In honor of the annual State of the Union Address tonight, I thought it only fitting that Jason and I give you an update on another old and noble, um, "institution": our car.
As you might already know, our car (a 2001 Isuzu Rodeo) has had a rough year. One of our very first posts on this blog was about our car's tires, which decided to blow out. Then the transmission failed sometime during the summer/fall (it's hard to remember now), and we had to get it replaced. Which was sooo fun. (I hope you can hear the enthusiasm in my voice. Although you probably can't. Because there isn't any).
Well, a couple weeks ago it started making funny noises. (To tell you the truth, it's been making funny noises for months. But these were different, new funny noises). It made this high-pitched whining sound, and got a little bit more jerky than normal. Then, one day when Jason and I were driving down University Avenue, it exploded.
We heard this "BOOM! GABLASHKACHOEYKINK!" from the engine, and smoke started coming out from under the hood. Jason managed to get us into the center double yellow lane, and put the car in park. He got out, and I got into the driver's seat. Our plan was to have him push us over to the side street on the left when there was no oncoming traffic. So, when there was a big space in the traffic, I put it into neutral and he started pushing. The steering was incredibly hard, and the car wasn't really moving, and so I put it into drive and it was able to move forward (even though the steering wheel was still crazy hard to turn), onto the side street and right into a parking spot that was amazingly right there.
Okay, at this point I just have to point out all of the awesome (really) things about this: We broke down and were able to park our car at 880 N - just feet from our apartment (we're at 960 N). There was a parking spot, right there on the corner, the only place we could have made it to. There's never parking - and then to have a spot in exactly the place we needed it at exactly the time we needed it? Totally Heavenly Father looking out for us.
We popped open the trunk and found a mess. To sum it up, our serpentine belt exploded. (See below). It's supposed to look like this:
Instead, it looks like this (this is our real belt):
My sister Alyse took us to AutoZone the next day and we got a replacement belt. Then, when Jason was installing the new belt, he found one of our pulleys had warped, lost its balance, and gone crazy. (See below). It was probably what caused the serpentine belt to go bad, and also needed to be replaced. Thus, we all took another trip to AutoZone. Then, armed with all the parts he needed, Jason fixed the car!! Yaaay!
Now it's all fixed and running again (because Jason's amazing). It's still got its, um, quirks. (The gas gauge is broken [we calculate when we need to get gas based on how many miles we've driven], the odometer is a couple mph off, the brake light is always on, there's a real funny sound from the engine when we turn on the AC, and it drinks oil like its koolaid.) Our real concern with it right now is that the transmission might be failing again. It's starting to jerk again, just like it did before the bottom dropped out last year. (Not literally. That would have been too easy). So, we're keeping our eye on that.
And that, good citizens, is the state of our car at the beginning of this fine year. :)