Monday, May 29, 2023

Uh oh - truck stuff

Author’s Note:

If you’ve ever been a blogger you know that “getting behind is inevitable.  It is only a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’.  Living life and documenting it is a tall order.  Right now I have 6 other posts “in progress/started”, but haven’t been able to get them finished and online.  Such is the plight of a blogger.  But I will - more Roadrunner Chronicles episodes are in various states of completion and will get done!


Here we go:  

So far Roadrunner 2.0 (the truck) has been running like a champ.  Almost. Day 6 we were in Tulsa, OK when the truck began “missing”.  We had it checked out in Albuquerque and took a couple of days to decide that the $2800 fix could not wait until we got home.  We had to get it fixed now so we didn’t get stranded somewhere or worse. On Day 13 we dropped it off and get the spark plugs replaced as well as the coils and spark plug boots.  Good news. The bill was only $2200. ugh.  

More importantly, we have the peace of mind and a smooth running truck again.  

That’s the short story.  Here’s a bit more of the story.

 Yikes!  We have a problem with the truck.  "It acts like it is missing.  It runs a little rough when I step on the gas." There we were.  We had checked into the hotel in Amarillo and gone through the routine of unloading 2 suitcases, an ice chest, a couple pillows, our very small coffee maker and coffee pods.  

Next, we checked the local area for the lowest gas prices (usually at Costco or Sam’s Club) to fill up and be ready to roll out the next day and hit the interstate early.

 As we followed the GPS, it indicated an exit that I took.  But the exit line was really long because of ongoing construction and I was impatient (who me?) and figured I could just go to the next exit and save some time.  That choice plus my next one were costly ones.  I wish I hadn’t moved out of the long exit line in Amarillo so quickly.”

Yup - the truck didn’t like that when I ‘punched it’ and went from zero to whatever, to keep ahead of traffic in my lane on the Interstate.  Our F-150 has a lot of power but I overdid it on that one, and all kinds of lights quickly flashed on the dashboard for a moment.  It took a few seconds, but recalibrated things and it got back to normal.  I thought and hoped.

We had a brief and intense (is that the right word? ) discussion on what was going on. The truck regained its composure and drove better as we made our way over to Costco for gas.  We fueled up and headed back to the hotel and I noticed an amber check engine light had come on.  Nuts.

Those things have a tendency to be expensive.  Thankfully it wasn’t a red “Stop Engine” light.  Those are the ones that say pull over and get this thing towed.  But that was not the case for us today.

We went back to the hotel and the next morning as we headed for Albuquerque with the Check Engine Light still on.  It drove pretty well for the next few days.  But we knew it wasn’t right and we could feel it miss a step or “skip” now and then.

We called Reid and he set up an appointment at his favorite mechanics shop in Albuquerque. We arrived on Saturday and drove the truck around town and then to church and back on Sunday. At that point we were thinking we’d just wait until we got back to Norfolk and get everything checked out then.

Our Monday appointment came and we dropped the truck off at the repair place. They quickly found what was amiss and said they could get it fixed that day.  We weren’t convinced yet that it needed to be done ASAP. It was an expensive fix(estimated at $2800), so we got a second opinion from our great mechanic in Norfolk (Jeff at Able Auto). Jeff thought the repair price was a little high which agreed with our impression.  He suggested we monitor the truck performance and see if it got any worse.  I liked that idea. So that’s what we did.  I was looking for a change in how it drove, any new fancy lights on the desk flashing, and I checked the mpg.  

On Wednesday we drove it up to  Santa Fe (60 miles and 1000’ in elevation away) and on the way back, it started getting noticeably worse.  It became clear we couldn’t wait until we got home to get the truck fixed. We called the repair shop back, got an appt for the next day and dropped the truck off on Friday morning before we went to play golf.

They called about hole #11 and told us the truck was finished.  Good news - it was “only" $2200.  We were glad to get the repair done and so far Roadrunner 2.0 is running again like her old self.  We have been averaging 20.5 mpg in the 4300+ miles that we have driven.  Yesterday we got a little more:  22.3 mpg.

The other cost we have incurred was a welcome $5 to give the truck a good wash and dry.  We found a coin operated one and did it ourselves.  It was worth the 25 minutes to give it a good cleaning.

RV repairs and maintenance are part of the adventure and we are glad we can do this.  This trip has been a whole lot of fun and pretty fantastic.  I have lots more to share and more stories to tell so, please stay tuned.  I will be more frequent in my posting.  Promise.

Until next time....


  1. Auto repair woes! UGH...double UGH when you're far from home and need something fixed. I'm glad the problems seems fixed and you're on your merry way. Stay safe and repair-free for the rest of your trip! :-)

  2. I’m so glad your truck eventually got fixed! Sounds like that first shop didn’t do much! We continue to pray for your and Pam’s safety. Hope it’s “smooth sailing,” for you two on your easterly trek back.
    We miss you guys! See you soon!

    1. Thank you - we miss you guys too!

  3. Glad that repairs were timely and did not interrupt your trip. A repair to your motor home would have been about 2-3X the f-150!

  4. You are so right. Bigger $$$

  5. Sorry you had to deal with all of this. Glad you are back in the saddle. Love looking at your pictures. Praying for smooth sailing. Page