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Old 08-10-2017, 11:03 AM   #1
Household6
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 21

2007 Outlook XR
Default URGENT input needed - military wife traveling & near-stranded

Driving round trip from D.C. to El Paso.
Ride TO El Paso went great.
The return . . . not so much.

(Un)Important(?) fact - car has had whining noise since just after we purchased it. I thought it was the power steering pump. Now wondering if it's the tranny. (Ouch!)

On way to El Paso, about 1.5 hours left in trip, the AC stopped working - for the front vents you could hear the sound increase when turning up the fan, but no airflow increase. While the rear vents were properly pushing air, it was warm air. We stopped about 30 min and let vehicle cool. AC then worked properly. It wasn't a particularly hot day in Texas, but definitely warm and rarely do I drive 80MPH, much less for hours at a time. If I was an AC on a 10 year old car, I'd probably have been exhausted by then too!

Spent 5 days in El Paso and had the oil changed (used high mileage oil) tires rotated and alignment done while there. It was noted there was a minor leak at timing cover (had belt replaced a couple months ago by a trusted mechanic).

Our trip home began Tuesday. It started with a (sudden) pinched nerve in my back. AC went out once, recovering after a rest. No add'l issues.

Wednesday - Thinking to self "I'm going 80 on cruise control, but my RPM's sound high. Is the car not wanting to go into 6th? . . . hmmm . . . " one of those things where you're not sure of yourself.

The last 3-5 hours of travel on Wednesday led to us having to stop 3 times to allow the vehicle to cool so AC would properly function. At this point, I'm realizing something isn't "right", but it's not vital to address so we continue.

Then around 8pm last night I get a warning flash up on my dash. TRANSMISSION HOT IDLE ENGINE. I immediately check the gagues and nothing is amiss (temp at 210, oil pressure is normal), pull over (on the side of I-10 in BFE nowhere, TX) and turn the car off.

Although still 2-3 hours from our intended stop for the night, I decided a hotel room was our best bet. Drove about 50 miles being gentle to her, then a bit hard as we arrived in civilization as I wanted to see what it would take for a repeat. No such luck. But I did notice a heavy shift in a lower gear (2nd or 3rd?) and a new noise (that seemed to be in conjunction with the aforementioned whining) while turning the steering wheel to pull into a parking spot. Nevertheless, I gave her a big hug upon arrival.

Any thoughts as to what's going on? I'm wondering if everything is somehow related, or if we have 3 different issues going on? I'm about to go check transmission fluid level and see if temp gauge appears to be working and will report back. As I'm in a small town and in "distress" being hundreds of miles away from home, I don't want to get put in a situation where I'm told "you need a new tranny" and taken advantage of. What do I need to ensure is done/tested before having to take that route?

PS - did I mention our trip to El Paso was to help settle in my husband for a 9+ month PCS and I'm traveling alone with our 11 yo son and 100# Golden Retriever? Yah, Murphy's law waited ZERO time to strike this time!

...
2007 Outlook XR AWD
Dark Blue, Tan Leather, 2nd row Captains Chairs
Fully Loaded
Engine Replaced by dealer at 100k, Evidence of new(er) transmission
(Purchased in Feb 2017 with 165k miles)

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