All Revved Up with Nowhere to Go

Cars driving past airport terminal


Turkey trot in Terminal A

For many, the holiday season is a time to reconnect with friends and family, but sometimes stress shows up uninvited. Last year’s Thanksgiving was no exception for Maggie, LendingTree’s social marketing coordinator. The cause of this extra anxiety? Not a pumpkin pie shortage or unruly in-laws, but her car “Ronda” the Honda Civic.

“It’s fixed now, but for a while, my car would start shaking and turn off if I idled for too long in traffic or at a stop light,” Maggie said. So it was a bad stroke of luck that she was chosen to retrieve her sister from the airport on Turkey Day. She made it to the airport with no problems, but once she arrived, things started to get a bit shaky — literally.

“It was Thanksgiving so of course traffic at the airport was crazy,” she recalled. But her sister’s flight had already landed; all she had to do was pick her up. 

Unfortunately, Maggie’s car was not quite so patient. After a few minutes of waiting in the terminal, the vehicle started shaking so violently that it sent splashes of coffee flying and loose coins bouncing in all directions. Before Maggie could realize what was happening, her car gave a sigh and lapsed into a stillness even worse than the shaking. “I was so scared because whenever my car would turn off, it was really hard to restart,” she said.

Panicked, Maggie twisted the key into the ignition over and over until she finally got the stubborn car to start. She quickly left the grid-locked terminal and looked for a place nearby where she could keep the vehicle in motion. Unfortunately, the only open space she could find was far from the airport’s exit doors. 

“I ended up driving laps through a parking deck,” she said. “The worst part was calling my sister and telling her that she had to walk all the way out there to find me.” 

What could make this story better? Maggie was afraid that if she stopped the car long enough for her sister to get in, it would die again. This forced her jet-lagged sister to jump into the car while it was still moving. Needless to say, “Ronda” earned a one-way trip to the repair shop after all that — how Maggie got it there is another story.

We can’t remind you to take the turkey out of the freezer, but we can help you prevent a Thanksgiving car fiasco like Maggie’s. Try these simple car inspection tips to ensure your vehicle is road-ready before you hit the highway this holiday season.

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