVER trust that car again, seeing how your brother in law could find nothing wrong with it.
Very distrubing!

Anonymous said...

I hate cars. After spending nearly $2700 to get my car repaired the idiot fucking mechanic comes clean and tells me that I might as well buy a new car because the car I have was recalled and I will be spending more money to repair the car than the car is worth.

geekdarling said...

I had a problem like that. It was a cellanoid(sp?). Every time I took my car to the shop, it would stop doing what it was doing (stalling). They finally figured it out on the 3rd try...

Car troubles. Bleah.

FreeThinker said...

Wow! Sounds like the plot of a good spooky movie!

Tim Rice said...

This kind of car trouble is always frustrating. My sympathies.