Thursday, July 10, 2008


For the seven years I lived in Los Angeles, I gave little, okay, no thought to cruise control. I only left the city by car a handful of times and even then, the traffic was stop and go for a good sixty miles.

But upon arriving in the Midwest five years ago, I was immediately grateful that the minivan we'd bought from Judi and Pete had cruise. My first roadtrip practically blew my mind. Seventy-five miles per hour for two hours straight. I'd completely forgotten what it was like to not ride the brake.

But all good things come to an end, right? On a trip to Chicago three winters ago, after a gas stop, the cruise control stopped too. A fluke? A fuse? I couldn't figure it out. After our return, I trouble-shot it a bit, but for the most part, I stayed in KC much like I did in LA, where I didn't think much of it while in the city. Only when I'd hit the road to see my parents or my sister would I regret not addressing the issue.

So as I will be taking the kids to Big Sis's this weekend, then returning to KC for a seven day stretch of work, then again back and forth for the retrieval of the children, my sense of dread regarding the ankle ache of a six hour drive forced me to consider having the car repaired professionally. That's a big step for me.

But first I had to give it one last try. I dug a bit around on the internet trying to pinpoint the problem. I knew it wasn't the clockspring. I knew it wasn't the switch connector. It's probably a vacuum hose. But I didn't know where to find it. And as my spare time had recently become sparse at best, I surrendered. I would take it in to the shop. So after spinning class on Wednesday, I dropped the car at the local Goodyear, despite their warnings that most cruise repairs need to be done at the dealership. I told them my diagnosis and they said they'd charge $27 for an estimate. I walked home, hoping it could be fixed within the day, and for less than a couple hundred dollars.

A few hours later, the shop called. They'd fixed it. It was a vacuum hose. And the $27 fee would cover it. I drove for three years without cruise because of a less-than thirty dollar repair.

Oh well. It fits nicely into my charmed life theory. And my upcoming cross-state drives will surely be nearly delightful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Man, when you talk about car stuff, it's kinda hot!

You can host one of those 1-900 chat lines, only instead of the sex stuff, you can talk about compression, vacuum hoses, spark plugs, etc. I guarantee you that would be very popular.

I have to admit, you had me at "clock spring."