The BC had a show in Thompsonville, MI this past weekend, which is in the northwest part of the state and about 3 hours away from us. The shows went well and the weekend was fine and all that, but Saturday night when driving from the venue back to our rooms, the van started acting real funny. When the automatic transmission tried shifting over from 3rd to 4th gear, it just revved and couldn’t make the shift and stayed in 3rd gear. We had to drive 150 miles home the next day. Not good, but we had to do it. It was a Sunday afternoon and we’re in the middle of nowhere Northern Michigan. No way we’d find a garage, much less afford fixing a transmission. So we drive in 3rd gear all the way home, never going above 55mph down I-75, but we made it back without incident.
In addition to this new van trouble, the last two weeks or so, there’s been a grinding happening when braking in my car. At first I thought it was just snow/ice build up behind and up under the wheels. I got a car wash with undercarriage blast thinking it would get rid of any snow and ice under there, but it didn’t fix anything. Still grinding. So it’s the brakes. I hope for the best and that it’s just the brake pads.
On Tuesday morning, I get up early to take the car in to a garage and have it looked at. Even though the van is in trouble, we were going to use it to follow the car to the garage and then drive home after it’s been dropped off. I live less than 2 miles from the garage, so it wouldn’t be a problem. Or so I thought.
When I get to the van, it won’t start. It won’t turn over at all. The battery is completely dead, and I don’t know why as it’s just been sitting there overnight and no lights or anything were left on. On top of that, it’s parked in the driveway of the abandoned house next to mine and the driveway has not been shoveled at all since we’ve been getting all this snow, so there’s no way to get another car in there next to it to try and get it jumped.
I let it sit there trying to figure out what I’m going to do. On Wednesday, my roommate and my girlfriend take over while I’m at work. They shovel out a snow path so that a car can drive up next to it and they then get jumper cables to the van and they get it started. It was full of band equipment still since we couldn’t move it until now, so they take the van to our drummers place and get it unpacked. While unpacking, they found that the cymbal bag in the back was pressed up against one of the power lock buttons, which is what caused the battery to die. So now we have that mystery solved. However, there’s another problem.
The van before was at least able to get up to 55mph in 3rd gear, but now it won’t go past 2nd and getting up to 30 is a chore. Not good. The transmission is completely shot. And, hey, remember my car? Yeah, that is still grinding. The car is more important to keep running at this point than the van, so we took the car to the garage yesterday morning to have the brakes looked at and my hopes of it just being the brake pads were dashed. It WAS the pads, but also the rotors - all 4 - and the sway bar on the passenger side. $650 total bill to get that all fixed.
So, now I have the brakes on my car fixed, but the muffler is starting to go and there’s the whole thing about getting the van fixed, or finding another mode of transportation for the band. None of those things are going to be cheap, and I definitely cannot afford any at this time. Not sure what I’m going to end up doing, but I know it’s going to cost me a lot of money. Shitty.
And that’s where I’m at right now with all that. Good times……..good times.