There and Back Again: An Impreza’s Story

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Last weekend I made a trip to North Carolina to pick up my son’s Impreza. The trip was fairly innocuous.

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This is my selfie view headed down to NC … to bad I’m not more adept at driving and taking selfies. It’s funny you cannot see the trailer out the back of the truck … the only way to see it was through the side view mirrors.

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Here is the truck all loaded up in the morning and ready to travel back to the ‘Burg. We had to muscle it up onto the trailer. My son and I just couldn’t quite get the rear tires up onto the trailer, so enlisted the help of my Daughter-in-Law and Daughter to help. With them it went on fairly easy.

I had two issues during the trip. The first was on the way down there. It was dark out at around 9:30pm. Traveling down I-95, towing a trailer, without many other vehicles around. Up ahead in the distance I could see another pickup truck. It was driving very erratically. I had to jam on the brakes, which of course, cause the empty trailer behind me to start bucking.

U-Haul car trailers have a very nifty built in braking system. Built into the tongue of the trailer is a master cylinder which pipes fluid down to the brakes at the wheels. When you step on the brakes in the towing vehicle, the trailer slides forward on the tongue and engages the brakes. The amount of braking force is proportional in the trailer to what is being applied in the tow vehicle. Very ingenious … if there’s weight on the trailer. If the trailer is empty, it tends to react late and over react when it does engage. When you step on your brakes too hard, the trailer will tend to buck and this time was no different.

The second issue which appeared was my check engine light came on a few miles after getting the car and driving back towards home on Sunday morning. My usual “rule of thumb” here is if there doesn’t seem to be any change in the way the vehicle is running, the problem probably isn’t an emergency. Since the truck kept running the same, I figured this was probably one of those times. The strange thing about it is, after I dropped the car off at the house and returned the trailer, the light went out on its own. When I got back home and was able to put a scanner on it, the problem was the B2S2 O2 sensor. It showed it as Circuit Low Voltage (P0157).

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What this problem really did for me was tell me I need to ensure I have my hand held scanner with me when I go on trips of this type. It’s better to know what’s going on than to worry about it for nearly 300 miles.

 

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