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!