The car that wasn't broken
Saturday I had barely returned home to Indiana (from MI) when Natalie called me. She was leaving Target and Kohls in Goshen and wanted to know what I was up to. About a minute into the conversation she said “crap, gotta go, the car just died…” A few minutes later she called back, the car was dead, in the parking lot.
So like any good husband I suited up and headed that direction. She had gone on to shopping in Target (per my command/request) and it took me a good 15min to find her because her cellphone refuses to work in any department store.
Finally found her, got the keys, and headed out there. Her car (a sky blue 92 Toyota Celica) fired right up (after I checked the obvious stuff, like oil, etc), but as soon as I started to accelerate out of the parking spot it died. I opened the door to hear a loud hissing sound.
I’ll be the first to admit, I know virtually nothing about cars. Ask me almost any computer question and I’ll be able to answer, but ask me about the mechanics of a car and unless google can help me, I’m in trouble.
Well anyways, I gave up, figuring it was something bad like a vacuum hose or fuel pump.
Here is where things get interesting. Later that night I had it towed (thanks Shorty!) and we followed the tow truck to the repair shop he recommended. While driving behind the car Nat said, “doesn’t it look like the exhaust is plugged?” Sure enough, it was stuffed with ice and snow. This is where she fessed up to backing into a snow pile while leaving her parking spot at the shopping center.
I didn’t have a hammer or blow torch handy, so I went ahead and had Shorty leave the car at the shop, and then first thing this morning (Monday) I stopped at the shop and ended up helping the guys push the car into the shop. They had already peeked at it and noticed the exhaust pipe, so when I mentioned it they were like “yup” and figured that was it.
I stopped back by an hour later, and they had used a torch on it, and sure enough it fired right up and ran fine…
Moral of the story: Know the WHOLE story and sometimes the clues will jump right out at ya :-)