what a vacation. oh, it was fun, the family had a great time, no doubt, and it was great to get away from the pressures of work and all, but it's the back-story which left the wife and me so darned exhausted.
let's back this station wagon up and give you the whole ride.
the week before we drove off into the sunrise to our vacation, we had the luxoboat in for a tune-up. you see, it was running rough--had been for some time, and i knew it needed some tlc. the verdict from tom and don (my trusted mechanics)? low compression in cylinder 5.
my options? spend $2 grand on a tear-down to find the problem, and up to $4 grand to fix it. . .
. . .or drive it the way it was.
i was planning on replacing the old wagon queen family truckster in about a year, so i figured drive it the way it was. what's the worst that could happen? crappy gas mileage and a check engine light stuck on.
drive on we did.
5 days into the vacation, the check engine light started to blink and chime at us as we drove through a town near home on our way to the beach, so we turned around and headed for the nearest dealer which sold cars like ours. we asked the service guys to pull the error codes and see what was wrong with our car.
no compression, cylinder 5. not low compression, no compression.
what did this mean for us? what was the worst that could happen?
a seized up engine, that's what.
when? i dunno, 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months. . .
. . .or spend $2 grand on a tear-down to find the problem, and up to $4 grand to fix it, or $6 grand for a new engine. . .
. . .or replace the car.
so what started as a vacation in a concorde which plainly could no longer fly turned into a trip to the local toyota store and a return home in a new car.
and i had just paid off that damn car two months before, proving murphy's law: all warranties expire upon payment of invoice.