Friday, September 10, 2010

Car break-down troubles

On Tuesday I posted an entry about my solo 5-hour drive to visit home for the weekend. Unfortunately that drive only lasted about two hours.

So I'm driving along the four-laned motorway north to my small regional city. I'm happily overtaking the slow old people on the road, expecting to get home within five hours. Suddenly my car starts wobbling. I don't think much of it - just thought it was the wind or something.

About 15 minutes later, my oil light on the dashboard comes on. I didn't think much of that either as my oil was full before I'd left, and the oil light usually comes on for no reason anyway. For some reason, I had an idea that my car would break down. I wasn't certain, but I looked around and took in my surroundings just in case I need to make a call to the RACQ to have my car looked at.

Then, about an hour and a half into my drive, my car starts making a constant ticking noise. I turn down my music in case it's just the stereo system playing up or something, and realise that it's definitely my car making that funny noise. I grab my phone and call my mum to ask her what I should do (I just need confirmation that I needed to pull over) but she doesn't pick up.

... So I pull over on the side of the road anyway, almost swerving into a ditch. Luckily there weren't any cars around at that point, and I was in the left lane already (I'm Australian - we drive on the left side of the road).

I take my foot off of the brake and my car rolls backward - that was odd... I drive an automatic. So I pull on the handbrake, turn off my car, put the hazard lights on and make another attempt to call my mum. She answers and tells me to get out of the car. That was impossible, as cars were driving past about 10 centimetres away from my car door.

So she tells me to grab my RACQ membership card, get out of the car as soon as possible, and call the RACQ for roadside service. I do exactly as she tells me - with a great struggle as I was crying, borderline panic attack, my hands were sweaty and I couldn't get the card out of my purse - and I give the RACQ as much detail about my car and location as possible. Luckily I had just driven past an exit so had a faint idea about where I was.

The RACQ dude arrives, looks at my car, calls for a tow truck, and I get towed to a town in the middle of nowhere to get my car fixed at an auto-repair shop while I wait for my mum to pick me up. Mind you, my town is 3 hours away from this random town, so I was waiting for a long time.

It was an awful experience but I'm glad it happened so I know what to do next time. I'm also glad that it wasn't worse that it could've been.

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