Our victory over the elements was short lived. It had cost us $400 to get my car running and winterized. That was a small fortune considering we were facing a lay-off. Since the repair shop had told me that my battery needed further charging and driving around would finish off the process, I ran my errands. I had both sets of keys so when I stopped at one place, I would lock the car up but leave it running. The last stop I made was to run my car through the car wash.
When I drove out of the car wash, things changed. Now, every time I slowed down and the RPM’s dropped below 1500, my car died. Without fail, this continued to happen. It would start back up, but I couldn’t get it to stop dying. I was very discouraged again. Phil and I took the car by the auto parts store and relayed to the salesman what was happening. He advised a gas treatment be used that takes out all the ice crystals that formed in the gas. We used the treatment then drove down the highway for an hour so the chemical would fully move through the gas lines and engine. When we pulled into a gas station to turn around and head back to Anchorage….the car died. Ok…that wasn’t working!! Now what?? We came back home and called it a night. In the mean time we still had the rent car.
The next morning I called the Mitsubishi dealership. They advised me to bring the car in. So we did. We had charged my husbands car battery and reinstalled it. It did the trick. He was having no problems with his car. It was amazing to think the cold could cause such problems. But, that was the way of it. After work, Phil decided to get his car washed. Afterward, his car began to die when he slowed down too. It was at this point that Phil realized the stalling problems with both of our cars was something to do with the air filter. He pulled his air filter off and viola!! His car started running again. The air filter was covered in ice. One more lesson learned. DON’T WASH YOUR CAR IN THE WINTER. Shortly, after all this, Mitsubishi called me to let me know my car was ready and it would be $600. Ouch!!!! That one hurt!!!!
Well, at least we had figured out what was wrong. We had learned not to wash our cars in winter, and both of our cars were now winterized and wouldn’t freeze to death anymore. The learning curve was moving at a pace now!!
Phil’s last day of work was around January 15th. He already had some leads on other jobs. The bad news was none of the more encouraging leads were in Anchorage. We had managed to put a substantial amount of money in savings and we weren’t to worried. Getting un-employment was going to be next to impossible. The country was heaving under the pressure of lost jobs and foreclosures. Alaska’s state capital is Juneau. Juneau is in the panhandle of Alaska and is only accessible by air and sea. You cannot drive there. Because of the vast amounts of applications for un-employment, the state would no longer let you file for un-employment in any of its satellite offices. You had to travel to Juneau. Considering Phil didn’t have a job, we decided to take our chances and not spend the money to travel to Juneau. He felt he could get another job pretty quick. Now it was the waiting game to see which one came through for us.