So on Monday, I was enlisted to drive Dr. Warner’s Hummer to Cedar Rapids and back.
After he told me I was going to get to drive the Hummer all day, I kind of went into my own happy place and stopped paying attention.
But I was happy that I wouldn’t have to take The Beast. I wasn’t sure my old van would be able to make it all the across the state and back.
So I was about 45 minutes east of Des Moines (driving the speed limit, so I wouldn’t get pulled over again), when the Hummer started doing some strange things. There was smog coming out the exhaust, and hot air coming from the air conditioning. I called Christine, who told me that I probably had the air conditioning set wrong, and the steam coming out the back was probably from the air conditioning working too hard to cancel out the heat on the passenger side.
I don’t know anything about Hummers, so I turned of the air conditioning and rolled down my window, and soon the hot air and smog (or “steam”) went away.
Some time later, my speedometer dropped to zero. I was on the interstate, and was pretty sure that I was not stopped, but just to be sure, I tapped the accelerator.
The engine roared like it was in neutral. My speed didn’t change at all, I was still keeping pace with the other traffic, but I figured there was probably something pretty bad going on.
I took the next exit off the interstate and got on Highway 6. This darn H2 (Did I mention I was driving a Hummer?) was not enjoying the drive at all. I could get moving up to about 10mph, and then the engine would roar and the car would slowly roll along.
I wish I were a car guy, so I could explain this better.
Bottom line, the car was not in good enough shape to make it to Cedar Rapids.
But it was in good enough shape to putt in to Grinnell.
There’s not much in Grinnell.
There was a GM dealership in Grinnell.
As I rolled into the service garage at Wes Finch Auto Plaza, all the mechanics had wide eyes.
When I stepped out, one of them remarked, “We’ve never serviced one of these before.”
I explained to Ken what was wrong, and he assured me that they’d check it out right away.
Ten minutes later, he called me back in.
The Hummer was up on the lift and he took me underneath to get a good look at what had happened.
Again, I don’t know enough about cars to explain it well, but something had come loose, a bunch of oil spilled out, everything got really hot, and the thing that makes the car go had welded itself to the frame.
Oh, and it needed a new catalytic converter.
And an oil change (I already let the oil out for them, so I’m sure they’ll give me a discount).
And the pink fluid wasn’t pink. It was thick and black (like the smog that was coming out the back), so they needed to replace that too.
He said he has no idea why it did what it did, but it’s probably been going on for the past few weeks.
I don’t really know if there’s a point to all of this.
I probably should have just trusted The Beast, instead of taking the fancy Hummer.