Thursday, October 25, 2012


Oh readers, what a week it's been. Some of you have heard this saga already, but let's review it one more time for the people in the back.

On Thursday morning, there was a large puddle under the Hub's SUV (which I actually didn't notice until that afternoon). It was power steering fluid. We pour another container of fluid in it Thursday night. By Friday morning, it's gone again. At 5 PM on Friday, I get a call saying the truck won't start. Great. I called our mechanic & let him know we were going to tow it over. The Hubs was able to get it started before I called AAA and drove it to the shop. And so began our week as a one-car household.

In a nutshell, the power steering basically exploded. Not literally exploded, but it was kind of like getting a hole in your aorta and spewing blood everywhere. The entire engine was coated in power-steering fluid and driving for two days without fluid had damaged the pump. Both of those parts needed to be replaced. The car wouldn't start because the battery was on it's last leg, so that needed to be replaced. Then, because all that work was going on in the front end, we had to have a wheel alignment done.

But wait, I'm not done yet.

In August, we took the SUV for new brakes. At that time, our mechanic, Chris, let us know we needed new hub bearings. We didn't have the extra money to spare at that time (it would be about $600), but we made a mental note to plan for that service once school started. When Chris called me yesterday to let me know the worst of the repairs were over, he said "but I can't in good conscious let you drive it off my lot with the bearings as they are now."

What was I supposed to do? Those had to get replaced as well. The good news was only the left side needed to be replaced. The right side can hold out a few more months.

Still not done, though.

Last summer, the Hubs' gas sensor stopped working. A bit of googling revealed this was a common problem in Trailblazers, but Chevy would not acknowledge the problem with a recall. In Fall 2011, we received a letter from Chevy indicating they would be willing to cover half the cost of a new fuel sensor as long as we had it fixed at a dealership. Again, not something that was emergent, so we put away the letter for another day. In light of all these repairs, I went digging in my files for this letter. The Hubs and I both thought we had until the end of this year to have the repair done, but, of course, it needs to be completed by 10/31/2012. Yes, that's right, 5 days from today. Nothing like a little last minute action to light a fire under your ass.

We're picking up the truck up tonight and tomorrow morning bringing it back to our local dealer to fix the fuel sensor. They let me know on the phone the part was a little less than $150, so hopefully, they won't kill us on labor and we'll be able to put this epic repair on the books.

In response to this nightmare, we decided we're going to trade in this vehicle (and by we, I mean me, but the Hubs also later agreed). Although most people probably wouldn't bother to fix the car in that case, ultimately, I believe it will help us in the long run because we'll be able to take our time in shopping for a car and won't feel rushed into a decision that might not be the best in the long-term.

I'm a bit miffed that my husband is getting a new car before me, but I'll be so happy the day the Trailblazer is gone. Besides, now is the fun part: Car shopping! We'll definitely be downsizing - right now I'm digging the Kia Soul. The Hubs is a big guy (6'2" - I won't tell you what he weighs ;-) ), so we need something with head & leg room, but that's also fuel efficient. Feel free to send in your endorsement!

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