photo credit: twelvizm
Wednesday was just one of those days when everything seemed to come to a head. After a few days of feeling miserable due to a recently acquired cold, I left work eagerly looking forward to arriving home and climbing under the covers. That thought came crashing down when I ran into some car trouble.
A few days ago I got a phone call from my wife while I was at work. She went on to tell me that she was out running an errand before heading to work and her car wouldn’t start. She tried numerous times to start it but had no luck. The engine would turn over but wouldn’t start.
Feeling under the weather anyway, I spoke to my boss and used a half vacation day so that I could drive out and see if I couldn’t get the car moving. I hopped in the driver seat and turned the key, to my surprise it started right up. With an irritated look on her face, my wife apologized for having me drive out for nothing. I had her take my car to work so that I could take hers home with me and try to duplicate the problem in front of my house rather than in a parking lot.
The car drove home just fine. I allowed it to sit for a couple hours, at which point I gave it another try. This time the car wouldn’t start. I had the same problem that my wife explained. With a Check Engine light staring me in the eye, I had no way of knowing what the problem might be outside of internet research.
In the light snow I decided to walk the mile and a half to the local auto parts store and pick up an OBD II code reader. As my walk grew longer, the snowfall grew heavier. After a brisk walk I arrived at my local Advanced Auto and purchased my reader. The mile and a half walk back to the house wasn’t too bad, as the snow began to slow up.
Once home I was able to determine that my wife’s car was in need of a new crank position sensor and that I could probably get the part next day from a number of parts stores. The following day I was left with no choice but to risk taking her car to work with me.
At 5:30 AM I brushed the snow off of the car and, to my surprise, the car fired right up. I drove to work without issue and made arrangements to pick up the needed part later that night. My work day went just like any other, with the addition of plenty of sinus congestion. When it was time to leave for home, the car started just as it did earlier that morning.
About two-thirds of the way home, I was the second car back waiting at a traffic light. All of a sudden the car died on me. I immediately tried starting it again, to no avail. I turned on my four-way flashers and rolled down the window to wave traffic around me. As traffic began to move in the lane to my left, the driver behind me seemed to get a little irritated.
Not wanting to wait for traffic to clear in the left lane, the driver put their vehicle in reverse and began backing up, about three car lengths, to pull into a diner parking lot to move around me. As soon as I saw the driver do this, I put the car in neutral and allowed it to coast backwards. I threw open the driver door and began waving back oncoming traffic as I swung the car into the parking lot.
The car had enough momentum to get most of the way into the lot before stopping on a slight incline. I hopped out of the car and popped the hood so that oncoming drivers would know that I was not trying to pull out of the lot.
In five minute intervals I tried starting the car. Between failed attempts to get it started, I called for a tow and waited patiently. After forty-five minutes, the car started. Without wasting any time, I threw it into reverse and backed out of the entrance to the parking lot, with hood still up, to an open space in the lot so that the tow truck could easily hook-up my car.
With my wife’s car parked at my parents house, I was able to borrow my brothers extra vehicle to get me back home. Five hours after leaving work, my day was finally coming to a close. I had a light dinner paired with some Nyquil before calling it a night.