Monday, September 14, 2009

Minivan Meltdown

We've been having trouble with the minivan for the couple of years; in fact we had the transmission rebuilt in 2007. Shortly after that though, the transmission light started coming on again. The techs ran it through all the testing and couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. It also runs really rough when it gets lower than a 1/4 tank of gas. A couple of times in Hudson the van just cut out on us while we were going around a corner. We're just trying to nurse it along for a few more months until we're done paying on the Malibu and can do something about replacing it.

So this morning, Daddy was gone and Mommy got the boys up and ready and loaded into the van to take Parker to school. Only the van wouldn't start. A few clicking noises but that was it. Quickly we threw Wesley into the stroller and started hoofing it fast to Parker's school. Unfortunately we only had enough time to drive to school and not to walk, so Parker was late. But he got there. Then Mommy and Wesley walked home and called Daddy's secretary Carole for some names of folks from church who might help. Mommy called the Pitts who recommended Russell Stein from down the street. He came right away and jumped the van. Which wasn't easy considering it was still inside the garage and his minivan just squeaked inside too! Mommy thought the battery might be dead, so she decided to go to Advance Auto where we'd gotten the last one. On the way, she dropped Wesley off at daycare. But because she was unsure if the van would start again once it was turned off, Mommy left it running in the parking lot during dropoff!

Tests at Advance indicated the battery was fine but it might be the alternator. So Mommy got a couple of alternator quotes from some nearby places and decided to go with Batten Automotive. She had to wait about 90 minutes before they could get to the van. When they got started, they wanted to run an electrical test to make sure it was not something called a fuseable link instead of the alternator. But that test came back fine. And so did the one for the alternator, and the battery and the starter. The motorized doors were also working on the van as well now. Batten didn't charge for any of their testing and no new alternator was needed today! So Mommy ended up working today from the lobby of the auto shop and from home. Fortunately the van started up again when it was time to go get Parker and also let us go get some groceries and pickup the little guy from daycare too!

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