So, you know how my car is slowly dying, which is why I need to buy a new car this year. Well, here’s some interesting stuff happening with my car:
Not only did the car survive the recent trek across the prairies (i.e. from here to Fargo, Fargo to Minneapolis and back, and then back home on successive days), it did so without the check-engine light coming on at all. The light that’s usually on pretty much all the time in the city didn’t come on after I stopped to buy a soda on the way out of town (and got right on the highway), and stayed off until I stopped and idled at the border a while. Then it went off at some point, and didn’t come on at all the whole rest of the way. It’s come on a couple of times since, but for the most part it stays off. Weird. Makes me think it was a valve or the EGR or something that got blown out and fixed magically by staying at highway speeds for a while. But what do I know?
Okay, now today. On the way home tonight, approaching two different stops, the car gave a kind of shudder. Well, not a shudder, more of a thunk, but physically, not sound-wise. If you follow. “That’s odd,” thinks I, “probably means something is going very wrong with the car. I really do need to buy a new car this year. Possibly tomorrow.”
Then, approaching the light at Stafford, it just died. No power. No break assist. Volt and other lights on. I have the presence of mind to slap on the hazard lights (the switch is located on the steering column, which is a stupid place for it, now that I think about it, since it means I reach through the steering wheel to get at it), and slam it into neutral and coast to a stop. Then I put it in park, which I probably didn’t need to do, and turned the key. Vroom vroom. Started right up again, no problem. Made it all the way home without shuddering again.
So I’m thinking the shuddering was something weird happening to the automatic transmission as it tried to downshift as I was coasting to a stop, until finally at Stafford, it just failed and the car stalled, just like it would if you get to slow at too high a gear and fail to clutch it to neutral. Which makes me thing my transmission is going.
Interesting side note, still no check engine light all the way home.