Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rescued by the "Freeway Service Patrol."

My vehicle is a 1995 Safari Van.  We bought it new.  I used it for doing art shows, and it has served me well for 16 years.  It has about 140K miles on it and we have done the repairs as needed over the years.  It has been a very reliable ride.

It was very hot today.  Has been for several days. But I did have a few errands to run down in town. In general, as a mater of habit, I turn off the air conditioner when coming up the grade on the freeway that gets me home.  Today I didn't.

Today, for the first time in my life, I was one of those drivers who had to pull over with a steaming vehicle!  My van overheated!

I do not have breakdowns!

I do not have AAA road service.  I have never needed it!

I do not have a cell phone.

But today I was half way up the mountain when the "Service Engine Soon" light came on.  I looked at the gages and saw the temperature gage was pegged at the top.

I pulled over at the first safe place and great clouds of steam came billowing out from under the hood.

Now what?  I got out, walked to where I could safely stand and waited.  I figured eventually the Highway patrol would come by, or if I waited for two hours, Craig would drive by on his way home from work.

It was very hot, but I knew one of the things I had just bought at the store was bottled water, so at least I could get a drink if I needed it.

I had been standing in the sun for less than 15 minutes when a beautiful white tow truck pulled in behind my van.

The very wonderful driver got out, asked if I was OK and gave me a pamphlet that identified him as the "Bay Area Freeway Service Patrol."

 It is a joint project from several government agencies that provided FREE service to disabled vehicles on our Freeways and Expressways.  The objective being to keep traffic moving!

He checked my oil, the hoses, and the cooling system.  It was almost dry.

 He filled the cooling system and made sure the air was out of it.  He ran the heater for awhile to get the water circulating and advised me to take it in and have it flushed and checked over.

 All of this for no charge. (Except of course what I pay in taxes)  He was very nice and said he would follow me and make sure I didn't have any more problems and was able to get off the freeway at my exit (which was the next exit.)

I offered him a tip, but he refused it telling me they were not allowed to accept tips.

I didn't know this service existed until today.  But I was very glad it did.

I got home safely and will be making an appointment to have the cooling system flushed and checked over before I drive again.

A good day.


  1. thank goodness for the man in the shiny white tow truck!!

  2. Sometimes good things happen in a bad situation. I'm so glad that was the case for you today. :)

  3. Thank goodness!! I didn't know there was such a service. Isn't it nice to know our tax money is going for something as helpful as this????
    Glad you are ok!!

  4. That's a great service and so glad they came along when they did. You might want to rethingk that cell phone and AAA service!!

  5. So glad you were saved so quickly, Merikay. I can't believe how hot it is in the Bay Area right now! Whew, good thing for water, too.

  6. Now this program is something I would gladly pay taxes for. I'm so happy that they were there for you and that you were safe.

  7. Good thing it wasn't at night. That's a terrific service! Glad it all worked out :)

  8. How nice in this day & age of the way things are, to hear of such a wonderfully positive happening. I'm guessing another good citizen phoned in your dilemma to the police & they directed that tow truck to you. What a great service that is. Towing companies have been notoriously known to gouge & take advantage of people in difficult situations like yours but today was your day & how nice to have such a positive happening. And for the driver to do all he did for you & not accept a tip puts him at the top of my 'good people' list today.

  9. wow...what a service! and to come along right when he sound like cell day ...I hope not soon.

  10. I'm glad you were rescued! Isn't that a great service? We had that in KC, too. Fortunately, I never had to use it, but it was reassuring to know those folks were around. No such luck in this rural area!! That's why I have AAA!

  11. Wow! Now that is a great story and a great service! I remember something like that on the roads many many years ago. I've missed you Merikay. We'll have to now plan a get together sometime in the next few weeks.

  12. It's nice to feel that you are getting something for paying taxes. Hope it isn't a major repair.

  13. Aren't they the best? I've never had to use them (knock on wood) but I see them and feel better knowing they're around.

    Glad you are OK.

  14. Wow, just like in the fairy tales, The Knight coming on his
    white stallion to save the Damsel in distress. Thank God for Knights and white stallions. I'm glad that you are safe.


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