Remember a couple of weeks ago I was talking about how our old cars were all breaking down at the same time? Well, at the time I wrote that blog post we assumed it was because these things tend to happen in cycles in our experience. For example, one time we had taken our 1989 Ford Pickup in to have the brakes repaired and I had followed my husband down in my Pathfinder to give him a ride back home. While he was at the shop filling out the required paperwork and I was driving around the parking lot waiting for him, the brakes on my vehicle started making a horrible grinding sound. I swear they had not shown any indication of failing and boom all of a sudden!! It’s as if my vehicle got jealous of the other vehicle.
This has happened more than once – that our vehicles have broken down in the same time period. So with this recent bout of breakdowns, we chalked it up to coincidence. But as the days have gone by, we are starting to suspect that someone may have put dirt into our son AJ’s fuel tank – either that – or he got some really bad gasoline.
AJ couldn’t get to work in his vehicle because it was down (that’s why he rented the Chevy Cruze) and it took a couple of repairs to get everything straightened out but the last thing replaced on his vehicle was the fuel pump which resides in the gas tank. Mr. A had to remove the gasoline and drop the fuel tank in order to remove and replace the fuel pump. Mr. A remarked to me later in the evening that the gasoline he’d taken from AJ’s car was the dirtiest gasoline he’d ever seen. He’d taken 20 gallons from the tank and he decided instead of just having it sit around evaporating he would put the gasoline into his van and his truck. Within a week, the van was broken down with the exact same problem – the fuel pump.
For this particular vehicle, you can’t just buy the fuel pump. There is a whole assembly piece that goes together and it’s only available from the dealer and was going to cost almost $600 to replace. This weekend we caught a little break because Mr. A found that he can get ONLY the fuel pump for the van – on the Internet.
Since AJ had moved out, we were now down to Mr. A’s work pickup, and our old 1989 Ford which we normally only use to haul our water. Mr. A’s work pickup started having problem with the fuel pump – it was emitting a high pitched whine. When Mr. A checked the fuel filter, he found it was filthy. He cleaned it a couple of times, and it kept getting dirty, so finally he changed it. That seemed to upset the vehicle for then the fuel pump went out. It’s been throwing error codes ever since. The “check engine” light is on and the engine is running very rough. Mr. A has been through every repair he can find based on the error codes and we are now trying to figure out where we can take it to have it looked at (we have not had good luck with mechanics in our area, unfortunately).
Because the van and truck are broken down, and my Pathfinder has been out of commission since October, that left us with one one solitary vehicle, our old 1989 Ford, which we normally only use to haul our water. I call this truck “The Beast”. And this baby gets 10 miles to the gallon!! Agh!
I told Mr. A a few days ago we have to do something about these vehicles, even if it means we go further into debt.
We just aren’t in a position right now to buy a used vehicle, nor even take one to the shop – without incurring more debt.
That’s how it goes sometimes. I think I better start playing the lottery. 🙂