Last Tuesday, I wrote a blog about a stranded motorist in London whose car windows were blown out by security police who suspected that the seemingly abandoned vehicle might be a car bomb. I must admit to feeling a bit complacent – yea, even smug, if you will – because I am currently driving a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. It’s a new car; there are only 6600 miles on it. I have years to go before I have to worry about being stranded, right?
Well, you know what they say about those who are complacent and smug. Yesterday, I was on my way from Atlanta to Orlando in my new little red car. There I was, bopping along to 50’s on 5, doing 72 mph in the middle lane, and my new little red car...stopped! The engine suddenly died. I did make it to the shoulder safely, if you ignore the fact that I was feeling as faint as a Victorian lady wearing a corset two sizes too small.
I sat on the side of I 75 for more than an hour waiting for a tow truck.The shoulder of a major highway is not a comfortable place to spend an hour. It was 90 degrees, cars and semis whizzed past, and to the right of my car was a wooded, overgrown spot that was an ideal place to hide a body. I sat there in the passenger seat, cell phone in one hand, pepper spray in the other, and I sweated it out.
I liked the tow truck driver; I just wish he had come 45 minutes earlier. He towed my little red baby 15 miles to the nearest Hyundai dealership in Gainesville, FL (Go Gaters!). The dealership rented a car for me, assured me that they would call me in the morning, and I went on to Orlando, driving an Impala that had last been rented by a chain smoker. So much for complacency, huh?
True to his word, my service guy Gus called me this morning. Apparently, the fuel injector got stuck in the open position and gas had spewed out onto the cylinders. They had no idea what had caused this. They were going to ask Hyundai what to do. They had never seen anything like it.
Gus called me this afternoon. Now they’re in the process of removing engine parts and replacing them with parts from one of the new 2012 Elantras they had on the lot. Sooner or later, they’re bound to find the bad part, don’t you think?
Anyway, you can rest assured that I no longer feel smug about having a new car. My character has been improved, even as my transportation woes have grown. Another lesson learned.