Yesterday morning as I was driving to work, I was contemplating how reliable our Saturn L200 has been and how I had never been broken down by the roadside with a car issue. Then late afternoon during rush hour as I was going southwest to meet up with my daughter, BAM – self-fulfilling prophecy – or something like that! Heading west on I-494 and about to take the south exit onto US-169 right in the middle of a bunch of road construction, I felt a hesitation in the accelerator. I sensed immediately that something was wrong, but I hoped that it was either an anomaly or something I could deal with later. I slowed down and coasted into the cloverleaf ramp. Rounding the ramp upward, I attempted to accelerate through the curve and the power just died and eventually the car stalled. I did my best to pull over to the right up over the slanted curb to get out of the way. All attempts to start the car failed and I knew I had a repair issue. First, I called my wife to tell her what was wrong and make arrangements for our daughter to be picked up. Then I called AAA and setup a priority tow request. All this time, I was watching rush hour traffic swerve left around the curved ramp to avoid me. Cars and pickups did fine when they were paying attention. It was the semi trucks that would swerve to the left and the back right corner of the trailer would miss my car by less than 4 feet – that made me nervous. When I had a chance, I popped the hood, got out of the car, raised the hood to let drivers know I was stranded (I already had my flashers on but the bright sun made them harder to see), and stood behind the car on the grass/weeds. I figured if the car was hit by a semi trailer, at least I wouldn’t be in it while it rolled down the embankment and into the pond below!
Eventual, the tow truck showed up and a nice guy towed my car and me to the repair shop. We chatted about the Upper Pennisula of Michigan, Pasties, Mackinac Island, and Western University of Kalamazoo. Today, I got the estimate call – $900 for new fuel pump and installation. Oh, well.