Truck Starter Not Starting

Tom and I came to Harrisburg because I signed up for a weaving class at Redstone Glen Fiber Arts School.  I have been looking forward to this class ever since I signed up in July.  Monday morning, the first day of class, Tom and I got up in plenty of time to get to class, loaded up all my stuff, and climbed in the truck. Tom pushed the truck starter button and – nothing.  No familiar roar of the engine.  The radio came on and the lights worked but the truck didn’t start.

We had this happen once before.  We drove to the grocery store, did our shopping, and then nothing when Tom pushed the truck starter button.  After trying several things, including calling the dealership which services the truck, the computer reset and allowed us to start the truck.  (Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?)  We thought that was just a one-time glitch since it was in May and hadn’t happened since.

But here we were again.  Ready to go to my weaving class but stuck in a truck that won’t start.  We tried calling the dealership again.  We tried turning it off and turning it on.  I called Redstone Glen and told them I would be late to class.  Finally, we called Good Sam Emergency Roadside service and they said they would send out a tow truck.  I talked to them for several minutes about the size of our truck.  We need a BIG tow truck.  They said they understood.  We also called Enterprise Rental Car for a rental while the truck was in the shop.

Enterprise came out and picked us up and we were able to get a rental without any problem.  While at the rental place, Good Sam let us know the tow truck was on the way.  We called the tow truck company to be sure that Good Sam had told them about the size of our truck.  The tow truck company responded that they weren’t equipped to handle a truck as big as ours.  They called Good Sam who called a second tow truck company, supposedly with a bigger truck.

Tom is now driving me to class.  I will only be a couple of hours late but he will have to deal with the truck and towing, servicing, etc.  Good Sam lets us know a second tow truck is on the way.  I call the tow truck company who assures us that they can handle our truck.  I also ask them where they are taking the truck for service.  They tell us the name of a RAM truck dealer close by.

Tom calls the dealer who says, no, they can’t handle a truck our size.  Tom asks for a recommendation of a place that can and they send him to Forrer RAM dealership.  After a conversation with people in service, Tom is convinced they can deal with our truck.  The only problem is they can’t take us for a week.  After explaining the situation, the service scheduler tells Tom she will work him in the next day.  Now, he just has to get the truck there.

I am at my class and Tom is now dealing with all this on his own.  The tow truck arrives about noon and – guess what – is too small to handle our truck.  But the two guys with the tow truck think it is a battery problem.  We have two batteries.  And both are too big for their battery charger to handle.  So they use the battery charger on one and jumper cables from their battery to ours on another.  The truck starts!  Yay!  It was a dead battery (or two).  We never thought of that!

The tow truck leaves and Tom drives the truck around for a couple of hours before coming to get me at class in the rental car.  We are going to take the truck out to Forrer and drop it off after hours.  We wait until after rush hour and then Tom gets in the truck while I get in the rental car.  And the truck starter won’t start.  Totally dead.  This time Tom knows what to do.  He hooks the jumper cables up to the rental car battery.  After 15 minutes of charging, the truck still won’t start, and he realizes he needs a second set of jumper cables for the second battery.  We borrow some from our neighbor in the campground.  This does the trick and we are soon on our way.

After that, everything goes as it should.  We drop the truck off at Forrer and they get it in right away the next morning.  They replace both the batteries and do the scheduled maintenance on the truck.  On Wednesday, Tom picks up a woman from Enterprise and they go out together to pick up the truck.  Then the woman from Enterprise takes the rental car back.

October seems to be our month for breakdowns.  Two years ago it was the water heater.  Last year the broken axle.  This year the truck starter and batteries.  Despite our October problems, we are blessed that there are always people willing to go out of their way to help us.  In the end, everything works and we are blessed.