Quick Trip to Tennessee

You ever have one of those trips? You know, the one where you are “just” going to make a “quick trip”… like a 3 hour tour on the S.S. Minnow?

(The pics have nothing to do with the trip)

Then you find yourself totally unprepared. Like when your entire electrical system goes suddenly dead in the middle of Nowhere, Kentucky. One second you are cruising down the road, and the next, you are listening to the “Sounds of Silence” coming from your engine compartment.

Fortunately, it’s the middle of the day. Well, fortunate unless you are like me, and you can’t take the heat. That was half the reason for making this trip, to get the air conditioner fixed. (again) After meeting a nice KY State Trooper, who tried to jump the battery with no success, he calls AAA, and I settle in for the “wait”.

In the mean time, I am trying everything I know, and calling other people for what THEY knew. Just as the wrecker guy is about to hook up to the car, I find a blown fuse in the fuse box! Just one. Just a 20 amp fuse. I replace it, and magically EVERYTHING comes back on! I wave bye to the wrecker guy, and head off down the road.

I make it to the Tennessee line, and stop at the rest stop. All is well, until I try to start the car. No click, no flicker, no NOTHING! crap! At least this time I still have power, not that it does me any good. I make several attempts to get the car started, taking breaks inside the rest stop to cool down. I was reaching my limits, I guess, because the attendant ask me if I wanted him to call me an ambulance. Back on the phone again, I come up with the theory that the PRNDL Switch has gone bad (the switch that prevents your car from starting if it isn’t in Park or Neutral) So I pull a little 6 inch screwdriver from the glove box and jump off the starter (lol – just like the old days before automatics and column locks. But that is a WHOLE different set of stories) The car works just fine as long as I don’t turn it off. So I park it at the shop where it is scheduled for the morning ANYWAY.

Advance planning always pays, and so it was in this case. My son ‘forgot’ to mention that the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration was going on in the area TOO. What a surprise to find out that there are no hotel rooms left! But, shock of shocks, I actually DO find a room, and book it for 2 nights. Which is convenient, because it took two days to fix the car too.

So I spent two days playing “one armed bandit” with my hotel room door. You had to hold the handle, pull the door towards you, then insert the plastic card, pull it out at just the right speed, and sometimes you would get a little green light! Sometimes you wouldn’t. But you had to turn the handle real quick AND push in on the door at the same time. I call it playing “one armed bandit” because getting the door to open was like winning a jackpot! Woohoo!

Imagine my surprise when I went to check out and found out the room was $100/night! Some beach! And with the new electrical problems, the car bill was over $400! But at least the air was fixed! (again)

Time to tuck tail and run while I still had a dollar or two left! Sure would have been nice if the air had KEPT working longer than 70 miles. Well it wasn’t really the air conditioner, that worked fine. Now the main blower motor, that was a different story.

Things get a little blurry here, I remember my clothes tearing, turning a weird shade of green, there was yelling and cursing and then I discovered that most of my dash had been ripped out, the center console was gone, the glove box, the ends of wires dangled like jungle vines from my dash. . .

Oh! You mean the blower motor is over THERE? It’s NOT in the dash??? Oh…..um…. Hey look, that connector on the blower motor is loose! *sounds of a fan turning on* Well, I was thinking about tearing the dash out anyway.

At least the car learned what I can do! She ran just fine ALL the way home. Think I’ll wait a bit before putting the dash back together. Make her think about THAT!

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