Not Amarillo By Morning

I set out yesterday in the hopes of making it to Amarillo by evening, where I’d spend the night before continuing on to Keller today.  But my plan was not to be, as I was let down by my Avalanche.  Somewhere between Raton and Clayton, NM, I noticed that it seemed to be having trouble getting up hills and was revving a little high to maintain speed.  Right after Texline I got the first “Transmission Hot” message, so I had to pull over and wait until it cooled.  It was also getting progressively more sluggish.  After babying it into Dalhart, I stopped and checked the transmission fluid level, which appeared to be OK and then let it sit for a while.  This didn’t help, as it was worse than before.  The transmission would be OK up to 35mph, then it would kick and feel like it was slipping.  Which seemed to be the final impetus for the thing to post a diagnostic code, which set off the engine light. 

The OnStar folks were able to read a fault in the transmission control system, so I got them to send a tow-truck.  Luckily, for both me and the dog, we were able to get back to the truck stop we’d just been at and we could run the engine for air conditioning while waiting. 

So, now I find myself stuck in a hotel in Dalhart, TX, waiting for the nearby Chevrolet dealer to open at 8:00 tomorrow morning.  On the upside, the hotel is right next to the dealership, and I’ve got a high-speed connection and cable TV to while away the rest of the day. 

I do have to say that as breakdowns go, this one has been fairly civilized.  I just hit the OnStar button, got transferred to Roadside Assistance, and they dispatched a tow truck.  They also called me back on my cellphone with the estimated time of arrival and the number of the wrecker service as well as the number of the dealership.  Finally, they called me back at the end of the estimated time to verify that the tow truck had arrived.

Now we’ll see just how good GM’s warranty service is at the local dealer…


  1. Jim Carson says:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, Aubrey.  If it’s any consolation, we finally got some rain here this weekend. 

    But as I write, I’m guessing you’re probably about home now, assuming GM performed as hoped.

  2. I’m home, but without the Avalanche.  It’s a bit of a saga, perhaps worthy of a post of its own.