Let’s face it, at some point in our lives, we are faced with having unreliable daily transportation, my love of off lease European luxury sedans and the fact I keep my cars for around a decade means I have learned some hard lessons and I thought I would pass my hard earned education on to my fellow Hooptie enthusiasts. These tips are designed to get you off the side of the road and home to repair your hooptie in a safe place.
Lesson 1 roadside assistance:
Let’s face it if you drive a hooptie, at some point in your life you will need to be towed. It is part of the ownership experience. Also you never need to be towed on a sunny afternoon in your home town, it is always at night, in the rain, in a place where you have no friends or family near you. I like AAA and have used them for 20 years their top tier membership covers 400 miles of tows a year and costs about what one tow costs. Get some kind of roadside assistance before you need it. You’ll have a nice friendly voice ready to help you find a reputable towing company in the middle of the night in the rain.
Lesson 2 Spare Parts:
If your hooptie is the least bit obscure, say a 2002 Jaguar X-type, you will have parts that only available at a dealer or online, some of those parts have a high failure rate, and are pretty cheap. Pictured above is a Jaguar X-Type water pump belt and belt tensioner. These parts cost $30.00 and left me stranded for 2 days, after that I carried spares. Research what is likely to fail on your car that won’t be in stock anywhere and carry spares, hotels can be expensive and sleeping your car isn’t fun.
Lesson 3 Tools:
Having spare parts is worthless if you have no tools, you need a car tool box, it needs a socket set, box wrenches, pliers, cable ties, electrical tape, duck tape, and most importantly Vice Grips 3 or 4 is my recommendation. Battery connection falls apart clamp with vice grips wrap in socks and drive home. Just one of my many Vice Grip fixes to get home.
Lesson 4 OBDII Code Reader:
Is your hooptie newer than 1997? If yes, that completely worthless Check Engine light can come on during your trip, do you need to stop now? Can you ignore it? Will my car go into limp home mode? You don’t know with a code reader and a cell phone with internet you will their are cheap ones and expensive ones, get one you can afford and keep it in your car at all times.
Lesson 5 factory jacks suck and often rust closed:
Sure you check your spare tire for air, but do you check your jack. probably not and guess what it sucked when new. Get a cheap bottle or trolley jack and keep it in your trunk, you’ll thank me later.
Finally Please rise for the Hooptie National Anthem