The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Vehicle Maintenance’

VROC Reunion Rally 2015: Returning Home – Mount Vernon, OH to Warren, PA

Today is the final day of our 13-day vacation. We are traveling home from the VROC Reunion Rally, which was held in Eureka Springs, AR.

 

We departed Mount Vernon OH around 8:00 am, en route home.  Approximately 2 hours later we were stuck in Canton, OH without power steering. I am thankful that the power steering went out where it did. We were approaching I-77, when I lost the power steering. I was able to safely make my way into a CVS parking lot. I am thankful I didn’t lose the power steering, while on the Interstate! I am thankful, too, for Triple A. There is a commercial about State Farm that says “like a good neighbor State Farm is there”. I can say the same thing about Triple A. Within 45 minutes after my call to Triple A, my car was on a flatbed truck en route Hills & Dales AutoCare.

Canton, OH
Triple A is loading my car onto a flatbed trailer at the CVS parking lot.
(Photo by Bob)

Canton, OH
My car on the flatbed truck at the CVS parking lot
(Photo by Bob)

Canton, OH
Unloading my car from flatbed trailer at the Hills & Dales Full Service Auto Center

We have Basic AAA coverage. The first 3 miles was free towing. Each mile thereafter was $4.25/mile. The auto repair facility was located only 6 miles from where we were stranded. The work order indicated that we were towed in to Hills & Dales at 11:30 am. We were back on the road again at 12:51 pm. The cause, as explained to Bob by the technician at Hills & Dales, was that the plastic idler pulley that was attached to the bearing broke apart, resulting in the belt slipping off. The belt was replaced along with the pulley.  Hills & Dales is a courteous, professional top notch full service auto center.  They got us quickly on the road again with a difficult repair job that Bob couldn’t have done himself.  Thanks guys!!!

Bob discovered, while waiting for the car to be repaired, that he was missing his Discover card. We determined that Bob had to have left the card behind at WineStein, in Mount Vernon OH, at dinner last night.  After a few calls, Bob was able to make contact with someone in the restaurant. Yes, his Discover card was there. The restaurant mailed the card to Bob by certified mail.

We had no other problems on the way home.

Pennsylvania Welcome Center
Middlesex, PA
I was happy, when we crossed the Ohio-Pennsylvania border into Pennsylvania.

 

We returned home around 5:15 pm. I drove approximately 250 miles today.

Today’s route:

All total, I drove a total of 2,440.3 miles since Friday, September 11.  Feeling extremely fatigued, I went to bed at 7:30 pm.

This blog post marks the end of our 13-day vacation.  I hope that you have enjoyed the journey!

What a Day!

What a day, and it is only 1:00 pm!

My first activity this morning was to have blood drawn at our local hospital for an A1C test.  I hate having blood drawn.  I always have to look the other way and always end up with a bruise afterward.  I won’t know the results of the A1C test until Monday.  Hopefully, the results will be in the normal range.  I do not desire to control diabetes with pills again!

I noticed that my car was hard to start, when I went to the hospital this morning.  A while later, when I wanted to go to the credit union to withdraw cash, I opened the garage door and was assaulted by a strong smell.  I thought the smell was gas, I started the car. Again, the car started hard. I backed out into the driveway, but stopped. Something didn’t feel right. I needed to check out the smell. I drove the car back into the garage, intending to ask Bob to check the car when he came home from work. As I walked from the garage to the back door, I noticed a wet spot on the driveway. I bent down and brushed my finger along the wet spot. I held the finger to my nose. It smelled like gas, I thought.  I went next door, and our neighbor came out and checked out the wet spot. He looked under the hood. Everything looked fine under the hood. He walked around the car and noticed a wet spot under the car on the passenger side toward the back. I placed my hand under the car at that spot and got dripped on. Dave said it was a gas line or brake line leak.

image

 

I posted on Facebook that I had a gas line or brake line leak. An hour later I went back outside to see if the leak had stopped. It had not stopped. I updated my Facebook status with a question for Paul, our friend and local motorcycle mechanic. “Hey, Paul, would you happen to know if a brake line has a leak if it would leak when brake is not pushed down? My car has been sitting inside garage for quite a while now. I can see the drip, drip of a leak.” Paul replied soon afterward. “Linda, stop by the shop and I’ll check the brake fluid. Be careful, if it is the brake and leaking while sitting it will empty fast. Your pedal will go almost to the floor but you will still have brakes on the system that has not leaked. Front or back.” I drove to Paul’s shop the back way, through the neighborhood (the car started hard again). Paul looked underneath my car and quickly diagnosed the problem–gas line leak. I drove the car back home and parked it in our driveway, where it can get plenty of air. I put a paper grocery bag on the driveway, underneath the leak.  We have a few choices where we can take the car to be repaired.  I will ask Bob his preference, when he comes home from work.

UPDATE:  When Bob came home from work, we drove the car to Dave’s Auto, located a short distance from our house on Rt. 62. Dave took us right in. He replaced the fuel filter and part of the fuel line, while we waited. Great service!

Car Maintenance

It has been an expensive month for car maintenance in our house. On April 17th and again on April 24th we took the Nissan to the garage for its 120,000 mile service, which included spark plug replacement, oil change, tire rotation, and cooling system flush. Antifreeze was leaking from a hose; the hose needed to be replaced. Today we took the Buick to the garage for its 57,000 mile service and the required annual state inspection. The 57,000 mile service included an oil change and tire rotation. In order to pass inspection we had to replace the muffler and install new front rotors and brake pads. We are fortunate in that we have no car payments. We own both the Nissan and Buick free and clear. Maintenance costs are expensive; however, our maintenance costs (so far) are a lot less expensive than having a monthly car payment. But, enough is enough! I hope that our motor vehicles do not need to be serviced, except for oil changes and tire rotations, for rest of the year!

