Saturday, January 17, 2009

It was a good night to have great road-side assistance...Biggest lesson: Be prepared to get stranded, it could happen to you

This photo was taken right outside Rooney's Bar in Sedan at about 9:30pm on Thursday night, January 15. I was on my way back to Belgrade from my girlfriend's place in Glenwood, and about 5 miles east of Glenwood on Highway 55 my alternator literally froze up at about 8:05. (I later learned that the bearing busted loose inside the unit, and every mechanical piece inside it was smashed to bits!)

Since it is a reliable and solid Chevrolet, I was able to limp it two more miles so I could get into Sedan, versus being stranded on the open highway on a night when the air temp approached -30! (Windchill was quite a bit worse) Basically, I coasted as much as possible with the motor shut off, then I'd start it back up and speed up before shutting the engine off again. With a frozen alternator, the serpentine belt melted/snapped, thereby rendering the power steering pump and water pump useless as well. Fortunately, I did not overheat the engine/warp my heads/crack my block...and the Chevy lives to fight another day, after plucking down some $$ for a rebuilt alternator and new serpentine belt, and getting help from Chris Jensen's Auto Repair in Belgrade to throw it together.

Once I rolled into Sedan after the alternator was toast, I wheeled around to face Highway 55, for easy hook-up to a tow truck. After a few minutes on the phone with Allstate roadside service, my frozen-up self went into Rooney's Bar to thaw out and enjoy some great Harry's Pizza (Elrosa's finest! Yum gotta love that garlic chicken) while watching a C.S.I. episode on their TV. Pro Fast Towing/Auto of Glenwood was already out and about helping others who had car issues due to the cold snap, so they told me it could be up to 1 hour until they could get to Sedan. Thank goodness I was able to make it into town.

(No, I did not kiss my car in the sub-zero temp's, but man you've gotta love Chevy's that will not let you down when you need them the most)

So not only do I travel with heavy boots, blankets, food/water, and a shovel in my car, I've also got heavy-duty roadside service. All essential items for winter travel in Minnesota. (Especially if you have almost 243,000 miles on your car like I do!)

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