Going Slow in Tupelo

Jason standing at service desk
Jason at the Tupelo Meineke

We left Corinth with a smile on our face and a full tank of gas. Onward! we said, and we congratulated ourselves at getting our travel trailer hooked up and out on the road so quickly.

It was about 9 am and with less than 300 miles to go, we thought we’d arrive at our destination at 2 pm. Aren’t we just the best?

Then, after we had been sailing along down the road for about 25 miles, Dan suddenly said, “Something’s not right.”

What are you talking about? Is it something with the St. Louis Cardinals? Did you miss a Blues game? Are you going to run out of cookies before we get home? Dan’s always thinking about something. What’s the issue?

Dan then said a yellow wrench light had come on, and the car had some trouble going up the hill. Once up the hill, the car drove fine. Is the light still on? Yep. Okay. Let me Google it.

So, I put in Google Search “Ford Expedition yellow wrench light.” Well, what Google pulled up didn’t sound good. Basically, it said to get to a certified auto mechanic as soon as possible, and don’t drive the car.

Now as a side note, we did get our Ford Expedition serviced before our trip. And we have purchased Triple A RV Plus because if something happens on the road, we are gonna need help.

Using my smart phone, I began Googling “auto mechanics near me.” I could see which ones were open; some were closed because it was a Saturday. I found a Meineke in Tupelo which was open. I called, and a man named Jason answered.

I explained our issue. Jason asked a few questions. Then I asked Jason if this was something he could help us with. He replied, “Possibly.” Jason also mentioned that before he became the service manager, he had worked on Ford vehicles for ten years. Somehow, I knew the Lord above was looking out for us and guiding us to the right place. It wasn’t help from Triple A, but rather help from above. Thank you, God.

I told Jason we were about fifteen minutes away and could be there soon. Jason said, there was no place for our travel trailer in his lot. He suggested we drop it in the parking lot across the street. He said it was a large lot and not used much. This was excellent forethought on his part. He had listened to the part where I said we were towing a travel trailer.

We had about fifteen miles to go before arriving at the Meineke. It was a long fifteen minutes. The car did fine, but that yellow wrench light never went off. It was glaring at us! I noticed a Car Max location just a little bit before arriving at the Meineke. I was hoping we wouldn’t need to visit Car Max.

Our Ford Expedition with Meineke sign in the backbround

Jason worked us in on a very busy Saturday. The waiting area in the shop had WiFi as well as a charging station. We used both. While waiting, I researched campgrounds. Our thought was that if our car couldn’t be fixed today, we may have to tow our Micro Lite somewhere to stay the night or maybe nights – since the next day was Sunday. It turns out there was a very nice campground right down the street.

Now, you know how cars can be. They can be temperamental. Of course, the yellow wrench light had gone off after the car sat for awhile, and even after driving a bit, it would not come on again for the mechanics. The code wasn’t stored either. However, Jason asked us a few questions about how the car had behaved – or rather misbehaved – when the light did come on.

Jason then told us, he thought it was the throttle body, but he said, he couldn’t be 100% sure. But he said he was 90% sure based on what we told him and his years of experience with Ford vehicles. I could very much tell he did not want us to pay for an expensive repair if it turned out that wasn’t the problem. I appreciated his conscientiousness.

We understood he wasn’t 100% sure a new throttle body would fix the issue. However, since this was the first time we had ever heard of a “throttle body”, we decided to go with our instinct and trust Jason’s knowledge and recommendation.

The Meineke store got the part and made the repair. We didn’t have to have an unplanned stop for one or more nights at the campground down the street. And we didn’t have to go to Car Max. While nobody likes a $528 car repair bill, considering some of the alternatives, we were happy. When we left the shop, Jason asked us to let him know if it fixed the problem. He said, he’d be wondering about it all night.

After a couple hours with no issues, I called Jason, and told him, it had fixed the issue. Our issue had caused us a five hour delay. Even so, we made it with no further yellow wrench lights coming on, and we arrived in Hattiesburg and were all set up before dark.

