Sunday, November 27, 2005

Stranded in Pennsylvania

Now I really hate Thanksgiving.

We packed the Beetle and left Chicago yesterday about 1 in the afternoon. Renee drove about 250 miles and I took over from there. I went about 400 miles, feeling fine. We spent the ride listening to old George Carlin and Led Zeppelin concerts on the ipod and by midnight I figured I could do the other 200 miles and get us home a day early.

Then the temperature light went on.

Renee drives it every day so I casually mentioned the light to her and wondered what we should do. She had me pull over and wait ten minutes. After all, we had driven 600 miles in one day. We pulled out and within a mile, the light went on again. We waited twenty minutes with the hood up and drove out at fifteen miles an hour.

The light came on again.

Renee tried to call for assistance. No signal. Pennsylvania, man. At 2 a.m. the highway patrol found us. At 3 a.m. a tow truck took us the last seven miles to a hotel. Antifreeze was leaking out of our car.

It's Sunday morning. I'm writing from a Holiday Inn Express in New Columbia. No dealerships or garages are open today. The coolant tank is empty. There are no cabs either. We begged an employee to pick up antifreeze from the local Wal-Mart. Our plan is to keep filling the coolant tank like it's gas and get home. Renee just had it serviced at the dealership last week. And are they going to fucking here about this. Wish us luck.

UPDATE: 2:27 p.m.

No luck.

We filled the coolant tank and got about a half-mile before the temperature light went on again. Renee immediately called Volkswagen's roadside assistance. It took two hours of arguing before they even began to understand what part of the state we were in. Luckily, a state tropper stopped by and called a tow truck. The same tow truck that hauled us last night. Different driver. The car poured coolant as it was loaded onto the truck.

We're now in the best accomodations Danville Pennsylvania has to offer. Our dripping car is at the nearest dealership awaiting a diagnosis. Looks like we'll be missing work tomorrow.


Dave said...

Jon - these last few posts have been priceless. As I was reading, I could feel the Holiday Angst just pouring out of you – its great to read. And you've definitely been listening to some Carlin.

Good luck with that Beetle. Thought those Germans had finally built a reliable car.

Ryan said...

Pennsylvania is for jerkbags