Jim at the Wright Stop in Safford has worked what might be an auto repair miracle! He had the car for eight days, put over 20 hours of labor into it, including tearing out and replacing the entire dashboard area twice, and had to send to New York for a component. Even without seeing the sticker, we were getting sticker shock as he checked in with us on the phone a few times.
The history of this affair, for those who may have just joined us: the Suzuki XL-7 has been our toad for eight years, faithfully following us around the country including a 42-day trip through Alaska.
|This is how we like to travel!|
There is only one Suzuki dealer in Arizona, and that's in Phoenix, 166 miles away by the back roads. Can you imagine the two of us riding in the cab of a tow truck to Phoenix? Neither can we.
We called our tow service; they located a couple of places in Safford: one, a Suzuki motorcycle place, the other an AAA recommended shop who declared they would not work on a Suzuki, but recommended the Wright Stop. Jim Wright said bring it in, I'll see what I can do but I won't guarantee I can fix it. (Later on he told me he had called all the other shops in the Safford area to try to get some suggestions, and he was told he was out of his mind. Seems no one will touch a Suzuki except to do an oil change!)
Jim's first guess was that we had an electronic problem, not a mechanical one. He got into it and found that a switch was putting out low voltage, and that was the primary problem.
|Arriving at Wright Stop - NOT how we like to travel!|
That set us into a tailspin, knowing that we don't have the money to buy a new car, and we'd not be able to tow the Suzuki anywhere.
That afternoon, Jim called back. After he'd taken the car apart again, he had looked on-line one more time and found out that he had to push the "Neutral" button on the dashboard instead of the 4WD button to get it back into a driving state! Everything was fine. Oh, he said our brakes were about gone, so we OK'd fixing that also.
Yesterday we drove the rented Chevy back to Safford (we're in Clifton this week, 40 miles away) and picked up the Suzuki. Total cost of everything: $1,100 to Wright Stop (he still ate the 14 hours of labor himself); $306 for the rental car for 8 days. Considering that we had been imagining three or four thousand, we did a happy dance!
In the meantime we had to leave Suzy's Big Red scooter behind, stored at Roper Lake. But we managed a drive up Mount Graham, the tallest mountain in SE Arizona, in the rental car;
|View from Mount Graham|
|9000 feet is pretty high in these parts|
|The main house at Besh-Ba-Gowah|
|We really like this shot!|
|PJ's in Clifton|
|El Charro in Safford|
|Bighorn -- the javelinas were down by the San Francisco River|
Now we're happy again as we can continue ... Our Life on Wheels.