October 14th, 2019


Another Trip to Chicago

As I hinted in an earlier post, I made another road trip to Chicago. It was a nice drive. I averaged 66 MPH over 11 hours. I made it to Topeka KS just as the sun was setting. Perfect timing. I also got to witness the lovely full moon rising in the east. There was a On the Border restaurant across the street, so I just went there for dinner. It really is the Applebees of Mexican food, but the margaritas were good. I even got a shot of Patron Anejo for a buck.

Yesterday was mostly uneventful. The highway across the Missouri River that I mentioned in my post for my last road trip was once again closed. I hope they are raising it so it won't be subject to flooding like it was earlier this year. Everything was going great until I hit Springfield IL. I was in traffic when all of a sudden the vehicle started vibrating and I started losing power. The dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. I managed to pull off the interstate and shut things down. There was something definitely wrong and I hoped I would be able to get to Chicago. I started back up and only the "check engine light" was on. I did a search on my symptoms, and it appeared it was probably something related to an O2 sensor. I started back up and gradually built up speed on the shoulder. 50...OK. 60...OK. 70...OK. Hey! I'm doing the speed limit! And that's how it went all the way home. *phew* I took it to a local dealer today and am waiting for the diagnosis. I didn't want Mom to drive, so I ended up walking 2 miles to a train station and catching a train most of the way home. At least I got a good walkie after sitting on my ass for 2 days.

EDIT: Ugh. Just got a call from the dealer. The code came back as a misfire at a spark plug. It could be a symptom of a piston ring problem. Maybe. Maybe not. The "cure" would be an engine overhaul with new rings. With the age of the vehicle, he didn't recommend that unless I wanted to. The engine might last months or perhaps a few more years. Well...we had been thinking about a new vehicle. Maybe this is the thing to motivate us. *shrugs* At least I can get home and think about things in a more relaxed situation.