February 10, 2010

Henry Ford, Where Are You Now That I Need You?

Do you see my car in that snow-free rectangle (below that HUGE snowflake in the picture)? No? Me, either.

The car is back in the shop AGAIN. Only instead of antifreeze-perfumed steam spewing from under the hood (like I posted about here), we have antifreeze-perfumed steam coupled with a weird burning rubber smell, zero power steering, and the battery light indicator shining in all its glory!


Was it torn, shredded or broken? NOPE! It fell off the belt tensioner, and was just lying there, like an obese Chinese jumprope.

What is a serpentine belt, you might ask? Here's what our good friends at Wikipedia say about it (and you know, they're ALWAYS right): 

A serpentine belt (also known as a multi-vee or multi-rib belt) is a single, continuous belt used to drive multiple peripheral devices in an automotive engine, such as an alternator, power steering pump, water pump, A/C compressor, air pump, etc. The belt may also be guided by an idler pulley and/or a belt tensioner (which may be spring loaded, hydraulic, or manual). The serpentine belt was invented by Jim Vance while working for the Gates Rubber Company and first used by Ford Motor Company for the 1979 Mustang.


Could it be the quick repair that was done a mere TEN DAYS AGO? The one where the mechanic rushed and did the repairs in 46 minutes, then asked me to drive the car around for an hour or so, since he didn't have time to let it run and see if the initial problem was fixed? And after that hour of driving, the steam and stench persisted?

Like, maybe in his haste, and the pain he felt when he cut himself and bled down my fender, HE FORGOT TO TIGHTEN SOMETHING? Hmmmm? 

Can you sense my seething anger here? I know exactly how the overheated radiator feels...I'm about to blow!

I insisted that let The Mister be the big meanie, and he called the shop and verbally ripped them a new one, and insisted that we are NOT paying for this repair.

Lucky for me and The Boy, this belt did not fall off yesterday, when we made the 70 mile roundtrip to and from the shrink's office...coming home in rush hour traffic...just ahead of the winter storm that gave us five inches of white stuff.

With my cellphone charging on the kitchen counter...

Can I get a big "Thank you, Jesus" on that? 

We're waiting to hear on what the problem might be, and what solution the mechanic (who is also my neighbor) comes up with.

For sure, we won't be giving them any more of our business. 


  1. Oh do I know how you feel. About the same way I felt an hour away from anywhere barreling down a rural road on my way to start my road trip vacation when the engine light came on the day after I had the car in for servicing. The only bright stop? The first stop on that road trip was to pick up my boyfriend the mechanic, who was able to quickly spot and rectify the hose they hadn't reconnected.

    They are very lucky he was there to find and fix, or they would have not enjoyed experiencing my canceled vacation unhappiness!

  2. I kept squinting and looking for your car before I read your next line. Sometimes I'm a total idiot.

    Gosh ... hope this gets fixed soon. No need to obese chinese jumpropes lying around.

  3. So sorry the car is sick again. Were they at least apologetic and willing to fix it for free?

  4. Maybe the waterpump. Shaft bearing wore and pulley out of align and ruined the belt. Just a guess.(this would allow water and steam to escape) I hate that you are having car problems again.

  5. That really bites! Hope it gets fixed soon...the right way!

  6. Um, THAT is not a giant snowflake. THAT is the spirit orb of the serpentine belt. Duh.
    But seriously, that sucks cause car problems are the worst in my book! Fingers crossed for the best outcome possible - like they wave a magic wand and POOF! you have a payment-free 2010 Mustang sitting in that rectangle soon. :)

  7. Well, I ditched ol' Henry Ford, and GM, too, a few years ago, in favor of a Camry. I'm still a Toyota fan, 'cause mine's a 2002 and runs just fine...knock on wood. Good luck with your serpentine belt. Sounds like a snake to me!

  8. You certainly dodged that bullet (Murphy Law clearly states that you must break down the one day your phone is left at home). I'd be mad mad mad about the belt. Seriously. mad.


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