Friday, July 24, 2009
The Ricardipus-mobile, prophetically parked in a cemetary.
Friday morning, an enforced day off to deal with the sadly-stricken vehicle. Having been suffering from a mild case of throttle-lag over the last half-year or so, it decided yesterday that enough was enough.
About ten minutes from home, the CD player decided to cut in and out. At first I wasn't too surprised, since it skips from time to time, but fairly quickly it became obvious that this was an electrical, not mechanical, problem. Next, the car did something really weird - it refused to change gear. I'm pretty sure I was stuck in third, and nothing I did with the shifter (ok, you standard drivers, I know it's not really a shifter per se) would make it change - off with the overdrive button, which should have moved it from fourth to third, or into either second or first with the stick. Neutral, it could do fine, but that's hardly helpful for forward momentum.
Not so useful.
Nursing it around the last set of streets on the way home, all kinds of electrical gremlins started creeping in - the windshield wipers stopped working, the indicators started flashing at double-speed, which is usually indicative of a failed bulb, and the car was distinctly lacking in "get-up-and-go" (or, at this point, "keep-going-please"). Flipping off the headlights helped a little, but by the time I actually wheeled into the driveway, it was done. Just for fun, I shut it all down and then tried to re-start it... you could hear the crickets chirping.
That would be about right. Zero kph.
Maddeningly, it started just fine this morning and I was able to drive it down to the local dealership, a nice bunch of people who just opened, and are only taking delivery of their diagnostic service equipment today.
Maybe they'll lend me this one instead?
They are optimistic, but I rather suspect that the poor old Protege is not going to be ready to go for the annual cottage weekend, which is approaching fast. And, for added fun and games, with a train strike likely to start today, finding a rental car next week will likely be nigh impossible.
Cars. Stupid things. Too bad I love them so much.
This is where I need to get to.