Stories from the Tow Away zone…
This summer both kids were licensed, working full weeks at their jobs and were on different shifts. My husband and I were both working too. Between juggling taxiing and letting them take the cars, things became quite complicated. Maybe that is what led to the ultimate demise of our BOTH our cars this summer, or maybe it was a coincidence. That will remain a mystery…
In any event, I was involved with a tow truck on three different occasions this summer – all within five weeks.
The first time
…was because my husband’s ignition stopped working while we were at a friend’s house. The truck took about 35 minutes to arrive and the driver was very nice. He towed it to a local Canadian Tire where it was repaired the next day.
The second time
…I was driving home in rush hour on the hottest day of the year from my last day of a contract job 40 minutes from home. The car started slowing down and bunny hopping. I managed to hop into a quiet side street and waited.
The truck only took 45 minutes in this case and I thought I was pretty lucky considering the time of day and weather. They also sent me a text message with a tracker on it I could check exactly where the tow truck was as it was en route. That was very cool. He took us to a friend’s garage and luckily they were able to replace one of my cylinders a couple of days later.
The last time
…we were driving my son back to Kingston for the school year. We live 2 hours away but needed to borrow a friend’s van to haul all his stuff there. Despite the van having a thorough inspection prior to us picking it up, we ended up blowing a tire in a very loud and scary way in the passing lane of the 401. (Thanks to a nail-like thing.) We pulled onto the left shoulder, called the tow truck company again and waited.
That was a long wait. And hot. And, well frankly, terrifying. Every vehicle that went by rocked the van.
The truck took an hour to find us and then called to say he couldn’t pick us up on the left shoulder unless the police were present.
He suggested we could drive over onto the right shoulder and then he could tow us but of course we couldn’t do that. We had only tire shreds on the back rim and REALLY fast traffic going by. We declined.
After another long wait he called us back to say he was coming over and we were to wait for the police to show up.
Another 30 minutes passed with no sign of police, the traffic whipping by and us having just the windows open. Did I mention it was another ‘hottest days of the year’? We kept the air conditioning off so the battery wouldn’t die.
The driver of the tow truck came back to us and tried to change the tire at that point. He said he wasn’t suppose to but that we’d be waiting all day for the police so he was just going to do it there. What he didn’t realize was that the back of the van was packed and we needed to access the release latch for the spare from there. He didn’t want to unload all over the highway and instead decided to just get us up on his truck and take us to a nice safe parking lot. Finally.
Another hour and more obstacles later we had the spare on – which was luckily a full sized spare, and we were on our way.
We moved the boy in, said our tearful goodbyes and left. My husband and I stopped for a quick dinner then hit the
parking lot highway again for 3.5 more hours of long weekend driving with returning travellers. This trip usually takes us less than 2 hours each way!
7.5 hours of driving all together for that day. The good news was, we accomplished our goal to move the kid in, we were able to spend an extra 3 hours with him, and nobody got hurt.
All the drivers involved were very nice and helpful. One guy even asked his girlfriend to drive over to us with an angle grinder to cut the access latch off that was stripped. Talk about going above and beyond!
Shortly after these issues with our cars, and more money on repairs, we discovered both vehicles were no longer road safe. I have since replaced my lovely Toyota Echo with a Chevy Cruze and we are still in the market to replace the Corolla. Our friends have replaced all 4 of the tires on their van and they are still trucking.
When you own a car these things can happen once in a while – hopefully not often and considering how much driving we all do, I’m glad it’s as rare as it is. The silver lining overall is that nobody got hurt.
Now I’m off on another adventure soon – heading to a luxury resort in Algonquin and I can’t wait to share it with you! Cheers!