Current Mood: Ugh
Four times a year we travel to Osoyoos and directly back, an 8 hour trip dropping off or picking up Amber’s kids to/from their BioDad on the weekend. Pickup usually happens the following weekend.
Sometimes the trip is treacherous, like last Christmas. Sometimes it’s beautiful, like this time, Easter Sunday.
My van’s heater had been acting weird since the return trip the previous weekend, sometimes heating and sometimes not. On this trip it was mostly not working. About 15 minutes away from Princeton, maybe 1/2 of the way to Osoyoos, the van gave a warning chime, the temperature gauge spiked to the max, and steam started shooting out of the hood. I uttered an expletive that I will not repeat here and pulled over.
After waiting a bit for whatever was going on under the hood to settle a bit, we opened it to find hot liquid shooting out from somewhere we couldn’t quite make out. We called around, but were informed that because it was the Easter long weekend there would be no repair places open in Princeton. Nowhere else was close.
After a bit a helpful gentleman stopped and had a look. He really knew his stuff, found where the coolant was leaking from, taped it up, had us put some water into the radiator, closed the cap but didn’t seal it so that the leak wouldn’t recur, and told us to GO GO GO before it overheated again. We rushed into Princeton at about 160 km/h and pulled up to a repair place, but as we were told would be the case, it was closed.
We walked to the Canada’s Best Value Inn (yes, that’s actually the name) and the staff were very accommodating, considering we didn’t know if we’d be there one night or two, since by this point we were told that repair places weren’t going to be open on Monday either.
Speaking of accommodating, the Little Creek Grill was going to close within a half hour of us calling, but they stayed open to feed us! Their grilled beet salad was one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten!
That night I Googled the hell out of the problem. Lots of people were complaining about this one plastic piece that cracks on Dodge vehicles, spewing coolant everywhere. The fix would cost $300 if we found a repair place, but the piece could be replaced with non-automotive parts for far less.
In the end, with assistance from Amber’s cousin’s partner on the phone, we purchased more electrical tape and some metal screw bindings and Amber secured the whole thing for the trip back the next day. It was a nervous drive home but we made it!
Which was good because Amber had a job interview after work the next day, which she would have most likely missed if we had to wait until Tuesday for repairs. As it was her current work gave her hell for missing Monday, even going so far as to call her a liar! We agreed she should quit right away and luckily she got the job she interviewed for shortly thereafter!
I’m no good with automobiles, so I took it to Chrysler for repairs. After a coolant flush and taxes, $800! Maybe I should get better with engines…
We both agreed that Princeton was awesome. Nice and quiet, and the people were really friendly and helpful. I guess we got “Doc Hollywooded”, but it might be a nice place to retire…