Sunday, October 04, 2009

Transmission Drama

A little story to tell... :-)

So, a little over a year ago, my transmission light first came on and I thought my transmission was going bad. Then, my car started making a horrible noise and I thought it was my transmission. Then, Glenn fixed my wheel bearings this summer and my car sounded fine and my transmission was fine...or so I thought!

About a month ago, Liz and I were driving over the big mountain on the way to Harrisonburg, and the transmission light came on again, for the first time in over a year. I took it in and turned the light off. A few days later, it came back on again, which was bad. Then, the next day, my gears shifted just a little oddly. I quickly took it to a local place and had them change my transmission fluid to correct it. Well, that didn't seem to help much. The light did not come back on for two weeks. But, over those last two weeks, the shifting has been getting worse and worse. The last few days last week I really had a few times where it was really hard to get it to shift from 1st to 2nd gears. I had to be extra careful and leave myself lots of room to accelerate!!

So, the last two weeks, my transmission was going downhill quick. I hoped it would hold out a little longer though. This weekend, we came down to Blacksburg because Liz and Mema were going to Liz's cousin's baby shower in NC, and we're dropping Mema off in Blacksburg for October. We left Friday morning. Before we left, I noticed the transmission fluid was a little low, so I added some. I think I added too much...bad mistake. We had a horrible time driving to Blacksburg! The car was slipping gears really badly going down there and we had a lot of trouble accelerating to merge in. Thankfully, we made it most of the way with limited problems.

But then, right around exit 128 on 81, about 10 miles before Blacksburg, where you have to climb a mountain, and it goes to 3 lanes, bad things happened. I felt the car losing speed and then the engine started revving really high. I shifted down to 3rd and realized that my 3rd gear was shot. So then I went into 2nd for a little bit. I was doing about 35 in the far right lane with my emergency lights on and trucks passing me! I finally made it to the top of the mountain and hoped that the transmission would kick back in on the way down. No such luck! I shifted down to first gear and we drifted along on the shoulder slowly trying to get it back into gear. I couldn't even get it into first. Then, there was another hill to climb. I stopped on the shoulder, then tried to slowly get it into first...I started drifting backwards!! That's when I realized that my transmission had died.

So, there we were on the side of 81 at mile marked 123. Thankfully, that was only 5 miles away from the Blacksburg/Christiansburg exit. Liz's Mom was able to come pick up Mema and Liz, while I waited at the car for a tow truck.

So, this is a bummer, but God has many blessings in this though. I knew my transmission was going, and it was only a matter of time. As we were driving down, I was calling around to different places in Charlottesville and Blacksburg, trying to figure out my future options, not knowing that it would die a bit later down the road! If it had died in Charlottesville, the best price I would have got on a used transmission would be around $2500. There's a place in Christiansburg, though, known as the best transmission place in the area, that quoted me a lot less (about $1800). So, as we were driving, I was thinking of ways where I could maybe have my transmission done in Christiansburg to save money. I didn't think I could make it work out though. Turns out that God decided that for me! I died just outside of Christiansburg and I had my car towed right to the transmission place. The man working was surprised to see me, since I had just called him up a couple hours earlier about a theoretical quote! He was able to find me a used transmission with 50k on it for $1800 including labor, which is expensive, but a decent price, and saves me a lot of money over what Charlottesville would cost me. Plus, they're giving me a one-year warranty and I'm getting it done my a very respected and reputable place. So, I feel that God really has provided in this circumstance. He also kept us safe the whole ride down and got us within 5 miles of our exit, which was just great. :-)

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