March 8, 2016

If Only I had a Smarter Car

Not sure how this car was supposed to make it to Long Island
I'm not sure where we were, but I do know that we were far from home.  I could sense something was wrong with my car, but not being a mechanic, I wasn't sure exactly. The check engine light had been on for the past 100 miles and the engine temperature gauge was entering the dangerous zone.  I'm not quite sure what would happen to my car, but not being anywhere familiar, my buddy Sal and I had no choice but to press on.

My friend Joe was turning 21 that night in Long Island and there was no way that we were going to miss it.  Here we were though somewhere in New Jersey with a car that was seriously overheating with no idea how much longer it would last.  It was one of those things where we would just take it mile by mile and hope for the best.

I have two fears when driving; that my car will break down in the middle of nowhere or it will break down in the middle of a city.  We weren't in the middle of Kansas and with New York City on the horizon, my second fear was likely to come true.  We approached the toll plaza to the George Washington Bridge when everything that could happen, did. Smoke began billowing out of the air vents and from underneath the hood.  My car was going to explode and leave me and my buddy dead in the middle of the George Washington Bridge... in rush hour traffic no less.

I was about to be THAT car that shut down a lane of traffic causing a backup on the busiest thoroughfare in the Tri-State Area.  Fortunately though my car didn't explode and we managed to make our way to the Bronx.  This was not the 2015 South Bronx, but rather the 1996 version where two flannel wearing Upstate New Yorkers were completely out of their element in more ways than one.  We managed to find a garage, or so it looked like a garage, it was most likely a chop shop where they took stolen cars, chopped them up, and sold off the parts.  It wasn't the ideal place to stop, but we had no choice.

A big burly black man approached our car with an equally big bucket of water.  He lifted the hood of the car and emptied the contents of the bucket on the overheated engine.  After a few minutes when all the steam dissipated and the engine cooled, he filled up our radiator with water and we were on our way.  I don't know if we tipped the guy or not, but I didn't want to spend any more time in this part of town so we got back on the highway as fast as we could.

We ended up making it to Long Island where we found out one of the engine hoses had a leak and needed to be replaced.  I'm still amazed that we made it to our destination and didn't end up dying somewhere along the way. Looking back I have no idea how we made it without cell phones or some other communication device.

I can't help but think how this situation would have been different had I had a device like the Hum by Verizon.  It's a small speaker that sits on your visor that connects you to an operator at the touch of a button.  You can get things like roadside assistance, emergency assistance, and they can locate your car if it's stolen.  Fortunately I haven't had to use any of those yet, but for a low monthly cost, it's good to know that it's there.  It also comes with an on-board diagnostic reader so you will always know what is going with your car. It will send maintenance reminders to your connected phone, so you never have wonder when it's time to bring your car to the garage. The Hum makes every car smarter and safer.

It's also perfect for your kids car if they decide to take a road trip to Long Island.

Hum by Verizon has been kind enough to offer one of their units in a giveaway. Please enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was supplied a Hum by Verizon, all opinions are my own.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?