Yesterday I was driving between schools, when all of a sudden my air conditioner stopped working. It was blowing hot air and the light on the knob was flashing. Since it was almost 90 degrees yesterday, this was quite an issue. I rolled down the windows to try and cool down, at which point I started hearing this awful sound coming from my car. A few minutes later I realized that when I braked (?) my oil light came on.
The combination of malfunctions made me nervous so I stopped at the Midas near one of my schools. I normally go there to get my oil changed; in fact I was just there last week. I told the guys what was going on, and one of the mechanics took my car out for a spin. I waited patiently in the waiting area, but I was pretty sure it was taking longer than normal for the test drive. After about 30 minutes the guy finally returned.
Next thing I know they were pulling me into the garage and had me under the car to show me the steady flow of oil that was leaking. The mechanic told me that he had to stop at his house down the street and put oil in the car because he wouldn't have been able to make it back to the shop without blowing the engine. AWESOME. They said they couldn't fix it, it wasn't related to my oil change last week, and that I should call to have it towed to the nearest Toyota dealership. The best part...they didn't charge me a dime. I will be dropping by later this week with some coffee because I really appreciate their help!
I called AAA and they had a guy out to tow me away in less than 15 minutes. I rode with him to the Toyota dealership and only had to pay him $4 for the entire trip. AAA is so worth the money! Here is my poor car on the tow truck.
After explaining the issues to the service consultant, he stopped me and said he had another V6 Camry in that morning with the same problem. Apparently there is some tube that has been rupturing on these kinds of cars (yay, factory warranty!). He said it would take a few days to fix it, that I would have to leave the car, and he would get me a rental. The next thing I know I am walking across the parking lot to Enterprise and picking up a rental car. The only problem...they didn't have any cars available and I was stuck with a van. I about died. I have ALWAYS said I will never drive a van.
Well, never say never right? Here is my van in all its soccer mom glory.
All of this literally happened within a two hour time frame. Nothing in DC happens this fast! It was so crazy. But, because we live in the city and you have to have a permit to park on the street, I had to stop at the DMV on the way home and pick up a rental car parking permit. This took about as long as the entire car breakdown/tow/rental process. Ugh, the DMV! Why must you be the bane of everyone's existence.
Now, the funniest part about this whole experience...I can totally see myself driving a van one day. If I have kids, of course. There is so much space! And the convenience features are out of control. Mirrors built in so you can see the kiddies in the back, automatic sliding doors, more cup holders than I would know what to do with, etc., etc.... We would definitely have to be in the 'burbs though, because parallel parking that thing on the street was almost a catastrophe.
What are your thoughts on the van? Will you have one someday? Seriously, my 17 year old self is dying right now.
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