« Automotive

Unserviceable

by Nikki Montgomery

Friday afternoon my 2005 Grand Prix broke down on my way home from work. I was driving down the interstate with my cruise set at 70 when all of a sudden my cruise shut off and when I hit the accelerator nothing happened. I pulled off to the side of the road and shut the car off and restarted it. I was able to get back on the interstate following a semi going 60 every once in a while my RPMs would jump up to 4000 and the car would jerk and then decelerate again, but I managed to keep up with that semi until the next exit. I took the back roads home going no more than 40 miles per hour and it didn't act up again. 

My husband isn't too bad with cars. He used to work at an auto parts store through high school and college so he knows his way around an engine. However, when it comes to diagnosing problems he often consults my mechanic dad. My dad said right away that it's the fuel filter and it's easy to change. So my husband ran to the parts store to get one, but was informed that it was unserviceable. Not what you want to hear. Apparently, the fuel filter is attached to the fuel pump inside the tank. So the next idea was to replace the whole fuel filter thinking we could access it through a panel behind the backseat, but nope. Instead you have to drop the tank to get at it! This just keeps getting more and more complicated! Well, at this point my dad decided it would be best to take it to a buddy of his who could do the work. This guy told my dad that he's never seen a fuel filter plug up when it was inside the tank, but he'd check it out. 

My beloved car sits in the hands of this mechanic awaiting a diagnosis. Hopefully we'll hear something from him today. He says he will have time to work on it tomorrow so I may have it back by the end of the week. 

This is the first car my husband and I bought together during our first year of marriage. It's been a great car. It has almost 200,000 miles on it, but up until Friday it ran great and we've never had any problems with it other than regular maintenance and we had a problem with the heat a while back. I sure hope we can fix it at a reasonable expense. It's really nice not to have two car payments. 

If I do have to replace this car since I can't get another Grand Prix what do you suggest that gets decent gas mileage, is affordable, and the big one can fit three car seats across the back seat.