I am driving to Los Angeles after work today. This means driving through rush hour traffic through San Jose and then driving on the evil I-5 through the central valley (one of the most godawful boring stretches of road ANYwhere) at night. I’m going to L.A. for two reasons:
1. To emcee the first Twilight Tour of 2011 for EFBC/FCC (affectionately known as “The Cathouse”)
2. To take Zhadi, my beloved Saturn, to a trusted mechanic to have him tell me why the air-conditioner isn’t working after having two lines replaced a few months ago. And to have him give her a general going over. Zhadi has over 200,000 miles on her and needs regular checkups to keep her in good shape. I’m a very good car mom. Zhadi was my first new car ever (under 4 miles when I drove her off the lot) and I have been diligent about taking her for all the recommended services and for checkups whenever anything feels/sounds even a bit off. I love this car. So you’d think she’d behave herself, y’know?
This morning, however, driving to West Portal in heavy traffic, the fan blower on the defroster started fading out along with the radio lights and the engine started stuttering, nearly dying. I put her in ‘park’ and revved the engine, managing to keep her from dying on 19th Avenue, one of the heaviest traveled streets in San Francisco during commute time. Gotta be the alternator, right?
Dave took her to a local mechanic with great reviews on YELP since our normal SF repair place of choice was closed and he checked the alternator … which is fine. The mechanic said that with a car as old as Zhadi, little glitches are to be expected, he could spend hours trying to figure out what caused this particular glitch, costing me a lot of money, and at the end of the day still not know why it did what it did. It didn’t happen again after the incident on 19th. This has happened once before, a few months back (something I just found out about today). So two glitches a few months apart. The mechanic told Dave he felt I could make the drive without worry.
Just please oh please, Car Gods and beloved Zhadi, do NOT strand me on the I-5, especially outside the Harris Ranch cattle farm and source of most of the methane in the Central Valley… Actually, please don’t strand me anywhere. I’ve been a good mom, dammit!