This Week’s Surprises

Bob and I have been watching American Idol each week since it started this season. Our picks for the final three are (and have been from the start): Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta and Danny Gokey. Wednesday’s result show had its surprises. Adam Lambert was left standing in center stage after the other four finalists had been divided in pairs. Host Ryan Seacrest told Adam to decide whether he belonged with Matt Giraud and Kris Allen or Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta. Adam picked the latter two. It was a surprise that Adam chose sides; no other contestant has done that when faced with a similar task. Last season David Archuleta’s response to this challenge was to just sit down. The second surprise was that Adam turned out to be one of the three lowest-scoring contestants. The third surprise was when Adam, who has been lavished with praise and survived weekly audience votes, was in the bottom two! It wasn’t a surprise when Matt Giraud was eliminated from the competition.

Another surprise this week has to do with my stepdaughter, Stacey. Bob replaced Stacey’s motorcycle brakes this week, while Stacey watched (and learned). Stacey says next time she will replace her motorcycle brakes, with supervision.  Stacey continually surprises (and amazes) me with her knowledge of automobile and motorcycle mechanics. Not only can she discuss the subject of automobile and motorcycle mechanics with the best of them, she wants to learn to do the maintenance herself! What do I know about automobile and motorcycle mechanics? Not much more than how to check the oil level 🙂

A Spring Afternoon Ride Around Chautauqua Lake

This past Friday (April 17th) we went for a ride, by motorcycle, around Chautauqua Lake. The Nissan was scheduled for its 120,000-mile service. I drove the Nissan to the garage in Jamestown, NY. Bob, Stacey and Stacey’s boyfriend Mike followed on their motorcycles. While the Nissan was being serviced, we rode around the lake.

Our first stop was at Bemus Point, where we took a few pictures and ate lunch.

Mike and Stacey at Bemus Point, NY

We planned to eat lunch at the Village Casino, but it was closed. As we rode into Bemus Point we had noticed a restaurant that appeared to be open. That restaurant (the See-Zurh House) was open; however, at first, we thought it too was closed. The restaurant sign said lunch was served from 11:30AM-2:00PM, and the time was 2:05PM. The restaurant bent its rules for us, as well as another group of four people. We were seated, and we were able to choose selections from the full lunch menu. A little while later two men came in; the full menu was not available to them. They were only able to order drinks and beef on weck with chips. The Sea-Zurh House serves traditional American cuisine in a casual setting. The food at the See-Zurh House was good. Mike ordered a Philly Steak sandwich with fries; Stacey ordered a Cajun Fish sandwich with fries: I ordered potato chips and a hamburger with bacon and cheese; and Bob ordered a beef on weck with fries. We ordered dessert too. Stacey had a dish of blackberry sorbet. Mike had a slice of pumpkin cheesecake. Bob and I shared a generous slice of Jeanne’s Favorite Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Ice Cream Pie. The peanut butter hot fudge ice cream pie is a customer favorite. It was delicious, and the serving size is certainly large enough for two people to share!

After lunch we continued our ride around Chautauqua Lake. We rode through Mayville and passed by Chautauqua Institution. We stopped in Stow, where we saw Liberty Lighthouse. In season you can ride a ferry across Chautauqua Lake from Stow to Bemus Point. The lake is narrow at this point, and we could easily see Bemus Point across the lake.


Stow, NY – Liberty Lighthouse and Mike’s new motorcycle
Stow, NY – Bob, Stacey and Mike’s motorcycles
Stow, NY – Liberty Lighthouse
Mike and Stacey sitting on bench
Looking across Chautauqua Lake at Bemus Point, NY
Stow, NY – Looking Across Chautauqua Lake at Bemus Point, NY
Hotel Lenhart is the yellow building.
The Village Casino is the green building.
Stow, NY – our shadows on Chautauqua Lake
Stow, NY – Bob, Mike, Stacey and I
Chautauqua Lake and Bemus Point in the background

We went our separate ways when leaving Stow. Stacey and Mike headed back home; Bob and I returned to the Nissan garage. Bob and I made one more stop before arriving at the garage. There is a rest area (very nice!) along I-86 about 2 1/2 miles from Stow. From the rest area there is a scenic overlook of Chautauqua Lake. The view is quite nice!

Chautauqua Lake Rest Area on I86

We left the rest area and returned to the Nissan garage. The 120,000 mile service for the Nissan included spark plug replacement, oil change, tire rotation, and cooling system flush. All service was completed except for the cooling system flush. Antifreeze is leaking from a hose; the hose needs to be replaced. We have to take the Nissan back to the garage next week to have the hose replaced. The garage will flush the cooling system at that time.

On Saturday I worked from 9:30AM-3:30PM. I clocked in as a customer service flex agent and remained in that position throughout my work day. As a customer service flex agent I receive telephone calls for catalog orders, as well as receive calls related to customer service issues. I place catalog orders for Solutions, Sahalie, Norm Thompson and Draper’s & Damon’s customers. The only company for which I do not receive customer service related calls is Draper’s & Damon’s. I am not trained to answer all customer service issues. In general I can locate a customer’s order, inform the customer of the status of that order, and I can make some pricing adjustments to the order. My work day went well. I even gained confidence placing Draper’s & Damon’s retail store catalog orders! The sales associates were patient with me. By the third retail store order, my proficiency handling such calls had increased substantially.

I’m happy that we were able to enjoy the beautiful spring weather over the past couple of days. Clouds rolled in overnight; today will be a rather cloudy day. The WICU12 weatherman is forecasting “occasional showers through a good portion of this week”. We are to “expect scattered rain showers Sunday night through Wednesday morning. Nice weather will return again on Thursday and last into the weekend.” We’ll have to think up something to do this weekend 🙂

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