So, last Friday, I am in my 2001 Dodge Stratus on my way to MaryAnn's house to pick her up to go to the library. A trip I have made so many times I could probably do it with my eyes closed, right? Which probably explains why what I am about to tell you even happened to begin with. I must have had my eyes closed.
I ran over a branch in the road. By the time I saw it in the road, I couldn't veer around so I went over it hoping it wouldn't hit the tire. It wasn't a huge tree limb but more along the lines of a branch from a bush or some other shrub. I didn't feel the tire hit it so I continued on down the road. After a few minutes I hear a "shhhhhh" noise coming through the vents. Uh-oh. Sounds like a tire is going flat doesn't it? Damn! I pull over, get out and inspect the tires. They're fine. Can't hear the noise anymore either. OK, I'm 40 now so maybe my hearing is going though that's a whole other post! I get back in the car and continue on my journey. After a few minutes, I hear the bloody "shhhhhhh" noise again! This is irritating, let me tell you. I pull over again and get back out of the car. Noise is gone and tires are fine. I figure "what the hell" and lie down in the road and look under my car. There, in all its glory and pride, is the damn branch sticking out from where it got stuck under my car and has been dragging on the road as I was driving! No big deal, right? I reach under the car, a car that I should mention has less than 12 inches of clearance between the car and the road, grab the offending branch and pull. Nothing. I pull again. Still nothing. I begin to cuss while pulling. And still nothing. That damn branch has gotten stuck and won't budge! Now, I'm worried. What if it punctures my oil pan or severs a break line? Having no idea where these items are in proximity to the branch, I began to experience all manner of panic and anxiety.
I get back in the car and head on to MaryAnn's thinking if we could get the car jacked up higher then it would be easier to pull the branch out. I arrive and they aren't home! Not sure of what else to do, I call the dealer and ask for my service advisor. I explain the situation and he says to bring it in and within 20 minutes I am at the dealership. Along the way, I take the freeway, driving at speeds of 65+ when I realize that there is a branch stuck under the car that is dragging on the road. Could the friction be generating sparks under my car? This is not an ideal moment to have a thought such as that. I remained tense anticipating my car to turn into a huge fireball with me inside.
After about a hour at the dealer, I got my car back, branch free and inspected with no damage found. In addition, the dealer did not charge me! They were so sweet!
Unfortunately, this incident became the final straw for me to stop procrastinating and get rid of the car. Ever since I injured my back last year, I have noticed that having to step down to get in the car aggravates my back so I knew I would need to buy something that sits up higher (small SUV or mini-van). Having it sit up higher will avoid future branch incidents in the road as well.
Last night, I became the proud new owner of a 2006 Honda CRV. Here's to a less bumpy road of life.
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