I’ve never been able to handle car problems. They make me seethe, curse and cry, and call for help. Whenever I took my car for repair, my husband would reassure me with, “It’s not a big thing. They’ll probably charge you $150 to $ 200.” The mechanic would find four or five defective parts to be changed for a total of $500 to $800. If I protested, I was treated to a patronizing lecture from a well-muscled hunk with tattoos and dirty nails, who ended his speech with, “If you don’t want to fix it, it’s up to you, but I wouldn’t want my mom on the road in a car so messed up.” Sure enough, I would panic and beg him to fix it. At home my hubby would throw his arms in the air. “What? $800 for this? How do you manage to let them cheat you like that?” Do I need to add that my self-confidence about car repair had often hit rock bottom?
When my daughter graduated from college she dragged me to a How to Handle Car Problems three-hour seminar with hands-on experience.
We learned how to interpret the warning lights on the dashboard, change a flat tire and replace a battery. We understood that weird odors indicate an issue under the hood — a coolant leak or mold in the vents. Strange vibrations such as a shaking steering wheel could be caused by unbalanced tires, warped brake rotors and damaged or worn suspension system parts. By the end of the long training, I felt so knowledgeable and confident. Our instructor concluded by saying, “Listen ladies, despite all I taught you today, the best thing for you to do if you run into car problem is to immediately call AAA, Geico, or any other insurance, a mechanic and your husband.”
I was driving from Columbus, OH. to Cincinnati when my car burped and shook. I pressed the brake pedal, waited a few seconds, and slowly raised my foot, steering to the side of the road. The car rolled a few yards along the emergency lane, and then shuddered, thumped, and hiccupped. A light on the dashboard indicated tire problems. I cringed and pushed down on the brakes, knowing I had a flat tire. For two minutes I debated on changing the tire myself. I remembered the theory well, but I also remembered our instructor’s conclusion. To be on the safe side, I called AAA, the insurance and my husband.
How do you handle car problems?
In LOVE IN THE ER the hero and heroine meet during a tropical storm as she’s stuck in her car with a flat tire. “The path to happy ever after is not a smooth one. Both have a lot of problems to solve. This is a good story, my favorite by this author. Lots of drama takes them to different places.”