Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun with Differentials

Well, glad we have one potential disaster out of the way. We bought a 2002 Rav4 about 3 months ago off of Craigslist for a great deal -- the minor dents were an added bonus for us. The guy had a CarMax report saying that it checked out OK, and, I believe him. Anyway -- we're on our way to West Virginia to have one of our last full weekends outdoors and we start to feel a little vibration, like it's rough road. Then it gradually gets worse, so, we pull off to the shoulder. The engine's smoking and there's a terrible smell. The T1000, Eric, Sophie, and I all look at the engine, as if it's going to have a sign saying what's wrong with it. So, we did what any clueless person would do in this situation -- we started the engine up -- sounds great -- and then we tried to move. Terrible noise. We should stop.

While waiting for the tow truck, Ryan called the number for Jackass Amusements (found by GPS) in Hagerstown to see what amusements that had in store for us. Rather than hang up on him (like I would have) the woman on the other end had him repeat his story for why he was calling before telling us that city park in Hagerstown would be a fun place to go.

After lots of waiting, we found out that we needed a new rear differential, which, is not a simple task. So, gracious Whitney picked us up and took us back to DC.

If there's a lesson to be learned here... it's that you should always break down where there's an outlet mall nearby. Otherwise, you may never buy that Lodge cast iron skillet you've had your eye on. And you should probably get your differential oil levels checked regularly.

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