Vehicular Challenges

In the last two weeks of jammed schedule and mad pressure, all our vehicles have failed in some way. The tractor’s tire was flat. The truck was dead. Then the car was dead!

I was a bit wild-eyed when I discovered the last, but luckily it was during a snowstorm and Mike was plowing. I flagged him down and he gave me a jump so I could get to work on time.

I have been slowly trying to address all these issues. The moment I heard Amanda had gone into labor, I drove the car to the dealership and spent the afternoon getting a replacement battery and an oil change.

Damon came out and removed the tractor wheel. “Bad news,” he told me over the phone. The giant tires given to me by Larry, which I’ve carefully stored for four years, are the wrong size. I scrubbed the snow off the old tire to read the numbers, looked up the code online, and almost fainted. A new one would be more than $1000! Thankfully, I was looking at the wrong tire. I found the correct one locally, for 1/3 of that. Still a bad blow, but not a lethal one.

Meanwhile I had managed to jump the truck and get it to Mike’s house in time to get a ride back to work for carol singing on the last night of school. (So familiar, the breathless hurry, checking my watch!)

The truck appears to need a new alternator and possibly a new battery. This Chevy 1500 has been unreliable since I bought it secondhand from the dealer half an hour away. This will be the fourth battery replacement ā€” the first occurring a month after I bought it. The first two winters I owned the truck I had to jump it almost every day. Last year the dealership thought they had gotten to the bottom of the problem, and removed the radio. (They gave me the option to replace it, but at $350 I declined. Now I have no radio, no clock, and no blinker sounds. It is all quite exasperating as clearly the truck had this issue from the moment of purchase, but the warranty was long since passed.) I am going to call the dealership today to see if I can get a copy of my receipt so possibly I can get a discount when I fork over the money for yet another one.

On my way out of town this afternoon to pick up Lucy, I will stop to pay for the tractor tire.

Between vehicle problems and the holiday season, my credit card is feeling the heat and starting to whimper. However I remind myself how very, very blessed I am to have friends like Damon and Mike who always show up to help me.

3 Responses to Vehicular Challenges

  1. Mac West says:

    You might try Toyota. You’ve got lots of family who swears by them.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Thanks, Mac! I would love a Toyota truck but they’re beyond my pocketbook! Also, as far as I can see, the local truck-driving population is mostly split between Ford and Chevy, with Ford having a slight upper hand.

  2. Shawn says:

    We didn’t end up needing a new rim for our tractor and it looked more rust eaten than yours, by far. So good luck in that department.
    Also, we are sort of shopping for a “new” truck also. Our mechanic told us to avoid certain years in certain trucks. We are looking at a 2001 GMC Sierra, which is one of the good ones. I remember there was a range of years (for Ford/Chevy) that were bad, and I’m thinking yours falls squarely in that. šŸ˜¦ I can inquire further if you want and email you some things to avoid. Sometimes I find that more helpful than anything.

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