February 19, 2022
It began with a quiet rumble in the drive train of my Toyota truck.
i took the truck to Ed, my mechanic, to diagnose.
Ed could not isolate the sound and sent me on my way.
Weeks later the rumble became a shudder, the the shudder became a bucking motion. The problem fast became a safety issue.
Ed was so busy that he could not see my truck so i brought it into the Toyota dealer for immediate service.
Toyota diagnosed a failing drive shaft.
The replacement drive shaft is discontinued for my 1999 truck and Toyota will only use or repair genuine Toyota parts.
The drive shaft was sent out to be rebuilt. i would be without my truck for two weeks.
Ok. i have another car. It is a Ford Focus. My wife or i can still get around. We will simply wait the two weeks for the truck and share the Ford.
The next day, the engine splash guard fell off the Focus.
i ordered another (better) guard from Amazon. This was an opportunity to improve the splash guard. While we waited for the guard the car was still safe to drive.
Five days later when beginning to install the guard i noticed a large engine oil leak in the Ford.
This was not safe so i needed to bring the Focus to my mechanic. But now this was my only car and it was barely drivable. Bringing it in had to wait.
We cancelled all our upcoming appointments until the truck was ready. Calendar events pushed onto events cascading onto other events.
A week later we picked the truck up with the Focus, then dropped the Focus off at the mechanic for repair.
Dread creeped in as i contemplated the cost to repair a major oil leak.
Toyota told me there was thousands of dollars of additional repairs and maintenance that i should do to the truck, but at least the truck was drivable.
i felt as if i was drowning in dollar signs.
Two days later my mechanic tells me the Focus is finished.
i thought he meant it was unfixable… finished… done.
But it turns out the leak was only a loose oil filter and the car was ready to pick up. He even put the new splash guard on at no charge. The total cost was only an oil change.
We drove the truck to pick up the Focus and left the truck with my mechanic to sort out the list of Toyota repairs.
Two days later the necessary repairs on the truck were done for just a few hundred dollars. Most of what Toyota suggested was either unnecessary repairs or future maintenances.
Disaster doggedness saved the day.
Rather than panic i did the following:
Assessed the situation. One car down, another available.
Made a plan of action. Take the truck to Toyota where they can knowledgeably fix the problem.
Revised the plan and improvised. Second car down, appointments rescheduled, parts ordered.
Persisted. Waited out Toyota showing flexibility in a changing situation.
Moved on from a partial solution. Shifted extra truck repairs into the future.
Tied up loose ends. Trusted my long time mechanic to remove the remaining obstacles.
I did not drown in the disaster.
I only had to tread water… dogged dog paddle.