A Series of Unfortunate Events

I’m told bad things always come in threes. Well, yesterday the third one finally showed up. (Locations censored until the right things go to the right places).

I’ve been sick since Friday night when I finished my last paid day at Highland for the summer, and am still recovering with headaches and congestion – we’re getting there. The second thing was that Kelly is supposed to start her new job at the day-care on Monday and has been called up for jury duty Monday-Wednesday. The employer is fine with it, but it’s annoying.

The third one is big though. We drove from Broadway into Harrisonburg yesterday, about 15 miles all up, to get some paint and (Kelly was hoping) some wallpaper for a dresser we bought really cheap at Goodwill a couple weeks ago. The car has been doing some strange things when started cold recently. It’ll violently shake until it gets up to temperature (and then it’s fine). It did that when we left Broadway, was fine by the end of the street. Was fine all the way to [Censored], where we got paint. Couldn’t find wallpaper, so we went over to [Censored]. They don’t carry wallpaper either, it’s all special-order now. So we leave and get in the car, turn the key and.. vroom-vroom/click-click/vroomclickvroomclickvroomclickvroomclick. I shut it down, thinking there’s something stuck in a fan blade or something (that’s what it sounded a lot like). Lift the hood, find nothing obviously out-of-place, get Kelly to start it again, and the whole engine is vibrating, and it seems to be in sync with the vibration as if it is the engine that is knocking something, although I couldn’t see what. Shutting down again, I checked oil and transmission fluids as last resorts, and both are fine.

We resort to calling Randy, Kelly’s dad to see what he thinks. He and Kelly’s mom come in to Harrisonburg in the van and he takes one look (and listen) at what it does and says he thinks it’s misfiring (at least) one of the cylinders and that we will have to leave it overnight and get Sonny (his mechanic of choice) to tow it in the morning. So we removed everything of value, and leaving a single key hidden inside and the drivers door unlocked, we let [Censored] staff know that it was there to be picked up in the morning, and rode home in the van.

Kelly called Sonny this morning, and he was intending on picking it up and looking at it, and would contact us and let us know what we were looking at in terms of damage and cost. We’d decided earlier in the summer that a second car was needed sooner or later, both because of break-downs as well as our needing to go two separate directions in motorized vehicles (and Randy’s truck isn’t always going to be available).

We basically came to the conclusion that if it’s minor engine, we’ll consider it. If it’s major engine, we’ll probably get another car and get it worked on over time, if it’s transmission, we’ll get another car and consider options. Kelly has a real attachment to Juanita, as it was her first big purchase on her own, and for that reason I’d like to keep it going as long as we can. We’ll just have to cross-match the desire to keep Juanita vs. the economics of maintenance.



I had a call from Kelly around lunchtime. She’d heard from the mechanic. Juanita is toast. This is makes decisions easier.. We’re looking for a new car. Anyone who is aware of a good-working Sedan, Station-wagon or SUV for sale in the Broadway/Harrisonburg area (or up to a reasonable distance away) for up to $5,000, please let me know.

1 thought on “A Series of Unfortunate Events

  1. Sorry to hear that this is all gonna cost you guys more money, but hopefully another vehicle will save you repair costs in the long run.

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