We were all set to go on or summer vacation.
I had arranged for pet care, stopped the mail, and even had a neighbor coming by to water the plants.
I packed everything the night before into the back of the car except for the food that needed refrigeration. We all piled into the car and settled in for the four hour trip. We had gotten about an hour down the road when we noticed that there was a strange odor in the car. At first, I blamed our son as he had taken off his shoes, but it was more like a chemical smell. My husband pulled off the road at the next exit to find a repair shop. When we pulled in, the kids piled out and headed into the store next door. I waited with my husband to see what the problem was with the car. The mechanic took a quick look at the engine and quickly realized that we had a major leak in our refrigerant for the HVAC unit. This would account for the smell that we had noticed. At first, my husband said that we would just do without it, but, the mechanic said that we really couldn’t do that. EPA regulations require that you have any coolant that is leaking be repaired because of its harmful effects of the OZONE layer. It is also unhealthy for people to breathe in the leaking gases. My first thought was that I didn’t want to drive another three hours in a hot car with complaining kids. The mechanic said that he could have the system fixed in an hour or so. We gathered up the kids and walked to a local diner to have an early lunch. It was nice to pass the time in an air conditioned space anyway.