Saturday, May 19, 2007

Car died

Image Hosted by
I watched the temp gauge rise slightly, then
it zoomed all the way up (second from right)

Image Hosted by
I pulled over...

Image Hosted by find no coolant in the reservoir. The pump went out. To my utter amazement, the car was fixed in just over two hours. It was a world record. I had picked up a loaner car, and when my machine was ready, I switched back. It took a few hours for me to start hearing a strange whining sound. It sounded like a turbo charger, only louder. Something was wrong with the new pump. I notified HQ, and they said the loaner car I was using earlier is gone now, and I'd have to get another one.

I ended up spending Friday and Saturday night with the loaner car (my car died Friday night). I had no laptop because the loaner doesn't have a mounting system. It has been a while since I went without the technology, especially for two nights in a row. It was good and bad -- good because the car wasn't cluttered with computers and power inverters and wires. Without all the distractions I listened to the cab radio more closely, which is fairly entertaining because our drivers act like school children. I was able to dig into a novel, too.

It was bad because I'm used to having GPS, the web, and movies to keep things entertaining. I felt like I was driving naked without all that stuff. It was a very odd feeling. In a way, the GPS and access to the web are crutches. I can do the job without them, but what a hassle!

Also, the loaner car was absurd. When I picked it up, the car was two quarts down on oil, about three quarts down on coolant, and all the tires were at 20 psi, except one, which was at 15 psi. They should all be around 35-40. The interior was so filthy I wondered if I might get some flesh-eating disease. My first customer was a lady, and she decided to put her window down. Once we hit the freeway she tried to put it up, but it wouldn't go. She complained mightily about getting her hair blown around. I didn't have the heart (or lack thereof) to tell her a tornado couldn't make her mop look any worse.

At about midnight last night (about two hours ago), I was at a cab stand at a hotel when I was belled to a bar. I started the unsightly beast and found that it was stuck in Park. After a minute or two of fighting with the shifter, I had to call and tell them to give the ride to another driver. Finally it went into Drive, and when I tried to get it back into Park, it wouldn't go. I was on a hill, so I had to keep my foot on the break. With the car turned off, and therefore no power assisted braking, it took a great deal of leg muscle to keep the car from rolling. WTF? I tried leaving it running, in Drive, and that held it in place. But, that would probably cause the transmission to overheat and such. I should have driven to Broadway pier and dumped it into San Diego Bay. I would have been doing the company a big favor. I finally brought the piece of dung back to HQ and said: "This car is absurd. Give me another one."

Well, there were no other cars available, so the night ended early. I made very little money tonight, but did well last night, so I'm content.

Tomorrow I should be back in business with the Millennium Falcon, complete with all the techno-entertainment, and then life will be good once again.

No comments: