Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Recap of Vacay and the Car Story

It seems like our mini-vacay was ages ago.  Stuff that annoyed me then....well, time heals those wounds.  Like the whirlpool not working at the hotel....annoying at the time....now it is "whatever."

We hit a wall of traffic driving there, so our 3 hr drive was closer to 5.5 hrs.  Good times.

The day at the park was a beautiful day!  Other than kids being....well, siblings (OMG, anyone who has more than one child will relate to this....how can 2 people bicker SO MUCH????).  Everyone got to go on the stuff they wanted.  We saw 2 shows plus the parade.  Everyone was exhausted at the end of the day.

The ride home...that is where it fell apart.  It was raining the whole way home (it did the same thing last year).  About 30 minutes into the trip....the car (G-man's, not mine) started "beeping" at us:  Check Electrical System.  He hit the reset button and we kept trucking.

Did it again.  And Again.  AND AGAIN.  Ok...now you have our attention.

We unplugged everything we could (DVD players, GPS).  Shut off the radio and turned the interior dash lights way down.  Anything that could draw from the battery.  It just kept beeping.  And do you know how annoying it is to listen to the beeping....in the rain....when you are tired....and there is no radio....and the kids DVD players are running low?

The battery gauge just continue to go down, down, DOWN.  Eventually ALL the gauges died, so we had no speedometer.  The windshield wipers stopped working (did I mention it was pouring rain???).  We limped into an AutoZone about an hour from home, and determined it was the alternator.  We bought a new one ($170 later).  Hoped we could get home, and G-man would replace it when we got home. 

About 20 minutes later, the gas light came on (remember, the gauges weren't working).  Great.  We HAD to stop for gas, so we stopped near G-man's office, and the "new" plan was that he would replace the part in the garage (at least he would be dry).  Well, that didn't work out so well....as the car was DEAD at the gas station.

We had to push it into a spot, and someone gave us a jump.  We hoped it would be enough to get us to his office.  But no....it died again moments later.

Luckily...we were near a home improvement store.  G-man ran into the store and bought tools, and proceeded to repair the car....in the parking lot....in the rain.  Seriously.  This stuff only happens to us.  At least I have a husband who can actually do that....even though the part was the wrong part (another story, but short version is he had to take it off again when we got home, exchange it for the right one, and reinstall it....again, in the rain).

The kids were PHENOMENAL.  I couldn't have asked for them to be any better behaved during this.  Never mind that I fed them crackers and Chex mix for lunch.  Or that they didn't have much in the way of entertainment.  Or that it took us 7 hrs to get home.  Bravo Kidlets!

All in all, the repair was about $200 with tools.  We had $205 in our "car maintenance" fund, so no new debt.  But of course, that account is drained now. 

Sometimes you just gotta laugh.....


  1. OMGsh, that sounds like something that would have happened to me back in the day! Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'when it rains, it pours' LOL.

    Glad that you can look back on it and laugh now. And how awesome is it that you had money in a car maintenance fund?? Good for you!

  2. Oh my, just like an episode on a sit com. But real life is always better, right?

  3. Oh my. How can so much happen in such little time?! That sounds awful. My car broke down during my first out-of-state trip, about 5 hours from home (after 10hrs of driving), at about 9pm. I was TIRED! I am glad you guys were able to fix that. And that the kids behaved! See, there's a very nice silver lining. And you're right; stuff like that makes great stories for later on, when you can laugh about it. Glad you guys enjoyed the trip!

  4. It's always something, glad you can now laugh!!

  5. Holly S%&*! sorry Mysti but kudos to hubby, alternators are very hard to replace depending on the car.


  6. It's a good thing the G-man knows his way around the inside of a car engine!

  7. Wow! Awesome that he knew how to fix it! I got lucky when the Princess's car broke down 2 hours from home --- my mechanic here advised me to have it towed back here ($450+ -- yikes), and they reimbursed me for the tow AND covered all the repairs (the issue was the timing belt and I'd had it replaced a year before as part of the maintenance schedule) --- it was a pain, but at least I wasn't out of pocket on anything!

  8. Hey... At least you have $5.00 left... with that for gas you'll be able to turn the ignition! ;)