While driving on the Thruway yesterday, we pulled into the toll plaza, took a ticket and the car stalled. He re-starts it and it idles really roughly and stalls again. We get it started again and pull off the road, 50 yards from the toll plaza. We open the hood, but neither if us have any idea what we are looking at. I re-start the car and it sounds like someone is throwing tin cans under there somewhere. None of the engine lights are on. We decide not to chance driving it so it can die again someplace less safe.
This is why we have AAA. We have the "Plus" version of roadside assistance. It costs $140 a year. AAA transferred us to the Thruyway Authority who called a tow truck for us. Paul from SunnySide Garage was there in less than half an hour. The kid and the dog were a bit nervous. That is the smallest part of the car he could wedge himself into.
They tow us to Pep Boys. No charge because we have the AAA Plus. No one else is open on the holiday. We agree to pay $90 for a "drivability test". Jay our mechanic says that whatever it is in is in the engine, and it's not good. He thinks we either need to have our engine rebuilt or get a used engine and put it in the car. Estimated cost: $2k. They don't do it there.
Jay drove the Farmer to the local airport so he can rent a car. Did you know that Enterprise does not always "pick you up"? They also won't rent you a car with a debit card unless you bring in two mortgage or utility statements. He went to Hertz. $500 to rent a Toyota Camry for the week. We could have gotten something smaller but it would have cost the same. AAA will pay $350 of it. We drove the rest of the way home.
Now we wait for the Service Manager to come in and make recommendations on what to do with it. Suddenly, this weekend trip has gotten very expensive and our only car is sitting in a garage in Albany. This is why we have an emergency fund.