Sunday, March 27, 2016

Well, That Was Exciting

Dave reported the Check Engine light on the truck was on while he was going to work Friday.  Same thing was happening on the return trip, and I took a look before he turned off the engine upon arrival home.  I had already talked with College Station Ford, and was told I could bring it in the next day (Saturday) for a code check.  Took Dave to work yesterday (also Saturday) and then stopped in at the Ford place.  We had also been noticing a “moan” when the truck was at low speeds, so asked them to see what was up with that, too.

After about an hour, the Joe (the tech) came back with the verdict.  Here’s the condensed version.  The Check Engine light was due to a code P1335, which is failure of the EGR valve.  This has to do with supplying air to the cooling system and engine.  The “moan” was the power steering pump beginning to fail.  Complete failure of that, of course, would affect steering and even brakes.  They also found that the 4x4 axle seals need replacement.

I think I must have asked Alan (service rep) if I needed to sit down about a dozen times while he was working up the estimate.  He first said, “Probably,” and when done said, “Maybe. Come take a look.”  It is definitely four figures, but better than I anticipated.  Of course, labor is the major part.  According to Joe, they have the parts on hand and can begin work Monday.  We’re looking at possibly Wednesday or Thursday for completion of the work.

One of my numerous questions was about drivability.  After talking with Joe a bit, we agreed the safest thing to do was to leave the truck there.  (I think he and Alan were relieved I decided to not drive it.)  While the truck might have been fine (and it wasn’t acting strange, at all) either of the first two items could completely fail without warning at any time and . . . well . . . the least would be towing charges and the worst could be disastrous.

So.  I needed wheels.

Saturday afternoon after 3 PM, and these guys are working overtime with me.  The dealership’s rental cars were all out, so Alan called around to see if a rental place was open.  No luck on a Saturday afternoon with the exception of the airport.

Great.  Rental agencies at the airport, I just have to get there.  How in the world am I gonna get to the airport?

Turns out . . . Joe will take me!

I was told to take my time and get anything out of the truck we might need.  Dave’s work hat.  Check.  His tennis shoes.  Check.  My phone charger.  Check.  Alan found a plastic bag for the shoes and hat.  One parting pat and reassuring words to Truck and I hopped in Joe’s truck for the airport trip.

At this point, I have to say thanks so much to Alan and Joe for going above and beyond, especially after hours.  I guess I must have had that “deer in the headlights” look a bit, but these two guys were great and really stepped up to assist me in a predicament.

The airport is small and the rental car counters are right at the main entrance.  I stopped first at the Hertz counter and the gal there was really very sweet; however, I wanted to check out the others for price and vehicle comparison.  At this point, a few bucks here and there do count.  Chase at the Avis counter gave the best deal on a small car (no, I don’t need a Lincoln Town Car, thanks other agency – not Hertz, but another).  He was friendly, helpful and patient.  I hadn’t rented a car in several years and was still in a bit of shock over the truck.

Before long, I was making my way out to the lot and a blue Ford Focus.

Ford Focus Rental 03262016

Our ride for the next few days

Good heavens.  Missed Truck as soon as I got into this wee spaceship.  Took me several minutes to orient myself to controls, etc.   Made it home safe and sound.  Tired, mostly mentally but physically a bit, too.

Worked until 10:30 PM, at which time I headed off  to pick up Dave from work.  Found out the Focus has a backup camera.  Hahahaha!  A backup camera for this wee bit of a car?  Seriously?  Too funny.

I’ll be taking Dave to and from work while we have the rental.  No biggie, as I’m up when he gets home at night anyway.  Just rearrange my work schedule a bit.

Our bank account is not at all pleased about these repairs, but this is Life.  Our truck is our lifeline for work, Life and moving our home.  We have to keep it in safe working condition.

I’ll say, too, that in the seven years we have had Truck, it has never left us on the side of the road.  Good Truck.  Good Truck!  It has taken us and our home so many miles, up and down mountains, across flat prairies, through slush and snow with like a faithful horse.  We want to keep it that way, so we spend the bucks to make it right again.

We’re both tired these days and slept until almost 10 AM.  Of course, lights out was around 2:30 this morning.  I’ve made salmon patties, wild rice and broccoli with cauliflower for Dave’s meal at work and for my dinner later.  I’m thinking leftovers tomorrow.  That’s a good thing.

Won’t be long until I boogie off to take Dave to work.  Then it’s back here for a few housekeeping items, pay some bills and go to work myself.

Whew.  I’m looking forward to our “Friday night” tomorrow night!

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy Easter!


  1. When we had our 2006 Ford F250 that EGR valve failed THREE times. The second time, if you remember, we were in VA. Daughter bought a truck trailer and truck and we towed in back to NJ. Ford had to replace engine, heater core, radiator. In all $25,000 worth of work. Thankfully still under warranty. Good for you catching it in time.

  2. Good luck with your truck repairs. Our F350 has been a nightmare the last 8 months. We have $10,000 in repairs and the check engine light just went on again! It is killing our savings. We have never had this many problems with any vehicle we have owned.


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