I think I mentioned before that we had to drive 4 hours to get the kids' passports? Perhaps on Facebook..
The trip ended up being a nightmare.
It started just as we left. The reverse signal light died. So we stopped at a gas station, and as Dan turned the engine off... I notice it sort of rumbled to a stop.
He put a new bulb in and jumped back in to the van, ready to get on our journey that we were already late for.
It was a scorcher of a day, and the kids and dog were all panting in the back seat. I clicked the button to roll the windows down... and nothing. So Dan stopped the car, reversed back to the gas station and popped the fuse lid while I looked in the manual to see what fuse it was.
We replaced the fuse and nothing.
Back in the car, we decide we will stop at the dealership in the next town. Driving down the road... 30 degrees outside is when we realize that not only do the windows not work - but neither does the air conditioning! One window in the van rolled down 4" is the only thing that stopped us from a complete melt down in that van.
A stop at the dealership resulted in nothing. They had no time to help us. Passports and timing was of most importance, so back on the road we get. Hot and sweaty could be kept at a minimum so long as we were still moving as some air flow would come in through the vents. It still did not stop Mister from vomiting about half way there though.
We stopped at a gas station to let the dog breath and clean Mister up to find that they don't have a public washroom. I can't tell you how mad that made me. So I used some paper towel from the gas pump and some water I had in the van to wipe him off.. and then I dumped the puke bucket (never leave home without it) on the side of the gas station property. (That'll teach them! ;)
Back in the van... we now notice the radio also does not work, nor does the lighter input for my phone. Ugh.
Fast forward - passports done and Dan drops me off at the mall to get school shoes for the kids while he goes to the dealership there.
They don't have much time, but did offer to check all the fuses (all good) and then offer the advice to clean the battery connections. So Dan runs to Canadian tire and buys the tools to do so... cleans them all up, and nothing. By this time, we have also discovered that not only is the van completely haywire - but it does not shut off. That's right - turned off, keys out, engine still running. So now he is having to disconnect the battery to get it to shut off. Lovely.
In the van... ready to head home. It's dark and it's starts to rain. Flick on the windshield wipers and NOTHING. Windows start to fog up... no defrost. Then we realize that the lights don't work - unless he holds on the high beams! Are you kidding me right now?!
I looked at Dan... "2 kids in the van, up a mountain pass at night, in the dark, in a van that is completely screwed up... is simply crazy. We need to go back."
We certainly didn't plan for an expensive night in a hotel, but at least they took pity on us and extended Dan the seniors rate. Ha!
So now our crazy van remains 'unfixed'. We have just spent $600 on it in the last month, and Dan believes this problem is $1000 fix... so it remains broken. The 'options' may not work... but one thing it does do is run, so much so that it refuses to quit...so we still drive it. It just has to last another month before we are off to Kenya, and we know we will have to hope for perfect weather on our long journey to Calgary for our departure, in addition to no night driving.
But there is more that I secretly hope for. Spontaneous combustion is one.... and should I mention that if any criminals out there are looking for a good target - it's blue, and can likely be found still running on a street somewhere... just waiting for it's next 'adventure'.
But please, whatever happens... make sure it does not come back to us in one piece. Thank you.
Update: In the end, the problem turned out to be a fault with the Remote Starter. Once the remote starter was removed - the problem was gone. $100 at the Garage. THANK goodness!!