09/29/2012

Transmission Interrupted

Well, Saturday was supposed to be a day of celebration. We were to travel to Russellville to attend a party for Pat, Ann's cousin who helped us move in and get our house in Starkville all squared away. He's a great guy. Ann mentioned that a few days ago she felt the Honda Pilot (our family car) lurch a little bit, and it sparked a memory for me - the transmission always felt a little bit strange in that vehicle. By the time I we rolled into Columbus (30 minutes from Starkville), the downshifting was working very poorly and sometimes I could hear the engine rev, not grabbing on to a gear. Crud.

So there we were, six humans, one Wheaten Terrier, in a sad car. So I got the car to hobble its way to Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The biggest car they had was a Hyundai Santa Fe that seats five. 78 bucks. Crud. So I put my lovely wife and four boys into the Hyundai and waved goodbye and turned (with Conan, our dog) to face the potentially ruined transmission. I was able to get the vehicle to hobble back to Starkville, and then I began the googling.

The cool thing I found was that you can use a paperclip on the little diagnostic port to short across two pins and it makes the warning lights blink to reveal the code. A short blink is 1 and a long blink is 10. You just write down the longs and shorts and then add them up and compare to a chart. The code was a transmission code, and the particular problem indicated definitely a hardware problem, not a software problem. So I thought that I would need to do the cheapest thing first. I changed the transmission fluid. It was rather difficult on that car, but it went pretty smoothly. I then tried to drive it, and voila, the problem was not evident. No more lurching or slipping, and the light was no longer blinking. so I don't know if I dodged a bullet or if this is the first shot in the first battle of a war. I do know that it would be demoralizing to have to come up with 1999 for a rebuilt transmission or 4000 to have someone put one in. The diagnostic code indicated something was sticking, so it makes sense that a fluid change could right the ship. I'll probably change it out again within the week to continue the healing. Yikes, I don't know. They probably have a class on transmissions at Hogwarts; mysterious.

Got to meet the preacher today that the pulpit selection committee will be presenting to us. He seems like a great guy. I'm excited.



09:33:00 PM :: permalink :: discuss ::

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