Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Heading to the barn shortly for 90 minutes of farm chores (moving sheep and bringing the cows in out of the heat and flies) before my teaching day begins (Gulf of Tonkin in 8th; Hamilton and Burr in 7th). However my brain is stuck on a single thought: what to do about my 2008 Chevy truck.

I called the dealership yesterday after work, braced to learn the extent of the bad news, and to my surprise a voice told me brightly that the truck was ready to be picked up. “The mechanic says nothing is wrong with it!”

I have now spent over $1200 at four different shops to investigate why this truck’s wheels are seizing up — and no one can find any problem at all. Nevertheless the truck is completely dangerous. Thankfully Damon has experienced the situation or I’d almost believe the impatient you-must-be-imagining-it looks I’m getting from these men.

I don’t know what to do. If I could afford it, I’d trade the truck in on another used one. Unfortunately I don’t see how I could swing a purchase of anything right now. Moreover, what about my responsibility if the dealer sells this dangerous truck to a new buyer and that buyer is injured? Will that be my fault? Am I obligated forever to this lemon? My brain goes round and round.

In the meantime I am creeping around my pastures in my retired, rusted-out, 17-year-old pickup to water the sheep. I hear the broken frame grind against itself and hope the whole thing doesn’t crack in half and collapse on the grass.

Breathe in, breathe out.


8 Responses to Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

  1. Marie McBride says:

    Talk to Tom. He had the Jeep frame welded for 300.00 at Vassars motors. Maybe they can help. The Jeep finally died of other causes, but it lasted 20 yrs!

    Sent from my iPad


    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Thanks Marie. I believe the old farm truck is rusted beyond any sort of repair. It folds at the waist! I am trying to nurse it through until I can have another truck in working order to water the sheep, pull the manure spreader (not happening now!), carry lumber, etc. It is a luxury to have a second, non-roadworthy truck that can be left at the farm for these tasks, but I believe those days are now over.

  2. Shawn says:

    A quick Google search indicates Chevy has had a lot of problems with trucks and brakes locking up. Here is something I copied from one of the forums.
    “I have had the same problem, and after 3 months of trying to figure it out,we finally disconnected the master cylinder from the brake booster. The front brakes that we’re locking up instantly released. I have searched high and low on the internet for a solution to this problem and I am pretty sure this is finally it. if the new booster we are about to put in does not fix it I will post again. I have replaced the ABS modulator valve, brake hoses,, calipers, pads, master cylinder, and rusty brake lines. Wish I had found this forum months ago…”

    Maybe this will help your mechanic.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Shawn, thanks so much for your kindness in looking. I’ve also googled lots of things about this problem and never found anything that touches it. It’s not clear it’s the brakes; we’ve replaced lines and calipers, removed the ABS fuse. Nothing. When I read your post to a mechanic he said angrily that then I would have no brakes at all. (??? no idea if this is true.) One of my hay men suggested a CV joint. All of these have been looked into but no solutions! Crazy frustrating.

  3. Ned says:

    I read this “we finally disconnected the master cylinder from the brake booster. The front brakes that we’re locking up instantly released.” as a trouble shooting step. It sounds like the mechanic thought it was a temporary solution.

    The only way you’ll find the problem is if someone can look at it when it is all locked up. If the wheel can be removed while it’s in this condition you should be able to see if it’s the brake or something else. Assuming they are disc brakes. Drums will be harder to tell because you won’t be able to see the brake pads.

    Hope you can solve this riddle. Intermittent problems are the hardest to figure out.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Thanks, Ned. Yes, it never locks up when a mechanic is looking at it. Completely frustrating and feels scarily unsafe.

  4. Shawn says:

    Unfortunately, this is most likely one of those situations where Chevy will not admit/address the problem until there’s a fatality. Stay safe.

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