Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do car troubles come in threes?

Faithful readers of my blogs know I keep 3 cars in my home. With the daily schedule my much-better-half keeps running with kids, and my long commute, we cannot afford to be down to one car for any real length of time.

Her car is an '06 Toyota Highlander, with some 66,000 miles on it. My daily ride is an '01 Toyota RAV-4 (262,000 miles), and the back-up (and weekend workhorse) is a '92 Chevy Blazer (211,000).
About 6 weeks ago the check engine light came on the RAV. I took it in for a routine oil change and my mechanic said it was the catalytic converter throwing the signal. He reset the indicator, and told me to call him if/when it came back on. Well 3 weeks later it came on again, so we agreed it was time to replace the 'cat'.

So I scheduled to take my car in last Saturday (the 24th). Then I realized the Highlander needed its annual inspection before month-end. So a week ago today (20th) I called to change the appointment to the Highlander.

Late Tuesday, I was running the Blazer to a Boy Scout Meeting (giving the RAV a brief rest) and when I hit the brakes, the pedal floored. I have either a blown brake line (relatively cheap) or a caliper ($$) or worse. I was fortunately close to the meeting so I was able to limp into the parking lot, catch a ride to a buy brake fluid, and was able to get home without any incident.

So I kept the Highlander's appointment, and then brought the Blazer back, after the inspection. I managed to get the Blazer to the shop without ever touching the brakes, which is no mean feat, given the hills in-between my home and the shop (downshifting and the parking-brake all the way down.

I get to the shop and learn - are you ready? - the Highlander will need rear pads and rotors to pass inspection. So let's see... when the Blazer is done, swap it for the Highlander, and oh yeah, finally get that cat for the RAV.

When it rains, it pours.

The mechanic will draw me up a firm quote forall 3 and I'll pay him in cash... can't wait for next month to begin

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