Daily Thoughts

The Car Demons Strike Again

My 2002 Ford Taurus
My 2002 Ford Taurus

Well, I had some bad luck with my car.  I noticed that there was some water leaking from underneath.  First off let me tell you, I drive a Ford Taurus.  Those cars as some of you may know have the engine in there sideways, and it’s crammed in there.  So here I am looking under the hood trying to see where this water is coming from.  At first, I couldn’t really tell where it was coming from because the water had been slung all over the engine while I was driving.

So after letting it cool for a while and letting some of the water dry off, I looked again.  After starting it up I noticed what I thought was water coming from the hose that connects to the bottom of the radiator.  It wasn’t really pouring out or anything just kind of dripping.  So I decided I’d take it by Avis Lube, and have them do a leak check on it,

hoping they would find exactly where it was leaking from.  Since it was Thanksgiving weekend that was about the only place open that I could take it.

So they look under the car and come back with a verdict.  The gentleman said, “Looks like it’s leaking from around that bottom hose.”  They didn’t have the equipment to fix it there, so all they could do is tell me what they saw.  So I was thinking, cool, it’s probably just gonna take a new clamp, or maybe a new hose at worst.  So I drove it home and let it sit until Monday, that being today.

I wound up driving it to work today and then taking it to Meineke Car Care this afternoon at lunch time.   I dropped it off and returned to work and within about 30 minutes I received a phone call from them.  The gentleman said,


“Well, it’s leaking from the radiator, there’s a hole in it somewhere about the middle.  It’s dripping down onto the shroud and running down to the right side and dripping off.  That’s why it looks like it’s coming from the hose.”


So I thought OMG, that’s got to be expensive.  So I ask, “What’s that gonna set me back?”  He told me to install a new radiator, it would be $534, that’s including the cost of the new

Brakes Tune-Ups Ice by Steve Snodgrass, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  Steve Snodgrass

radiator.  So after cringing a bit I said, “Ok, go ahead and put it in, I can’t drive it like it is.”  So they proceed with the auto operation.

After I got off work at about 5:00p I went back down there and they had it ready for me to pick up.  So I pay them, get in the car, and start heading home.  Then all the sudden about half way home, the pulleys under the hood start screaming and screeching like they were slipping or something.  I manage to get it home and pop the hood.  After looking under the hood I see tons of dark colored fluid slung all over under there and it’s dripping down on the ground.  That explains why the belts were slipping and the pulleys were squeeking.  They got all that fluid on them.

I wasn’t sure if it was still water leaking that had just mixed with dirt and oil from the engine, or if it was something else.  Meineke was closing in about 15 minutes so I jumped on the phone and told the guy what had happened.  He said to bring it right back and they’d take a look, he thought maybe something didn’t get tightened good or something.

I get back up there and they dive under the hood while I wait.  He comes back in a few minutes and says, “We got a bad radiator, it’s leaking where the transmission line connects to it.”  I almost fell out of my chair in disbelief.  Now don’t get me wrong I understand things aren’t always perfect straight out of the box, but I couldn’t believe the ordeal I had been through.  Sooooo, since it was closing time, I had to leave it with them yet once again.  The manager offered to give a ride home and I accepted.  They should have it ready to pick up again at lunch tomorrow.

I sure hope they get it fixed properly this time.  That’s a lot of money to shell out for it to be still broken.  But I’m sure they’ll check it extra good this time to make sure I don’t have to bring it back.  But my goodness, this has been quite an adventure.

Anyone else have bad luck with Meineke?  I’m sure they couldn’t help it, but seems like they would check it a little closer before letting someone drive off with a vehicle they just worked on.  Maybe a good test drive or something?  Anyway, wish me luck, I’ll keep y’all posted on how it goes.

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8 thoughts on “The Car Demons Strike Again
  1. I know that feel, bro. Had an old aspire that just randomly wouldn’t start. 2 years and hundreds of dollars later my mechanic finally figured out that the ground on the battery wasn’t making a good connection.

    1. Wow Matt, that really sucks, all that for a bad battery connection!

      Well, today I finally picked up the Taurus and they said that the second radiator they got to put on it was bad too, same exact spot!

      So they finally went with another manufacturer and got it fixed right. They even put a new belt on it and washed it for me. I guess that’s the least they could do for all the trouble right?

  2. I enjoyed reading this blog and it’s each educational and attention-grabbing. I’m expecting additional informative post relating to this subject. This is often very useful for my car Corolla XRS. Thanks !

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by and I wish you the best with your Corolla XRS, may you never break down. 🙂

    1. Well thank you Corey, I appreciate the compliment. This blog is my baby and I’ve put many hours of hard work into it. 🙂

  3. Oh wow. That is awful. I am the worst at car problems and I feel like my car always, and I mean always, has them. Luckily I found a really great place for auto repair in Surrey http://www.minit-tune.com. I always bring my car to them and they are so good at helping me to understand what is going on and get it fixed correctly.

    1. Yes Shelly it’s always such a hassle when things go wrong with your auto. Unfortunately we don’t have any minit tune shops around this area or I would give them a go.
      But on a more positive note, I’ve since gotten a new car, so hopefully I won’t be seeing the inside of a repair shop for quite some time now. 🙂
      Thanks a bunch for stopping by.

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