Thursday, July 23, 2009

The midwest mechanics tour

I have a Garmin NUVI navigation GPS for the truck. This trip, I found out just how handy she is to have along. I knew I could punch the fuel button, and she would tell me where the closest gas stations were, and the food button pointed me towards eatery locations. And, you can type in a name, like McDonalds as an example, and she will tell you where the closest ones are. Hit GO! and she directs you there. But her knowledge really saved me this trip.

I had a low tire on the trailer, so I typed in TIRE, and she directed me to all the business locations with the word TIRE in them. One on the next exit, pulled off, and got that nail out of the trailer tire. When the Power Steering pump went out on the way to the ride, she found me that wonderful Ford dealer just 10-15 miles off the freeway. Complete with the phone number, so I could call ahead. Like a electronic Yellow Pages!

As I arrived at the ride, my clutch was giving me some trouble as I pulled in to camp. I managed to get backed into a camping spot, and just did not dwell on it during the ride. Sunday afternoon, I decided to figure things out. After the ride, I packed up camp, loaded Hank, and figured if the truck would get going out of camp, and on to the country roads, then I could head on home, and drive when it was cooler. But, truck had other ideas, and I could not shift, and managed only to re-park, about 150' from my previous spot. At least Hank had a new spot to graze down.

I asked about local mechanics etc. I was told which dealership to avoid, and was given a name of a mechanic about 8 miles away. I found their website, and saw they did towing also if needed. But I figured I could get the truck moving if it did not have the weight of the trailer, and I could start it in 2nd gear. (manual transmission) Next morning, I punched them up in the NUVI, and called them. They told me they could 'maybe' look at it that afternoon, and when I asked if they had a place I could wait, then flat said "No". So, on to plan B. Punched FORD into the GPS, and found a dealership south in Jefferson City. Gave them a call, and they said bring it on in. Even checked first to see if they had the part in stock. (I told them I thought it was the clutch master/slave cylinder that had gone out)

So, Hank was put in the round pen at camp with food and water, and off I went. Indeed, I could get the truck in to 2nd, and get it going. With my GPS telling me where to turn, she directed me towards the dealership. Drove slow on the country roads. When I hit the highway, I tried to shift to 3rd, but no luck. Had to pull over and stop, turn truck off, pump clutch, start in 2nd, and THEN I was able to shift through the gears. Even managed to get it shifted into drive on the freeway! Creative driving and shifting, and soon I arrived at the dealership. I sat in the waiting room with my laptop, as the got to work on it. In less than 2 hours, I was fixed with the new clutch cylinder, and heading back to get Hank.

Got trailer hitched back up, Hank loaded, and headed home. Thankfully for this trip, I did not need the services of any more mechanics or tire repair shops. The weather was fairly kind, not blazing hot, and I arrived at home around midnight.

Again, when my NATRC family knew the truck was sick, I had offers to come get Hank, rescue us if needed, or give us places to over night.

3 comments:

MysteryTheMorab said...

I love the way you call the GPS thingie "she"!
I'm glad you had a safe and fun trip! I enjoy reading your blog.

Tammy said...

I love gadgets. That one is added to my list!

Jonna said...

You kept so calm. What a trip ! I would have freaked! I hate vehicle trouble, especially when transporting a horse is involved. You clearly know what your doing with "mechanical" related things. Glad your wheels are going again!