You’re shaking my confidence, baby.
Amelia, I’m down on my knees.
I’m begging you please,
don’t break down. Oh oh oh
On our epic drive from Austin to Phoenix, 16 hours and 1000 miles, it won’t surprise you to hear that Amelia was a little upset. So upset that at some points on our drive, she just flat out refused to accelerate. She also stalled a couple times.
So when Steve came back from Las Vegas, we debated whether to push on through and wait until our next long stay somewhere to have her looked at, or stay another day (or more, with our luck!) to have her looked at in Phoenix. We decided on the latter when Mary made us feel more than welcome to stay longer if we needed to.
Mary recommended a mechanic to us, and we headed there with Amelia. She was showered with praises once again, for her aesthetics as well as for how great of shape she is in considering her age. The mechanic was going to perform a free inspection and then based on that, we would decide how to proceed. So we stuck around at the auto shop while they checked her out. Once they’d figured out part of the problem – a tricky piece of the throttle and a clogged up fuel filter, they brought us on back to show us exactly what was going on with Amelia. It was great to look at the engine with the mechanic and go over exactly what was going on. While they searched for the parts (a specific part of the throttle and a new fuel filter), we headed for lunch somewhere nearby. When we got back, it was not looking good. The throttle part was now obsolete and they couldn’t find it anywhere. We knew of a few sources but none of those panned out either. As for the fuel filter, no one had exactly the right fit. We found a place where we could order one online, but it could take days to get to us. The mechanic did his best to clear out the clog in our existing one, to get us by for now until we can get the new one. All in all, he spent three hours working on Amelia and then insisted on not getting a cent because he hadn’t really fixed anything. This trip has convinced us that we absolutely must find a private mechanic back home whom we can trust with Amelia and our other car – we have been so fortunate on this trip to have met some great ones!
So, once again, there is nothing major that is wrong with Amelia and we will be able to keep driving without worrying about breaking down in the middle of the interstate. Phew! But it’s definitely something we have to look into more because doing 45 mph in a 75 mph zone just isn’t cutting it.
On a side note, each mechanic leaves a tiny trace of himself on Amelia. When we had an oil change, the overweight mechanic doing it must have hauled himself out of the driver’s seat using the steering wheel, because it was slightly cracked when we got it back. In Austin, the European Expert left greasy finger prints all over the a/c housing. And now in Phoenix, our mud flaps seem to have lost the fight with the hoist when they clamped it on beside the wheels. Don’t they know that our Amelia is a lady?!