During the pandemic, we all began to hear the phrase, “essential workers.” With all due respect to our healthcare workers – who are heroes – aren’t all workers essential? It matters how people do their jobs. It very much mattered to us how Jason did his job. He listened. He was skilled and knowledgeable. He was conscientious. He was nice. He cared.

Thank you to Jason and to the workers at Tupelo Meineke for doing your jobs well and taking good care of us.

Our Ford and travel trailer at our campsite in Hattiesburg
We made it!

26 comments

    • As soon as Jason said, “I worked on Fords for ten years before..” I knew we were blessed from above! We really appreciated his work. Thanks for your kind words, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely – all workers are essential! We were very glad we were able to get to our destination and get set up before it was dark. Hope you have a great day, Meg!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It is amazing how the person who cares can help make a worrisome situation feel less worrisome. Not only was the story an acknowledgement of Jason and your experience, I’ll bet I am not the only one who Googled “throttle body” and learned something new. I don’t have a Ford anymore, but in the event I ever do again, it will be good to know about throttle bodies (and that your repair was within the average cost range). Tupelo does have some interesting historic buildings and museums and of course, the Natchez Trace runs right through it. What you won’t find is any casinos–that would be in Tunica, although it has pretty much gone bust these days. Looking forward to the news from the coast, and happy Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, and Happy Wednesday to you, too! It seems a throttle body is an expensive – but very necessary part. Jason gave us an idea of the cost before the repair beforehand which we appreciated, too. While we didn’t visit anything in Tupelo, we have found the people in the south to be so nice and friendly. A man in the waiting area was telling us about the RV places, too – which ones were the closest, etc. We were very pleased with how everything turned out. We may visit again; we are not interested in casinos anyway. Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I read your blog title, I thought you might have stopped in Tupelo to check out the birthplace of Elvis. I’m glad your story had a good ending as I know sometimes they don’t (which happened to my family on vacation once). I would say you were definitely being watched out for from above.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we definitely were! I hope whatever happened to your family on vacation wasn’t too bad. I doubt we will ever visit Graceland – just not our thing. We do like Elvis’s songs though. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • On our trip we had a pretty bad car issue that I still hate to think about. At one point I thought of renting another car to finish our trip. As to Graceland, I have lived in Memphis over 50 years and have never been through the house. No desire. Hope your day goes well also!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. How wonderful that God provided the right person at the right time. We have been blessed in this way so many times over the past four years. Actually, too many times to count. And the best is you were still able to get to the park and get set up before dark. Continue safe travels and miles of smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes, we were blessed. And so glad he thought to tell us where to drop the trailer before we arrived. It was stressful enough without having to figure that out at the last moment. Safe travels and miles of smiles to you and Barb, too!

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  4. Ugh, I hate driving with one of those lights on. I had to do so recently for two days straight because other things were happening, and I just couldn’t take the time to get to our mechanic. The whole time you’re wondering: “Is this when the car will totally break down? Will it conk out at a red-light with cars honking behind me?” Thankfully, mine was eventually a low-level repair ($89). I’m sorry you’re was as much as it is, but it sounds like you ended up with a really good and caring repair technician. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • The only thing that cost us $89 related to our car is gas. But even so, compared with the cost of a new or newer vehicle – considering it would have to tow a travel trailer, we can live with the repair bill. And yes, we did get a good repair technician. Hope your kitchen remodel is going better than expected! Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Troubles with a tow vehicle is a scary ordeal. Hate that you had to part with $500+ but maybe a small price to pay to get back on the road. I budget an emergency fund for just such an occurrence when we hit the highway and expect I will have to spend it some day. Glad it all worked out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. As I’m sure you know, car repairs, like house repairs, are not a matter of if – it’s a matter of when. We spend our money carefully, so we have that cushion when needed. Have a great week!

      Like

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