[T3] On the Road Again!

Gary Forsmo gbforsmo at gmail.com
Wed Oct 11 12:21:29 PDT 2023

In all of my years of owning 9+ cars, we never had an incident like you are

However, we did hit an "unmarked  blacktop road repair"in Kansas with our
38' Holiday Rambler Endeavor at 65mph.

You know the kind where they remove the top 6" or so of the road & don't
install a small transition ramp to the original road surface.

I think the 28,000# motor home went airborne. But it was straight stretch
of road and the front-end suspension and Michelin 275/R80 X 22.5" tires
took the blow and we kept on driving.

I was thankful that we didn't have a "blow-out" or misalignment frontend

Scared the B-Jesus out of us.

Wishing you & Melissa have an uneventful rest of your trip.  😀

On Wed, Oct 11, 2023, 9:58 AM <jadney at vwtype3.org> wrote:

> Well, as many of you already know, Melissa and I drive to Tucson, AZ each
> fall, to visit our
> daughter. We pick this time of year because the Tucson heat should start
> to be tolerable, and
> we will still have time to drive home before the roads home get iced over.
> This year, we made
> it to Liberal, KS [far SW corner of Kansas, almost certainly not actually
> liberal, so I kept my
> political leanings under wraps] without difficulty, but our luck ran out
> there.
> Following a perfectly nice dinner in downtown Liberal, our GPS got
> confused, and I stupidly
> followed it into an alley, where I ran across what I can only describe as
> a "dry wash". A "dry
> wash is a concrete paved dip in the road that is meant to carry water
> across on those rare
> occasions when it rains: sort of an official gulley. This one would have
> been perfectly safe at
> 5 mi/hr, but it was dark, I didn't see it, and I hit it at maybe 20 mi/hr.
> The car hit its chin HARD
> on the far side of the gulley.
> Shortly thereafter I got a red dash warming light. The car continued to
> drive normally, so I
> drove back to our motel parking lot, where Melissa found a slowly
> spreading puddle coming
> out from under the front of our car. It was red and seemed oily, So I
> guessed it was ATF, but
> our Golf Sportwagon does not have an AT; it has a DSG (Dual Shift
> Gearbox.) I don't know
> what color the DSG fluid is. There's no body damage that I can see, and
> the plastic
> underbody sheathing is intact, and I can see some areas where it's been in
> contact with
> something, but I can't tell what's new from what's old.
> Nevertheless, I'm thinking this is SERIOUS meaning $$$. And there's no VW
> dealership
> nearby and almost no one that works on imports. This is Chevy/Ford
> country, with a few
> Toyotas.
> It took over an hour to find the place in the owner's manual that mentions
> that warning light. It
> doesn't come up under warning lights in the index. What I finally found
> was that this was a
> general warning and that I'm also supposed to read the text that appears
> on the display.
> Seems reasonable, but when I went back to look for the text, I found that
> the warning light
> stays on, but the text disappears after about 2-3 seconds.
> Finally, I got the text to reappear: "Check Cooling System." Okay, that
> sounds bad, but a little
> less bad than before. I can see puddles on the bracket under the radiator.
> I find that I can
> snake one arm down thru the tangle of hoses just far enough to get a
> finger on the lower
> radiator hose nipple. It wiggles rather freely. We're gonna need a
> radiator.
> I start to look for VW dealers. Nothing close. I called the VW Roadside
> Assistance number
> that's in our owner's manual stuff. They can get us a tow to the nearest
> dealer, which is in
> Amarillo, TX, 182 miles away. The catch is that I'll still be paying for
> it, all $1300+ of it.
> I look around Liberal for towing services. There's one across the street
> from us. It's night, but
> I walk over there to look it over and they have nice flatbeds. I also walk
> to a nearby auto
> workshop. It appears to be surrounded by cars in bad shape that haven't
> moved in awhile.
> The towing place opens the next morning at 8; I'm there at 7:45 but the
> owner is there before
> me. Nice old guy, family business: him, his wife, two sons. One son can
> haul us to Amarillo,
> 182 miles for just over $1000. He's giving me a bit of a break; otherwise
> it would be closer to
> the VW Roadside Assistance price. My innate cheapness is bugging me, but I
> fear that I
> could spend a few days and nights in Liberal and STILL have to be hauled
> to Amarillo. I give
> in. We get to the Amarillo VW dealership at 1 that afternoon. I called
> them earlier in the hope
> that they could be ready for us and have parts waiting.
> Well, they were ready, but no parts. They finally admitted that they don't
> keep radiators in
> stock. Nowit's the next morning and we're holed up in a local motel
> waiting for some/any
> reassuring news. I just called this morning, and they finally have our car
> up on the rack where
> someone can start looking at it, and figuring out what the repair is going
> to take.
> My main worry is that we'll stay here 2 nights and then they will tell us
> that it will be a week or
> so. At some point we might wish we had rented a car to finish the trip and
> come back here in
> a week or so. I called the friends we had planned to spend the next two
> nights with and
> realized that if we had been in one of our Squarebacks, I'd have us back
> on the road the next
> day at the latest. Old cars DO have their advantages!
> Sorry for the long post.
> Wish us luck!
> --
> *******************************
> Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
> Madison, Wisconsin, USA
> *******************************
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