My car is problematic. Has been for a few months now. To its credit, it has served me well for over 5 years and I have put nearly 200,000 miles on it over that period of time. A big portion of my job consists of driving to California and back fairly often. I don’t mind the 4-5 hour drive because my car is very comfortable and the solace I get from the drive is cathartic for me. I work around people so much that these drives are a break from having to be “on” all the time.
My last drive ended abruptly when I got stranded in the middle of the California desert because my transmission broke down on me. I had noticed it slipping a bit once in a while in the weeks prior to my breakdown but I didn’t think it was too serious and just topped off my transmission fluid and carried on. It seemed to help but apparently the problem had already gone too far.
I don’t know if anyone out there reading this has ever broke down in the desert, but it is not a fun feeling whatsoever. It’s hot…ungodly hot. It’s isolating and frankly kind of terrifying. Especially if you aren’t expecting or aren’t prepared for car trouble. Luckily for me it was during the day time (minus the heat part) and traffic was pretty frequent. I had a truck driver pull over and let me sit in his air conditioned cabin while I waited for my AAA service to get to me and tow my car 30 miles to the Phoenix area and to a transmission shop.
Thankfully the nearest transmission shop was the most professional transmission shop I have ever experienced. To be fair, and this I am thankful for, I have not frequented a lot of transmission shops so my gauge may be off a bit. Entering this particular transmission shop was unlike any auto repair shop I had seen or experienced. It felt more like entering your favorite coffee shop. In fact they had a coffee bar with their own baristas serving anything from Americano’s to double frap soy latte’s. It was cozy, personal, inviting, WEIRD!