Day 8: Set-backs in Indiana

Before I get your hopes up, this will be a picture-less post.  I took a few photos today but then pretty much disaster struck.  Of a mechanical nature.  Me and the dogs are fine.  Just frustrated.  Lousy weather this morning:  grey and rain.  My little humming sound didn’t start until after about the first hour.  As I was heading for the next big city to have it checked out, the check engine light came on.  I’ve been told not to panic when it does — it’s usually just an electronic thing and as long as the car is acting normal, not overheating, oil pressure fine, then you shouldn’t worry. 

Found a Chevy dealership and was optimistic.  Although they were closing at noon (and it was 9:30am), they would get me fixed up.  They got me out at 1pm.  The “check engine” thing came up on the computer as an oxygen sensor.  So that’s what was replaced.  I was nervous when I saw the mechanic struggling to get the part out, flabbergasted with the instructions of how to install, etc.  As for the sound, I was told it was my “cluster” (speedometer, etc.) and that it would be $500 plus and that it wouldn’t hurt to leave it be — sometimes the sound just goes away on its own.  Ok.

So, $250 or so later, hit the road and eager to start taking photos, even though it was still pretty grey and miserable.  Then, the sound returned, getting louder and louder.  Like 3 million wasps in your lap.  Loud.  Scary loud.  I was trying to imagine dealing with Chicago chaos with that going on.  Not a good plan.  Considered buying ear plugs.  Even the dogs were annoyed I think.  Then, it went away.  Maybe the guy was right? 

About 20 minutes later, I feel this buck.  Like you hit something.  Dead roadkill or a rubber hose.  Soft buck but noticeable.  Then again.  And then every few miles.  A buck, a surge.  But no sounds, no lights and running perfectly fine otherwise.  Stress!!!  Should I stop, should I drive?  No repair shops open anywhere.  At noon, they all close in northern Indiana, so everyone said.  What could it be?  Must be fuel related?  Then, 20 miles from Fort Wayne, the “check engine” light comes on again.  So did they guy diagnose the problem wrong — or was the part installed wrong — or just some additional thing?  My theory is that this is all related to the teeny humming that I had back in Brooklyn.  Even the speedo sound.  But all this is to be determined.

I may be in Fort Wayne til Monday.  Or longer.  Unfortunately, in a dullsville part of town with only gas stations and fast food places so I can’t even document stuff for you.  Unless.  I found a Sears Auto Center online — it’s supposedly open tomorrow at 9am.  So I’ll limp down the road — just 2.5 miles and give that a shot.  Luckily, this Red Roof Inn is right next to a gigantic field so I can run the dogs if we’re stranded here for more than 24 hours.  Hope not.  I’ll keep you posted.  This is what roadtrips are really all about I guess.  The highs and lows, the unexpected.  A reflection of life in general.  The good thing is, I’m going to sleep a lot tonight.

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