February 28th, 2007

Conrunner Kevin

Seconds from Disaster

As I drove home from work this evening, my van nearly broke down. A little past 10 PM, as I was nearing my home, I heard a noise coming from the front of the van that sounded as though I had driven over some loose wire that had gotten sucked up into the engine. Pulling over as safely as I could, I investigated. Turned out that the universal belt on the engine was starting to shred itself, and the sound I heard was of a loose bit of it flailing away at everything around it. This is serious. On Lisa's van, a similar failure put a hole in the radiator.

I drove home slowly and unloaded my stuff. I'd planned to take the van over to my mechanic tomorrow morning, where he will be replacing the radiator. I decided that if I'm going to drive around like that much of a nervous nellie, I'd better do it tonight instead of during morning commute time. I also got some scissors and cut off the loose bit of belt hanging off of the main belt.

The mechanic's shop is only about a mile or so away from my apartment. As I headed out, the sound of flapping belt bits grew louder and more pieces started to come loose. "Please hold together for another five minutes," I prayed. Luckily for me, it did. I parked the van in front of the shop, dropped the keys in the night drop and walked home.

Well, if things like this are going to happen, I guess the timing was pretty good. If the universal belt is going to disintegrate, better it should happen a short distance from the shop on the night before planned service than while I'm heading up I-5 into the Siskyous on my way to Oregon!
  • Current Mood
    relieved relieved