Thursday, May 12, 2016

No... No One Was Murdered

No, there was not a murder in my garage.  What you see here is transmission fluid, and a lot of it.

I got a message from Kris around 4:30 as I got back to my desk from a meeting.  She was driving Sarah to work because there was a problem with Sarah's car.  There was a big puddle of red liquid in the garage and running down the driveway.  I had seen/heard this before and right away I thought, "transmission fluid" and I figured her car had basically blown up and would need a new transmission.  Then when I got home I started finding out more details about what had actually happened.

Sarah had gone to pick up Alison from school because it was raining.  Ali had volunteered Sarah to drive home a couple of her friends so they wouldn't have to walk home in the rain.  After dropping off one girl, Sarah was backing out of the driveway, which had a turn/bend in it.  Because it was raining and everyone was wet, the windows had fogged up and Sarah couldn't see where she was going.  Complicating matters was the fact that this girl's driveway was lined with shrubs.  The girl doesn't live in a regular, city neighborhood.  Their street doesn't have sidewalks and all the houses have ditches/culverts in the front at the road.  So then as Sarah was backing out, she ended up going off the driveway and into the culvert.  With half of her car hanging over the pavement of the driveway going over the culvert, Sarah decided to just floor it.  The result was that she punched a hole in the transmission fluid pan (which we didn't know at the time).  Sarah was able to drive home and park the car in the garage while she got changed for work.  When she came out, there was a huge puddle of fluid in the garage.  The worst part was that even after seeing this puddle, she still thought it would be alright to drive her car to work.  I should actually be glad, because she pulled it out of the garage, otherwise neither my car, not Kris's would have been able to be parked in it.

Right away I called out car guy because it was almost closing time (just before 5:00) and just from the description he was 99% sure that it was the transmission.  The big question was what caused it.  After I explained the story of what happened, he seemed to think that it was probably something that was fixable, but they would have a look at it and let me know for sure.  So I got the number of their towing guy so I could call first thing in the morning.  

When they got to look it it, they confirmed that yes, there was a hole in the transmission pan, but that was all the damage that they could see; a pretty easy fix.  About $300 with labor to replace it and refill the transmission fluid.  I think we dodged a bullet.  I have been thru needing all new transmissions with my parents' cars a couple of times, and it is NOT cheap.  If it would have needed a whole new transmission, I was ready to junk it, and Sarah just wouldn't have a car.  I hope this serves as a learning experience for her and she starts taking a little better care of her car.