Driving home from Colin's midweek skating session today, with only a stop at Walmart between us and a home-cooked dinner, we had what every car owner fears and loathes -- a breakdown on a busy highway at the height of rush hour. I had just crested a rise on U.S. 19, heading southbound, when I felt the car's power go away. No warning light. No bang. No cloud of smoke. Nothing.
Thankfully, I had enough speed built up that I was able to shift the car into neutral, navigate across three lanes, muscle it down an exit and coast it to a stop in a side road parking lot. With two cell phone calls, The Missus was on her way, as was a tow truck from AAA. A $25 tow later, the car is at our mechanic's garage, its diagnosis (and prognosis) unknown.
Wish us luck. I'm hoping the issue is relatively minor. As I wrote earlier, we're looking at two out-of-state trips sometime this season.
Update 8/25: The mechanic tells me it's the timing belt. A valve job might be necessary, too. This isn't the best news I've had in awhile. Repairs like this are neither easy nor cheap.