Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A day in Birmingham, AL


Burchfield Branch Park (COE), Birmingham/Tuscaloosa, AL


No travel today. The day was dedicated to getting the truck fixed. We started by trying unsuccessfully to find a Dodge dealer in Tuscaloosa. The dealer there is still busy trying to catch up from the recent tornado and was not inclined to take in a road emergency. So we turned and headed for Birmingham.

I can't say enough good things about the GPS function on our Android smart phone. As we headed east toward Birmingham, I selected the Map function and typed in "Dodge Dealer". All the Dodge dealers in the Birmingham area popped up on the map. I picked the one closest to us (Bessemer, AL) and clicked on phone.

I explained that I was passing through and the nature of the problem as I perceived it. The service advisor told me to come in and he would make room for us. I ended the call. The phone switched back to the map function, I clicked on the navigate button, and immediately had the directions to the Dodge dealership.

The service department took us right in and after about a half hour gave us the diagnosis. Our brakes are fine but there is a pin hole in the transmission oil cooler hose that sprayed oil onto the the right front brake drum. Also, there is a manufacturer recall on my truck for some part that needs to be replaced. He has neither of the parts, will have to order them, and cannot let us drive the truck in its current condition. He hooked us up with Enterprise Car Rental, we got a car and headed back to the campground.

We stopped at the campground gate, explained our problem, and told them that we could not leave tomorrow as planned. A little while later, the camp manager came to our site to tell us that all campsites are reserved for the upcoming weekend -- Labor Day and opening football game of the 'bama season. We have to find someway to vacate the campsite.

Shortly thereafter, a man knocked on our door and offered to tow us to Birmingham tomorrow morning. Of course we accepted.

One last thought. It was as hot as Hates today. The high temperature was over 100 degrees.