You may surmise that I can't be home already, given the conditions. And you'd be right.
The parking lot at work is unplowed. I left at the same time as my boss, the only other person who was here. He has a 4WD pickup. So he went first and I tried to follow in his wake. The normal exit to Rt20 is up an incline - and I could only make it halfway. Try as I might, backing up to get a run, etc, I'd get halfway then I'd bog down because the snow is deep enough to catch the underside of my car.
In the process of going back and forth, the 'Check Engine' light came on. I'm pretty sure that was due to revving the engine so much it was starting to overheat.
My boss came back (he had to run a local errand and said he'd check to see that I got out on his way back past the office) and tried helping to push, but it didn't work.
So we came up with plan B. There is a second egress from the lot, which is mostly *down* hill, but it is across a wide neighboring parking lot, which is unplowed. But, as it is mostly downslope, we tried it with me following right behind him.
I made it about 1/4 of the way before my back end swung out and I slid out of his tracks. See, it is kind of a compound slope - sloping down in my direction of travel, but also to the left of my direction of travel. So this led to more rocking and revving and pushing, and I managed to make it to about the 3/4 mark, painfully slowly.
And then my car shut down. Just up and turned off. And it gave a funny smell. Not like any car smell I could place - not 'burnt clutch' (which is good, since it is an automatic and that'd be plain weird), not hot oil, not coolant, not fried automatic... but definitely a 'something is hot and not liking it' kind of odor. And it wouldn't even *try* to start. Nothing at all from the starter if you turned the key - but it had electricity aplenty.
We popped the hood, not that you can see anything with the engine cover and all, an the while we were looking, the coolant starting boiling off into the overflow pretty rapidly. So... I'm hoping it just overheated and the computer shut down the engine to stop me from breaking something badly. I'm really, really hoping that. Because the alternative is that I DID break something - seized up the engine, burnt out the transmission - and I just can't afford that right now.
So, I'm back in the office. The car is out in the parking lot, slowly becoming an igloo, and I submitted a tow request to AAA online. But I know they're busy as fuck right now, and I even told them in the request that I'm safe and warm and to take care of people who need it then get to me.
And I feel like I'm going to hurl because my brain is just going in circles thinking of all the ways I could've fucked up my car in very expensive fashion, and that's making my stomach do unpleasant things.
I should've never have stayed to do that Exchange maintenance. It just didn't seem that bad when I started, but it takes a couple of hours to run and once it was started I couldn't just leave because email wouldn't be back until it was done and I manually restarted everything. The forecast didn't seem *that* bad, and by the time it was clear it was bad, I was kind of stuck. I didn't realize just how much snow there was until I went out to my car, then I knew it was going to be rough - but not quite this bad.
*PLEASE* just be overheated.
The good news is I made it home OK. It was a close thing on a few hills, and there were multiple cars off the road - well, stuck in the banks, partly ON the road, which is worse - creating bottlenecks. And I couldn't get up my road to my house, so I had to give up and go around to Burncoat and come down my street.
More good news - my neighbor let me park in his driveway so I didn't have to park in my street while clearing my driveway.
Which is good because...
Bad news - I couldn't get my snowblower started, even giving up on the pull start and using the electric start. This is the first time I needed it this year, so I think it may just be cranky. After trying for a while I smelled gas, so I figure it flooded. Since it was almost 11PM, I gave up and I'll have to try in the morning. Which will give me the advantage of being able to see what I'm doing. I may need to pull the spark plug and make sure it isn't fouled.
And, possibly worse, my 'Check Engine' light stayed on all the way home. And something *is* wrong. Steering doesn't feel right and there is a buzzing-whining sound while the engine is running. I think it is the power steering pump. I may have overheated it cranking the wheel back and forth so much while trying to get unstuck, since I was turning the wheels against packed snow. I'm hoping it is minor, maybe I cooked the fluid and it just needs a flush and fill, and I don't need any major work. But if it seems to be having trouble tomorrow, I don't think I'll risk driving it to work and having my steering fail on the highway or something.
So I heated up some dinner, and I'm going to crash as soon as I'm done so I can get up early and see what I need to do.