Coincidence or Sabotage?

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.

Mrs. Accountability Driving a Chevy Cruze

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. :-)

 

 

 

 

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6 comments to Coincidence or Sabotage?

  • shannon

    With all you gasoline related issues you might want to consider changing gas stations. Sometimes tanks can rot or floor and the fuel is compromised.

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  • I just bought a new car because the amount of deferred maintenance on my 17 year old car exceeded its value. I will probably keep the new car about as long.
    krantcents recently posted..Red Flags of Personal FinanceMy Profile

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  • That sucks. I hope someone isn’t really sabotaging you guys. Sometimes things happen but as long as you don’t go crazy it might be cheaper to get a reliable used car…
    Lance recently posted..Passive Income: Not As Passive As You Think – Part 2My Profile

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  • Good luck to you, Mrs. A! Vehicles are a necessary evil, that’s for sure. Ditto on how it almost seems as if cars hear what you say about them or about the other vehicles in the family and they seem to crave equal attention! I try to only say good things; not “Oh, I wish we had a Honda Pilot like that one!”
    Deborah Collins recently posted..WARNING TO GEN-NEXT-ers by Gary MillerMy Profile

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  • Wow- I hope it isn’t sabotage. If your son did get sabotaged, then it was bad luck to use the remaining gas in the other vehicles. No one would have known you would have done that.. or would they have?
    Good luck with all the car repair stuff.
    Sandy H recently posted..InterviewingMy Profile

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  • Where are you buying gas?

    By and large, all brands of gasoline come from the same tanks. My father used to work for Standard Oil and then later for Union Oil, and he said there’s NO difference from brand to brand. So if you got dirty gasoline, that suggests your retailer’s tanks have rotted through and soil is leaching into the station’s pumps’ underground storage tank. It probably would be a good idea to empty the gas out of both vehicles, clean out the tanks, and refill with gas from a different source.

    You’re too far away from The Mechanic from Heaven (about 7th Street & Campbell, in mid-town), but here’s a lead: go to YourAutoNetwork.com and look for mechanics in your part of the Valley. These guys do pay something to be listed; however, proprietor Cary Lockwood, who was FaM’s first “Entrepreneur,” told me that he personally visits each garage on the list, inspects their work, and drops in occasionally unannounced. So they have to “qualify” to some degree to get on his list. Another option is to look on the Click & Clack website, http://www.cartalk.com, and select the “Mechanics Files” tab — they have reviews of local mechanics. Or look on Angie’s List — if you’re not subscribed to A.L., e-mail me and I’ll look up mechanics to see if there’s anyone in your area who’s not roundly hated.
    Funny about Money recently posted..When the Workman Waltz Turns into the Workman Stumble…My Profile

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