australia, ocean

Detours off Britta Blvd

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TGIF
australia, ocean
brittadotcom
Well, I got the Briata back last night from the body shop looking great, but as I drove away I noticed I was in drive but the automatic gear shift said N. Hmm. I shifted a bunch (with my foot on the brake of course) and it was all off by one, not safe at all, since that meant that park was blank, P was reverse, N was drive, etc. I drove it back to the body shop who wasn't yet closed, they took apart the inside gear box again and fixed that. While waiting for the mechanic to mess with the gear box, the owner was showing me the photos of the damage to my car and kept saying "You were hit really hard." Not only was the bumper replaced, but also the *steel* reinforcer bar behind the bumper plus its mounts that were crumpled like crushing a soda can. They also had to pound the trunk wall back into position, weld & seal it, since there were actually daylight cracks in the back bottom corners & edge of the trunk, only visible after taking out the spare tire, so I never saw that myself. I wonder if the guy who hit me is still claiming no damage to his car like his adjuster told me last week? I drove away fine, still with a 1/8" correction back from P to be able to get my key out. Something to note here is that I kept thinking it was driving fine, but my car had not been above about 40 mph since it was hit and not on the freeway at all. Also to note is that I was on my way back from Dublin when I was hit, so my car was totally fine at freeway speeds before I was hit.

This morning I knew I'd have traffic because of the rain, so I gave myself almost an hour to get to the chiropractor before work. I drove the Briata, thankful to have it back, but I had also realized last night it hasn't been freeway tested since the accident, but due to traffic I didn't get above 40-50 mph until I was at Redwood City. As I could get some speed in the long Whipple exit lane, I noticed more noise than usual like accelerator roar as I was going, even when backing off on the gas. I turned onto the overpass and at the top, my car went into neutral by itself, no movement in the gear shift by me. I put my hazards on while I steered it & tried to change to D2 or D1, even park, but all it did was make horrible grinding noises, until it finally went into park as I was sitting in the right lane at Whipple & Veterans. Then no matter what I did I couldn't get it back into neutral even to be able to push it somewhere safer, so prayed everyone would see my hazards in time to avoid me, thankful it wasn't actively raining right then, and called my Farmers adjuster to ask him if I should be calling someone other than AAA to tow me. Thankfully I just upgraded this year to AAA gold which gives me a free 100 mile tow, since Farmers agreed since it's a Miata requiring special parts & special knowledge, that it was okay to tow it straight to my dealer back down in San Jose. I called the chiro to cancel, emailed my boss, then a nice guy in a truck knocked on my window saying how unsafe it was to stay there and could he push me somewhere safer? I finally got it back into neutral, so he pushed me around the corner into a parking lot. I thanked him SO much! AAA came within 15 minutes, then we were in 101 S traffic for awhile. I can say that including this one today I have needed 3 tows in the past 5 years, and I have been impressed at how quickly AAA tow guys appear and how nice they have been.

Tim the Mazda guy still recognized me from all the emissions wackiness this past spring, and while it was still hanging from the tow truck he took a peek underneath. I unfortunately didn't put my camera back in my purse so I didn't have it today. Let's see if I've remembered it right...the rear axle case is cracked enough to be sitting on the axle, causing the grinding, and not allowing it to get in gear properly. At first glance he wasn't sure if I'd need a new transmission or not, but that's a good $2k of more work but fixable. He thinks my car in the shape it was in before the crash is worth a good $6K so we should still be within fixing range...I sure hope so. Farmers said they need the technician to document that this is related to the accident, so the dealer will investigate and call Farmers directly. Tim said they see this often enough, and it is always due to accidents, never wear & tear.

I an VERY thankful that this happened when I had gotten OFF the freeway, that no one hit me to make a worse accident for anyone, let alone exacerbate my neck that still hurts every day, and that it seems to be fixable, that I have a nice boss who emailed back "omigod! is your neck okay? don't bother about coming into work after all this!"

Now my head is killing me & I never had the chance for breakfast let alone lunch yet, so I think some rest is in order. I sincerely hope everyone else's Fridays are better than mine started today!
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I'm sorry

(Anonymous)
That totally sucks about the Briata...hope all gets fixed soon, and that you feel better!

*hugs*

Melanie.

Ugh, hidden damage the body shop didn't find... or something that hadn't actually exasperated itself enough during body repair until it was driven at speed? Either way, that sucks. I truly hope it's fixable and won't total the car. I'm so sorry. :(

When my first A4 was rear-ended, the damage to the bumper was almost invisible; a simple sanding and repainting did the trick. However, the brackets underneath were totally sheered, and that wasn't discovered until they took the bumper off to paint it. Nothing like your transmission issues, though; my bump wasn't at any kind of high speed at all.

Oh, no! I'm so sorry to hear your poor little car isn't doing well, and that your neck is still giving you trouble.

I'm all local and stuff now, and am good for weeknights--would an extra set of hands be useful for party prep? Lemme know; my weeknights are entirely flexible, especially once I finally finish unpacking (hopefully this weekend!), and I'm yours if you need me.

Take care of yourself!

If anyone needs a weekend it sounds like you do!

And shame on that body-shop for letting your car leave like that, what would they have done if you got hit again?!

Oh my gosh! Thank goodness someone stopped to get you and Briata out of the danger zone! I'm crossing my fingers for Briata and trying to send you positive healing waves. -Kevin C.

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