Adventures in Towing Many a driver has had the dread experience of breaking down far from home — and away from their NYE Automotive Group service center of choice — to face the turmoil of finding a way to get their ailing vehicle back to Oneida to get fixed. It is even worse when your college-age daughter is calling from 50 miles away to say her brake line is ruptured and there’s no way to drive her Cavalier. Yep, that was the scene in mid-May for me and my NYE family fleet. Now, that experience gives me the chance to encourage drivers to be prepared for the time when they need a tow, because things really didn’t work out all that smoothly. But it gave me a valuable life lesson, plus a fun story to tell today, and that’s more important. Everything seemed easy enough at first. We had the forethought that since my daughter drove a lot all around the state to opt for the maximum mileage package on her emergency towing plan. That way we could specify to take the car to NYE’s GMC service center from wherever she found herself stranded. It was the weekend and we knew NYE would be closed when the Cavalier arrived that Sunday evening, but that’s what key drop off boxes are for, right? Plus the tow truck driver does this all the time so he’ll know what to do when he gets there … or so we thought. When I arrived Monday morning and was greeted by the cheerful face of Buick GMC service manager Steve Ulrich in his office, I found that wasn’t the case. Nobody had dropped off a Cavalier over the weekend … he even went back out to recheck the drop box to make sure there wasn’t a key he missed. OK, so maybe assuming a tow truck driver would know to take a Cavalier to GMC service was presumptuous. Maybe this particular driver hadn’t read the recent pithy prose right here at NYEauto.com in the article describing how to find your way around the NYE complex. But Steve called both the Toyota/Scion and Ford service centers on the premises, and neither of them had my daughter’s car either. Now, the search was on. Steve took to the foot chase, walking around his building, while I took my car and drove through the parking lots of each building (see that aforementioned guide to the NYE complex to see how sprawling this place really is). GMC is to the far east of the complex, while Ford is on the opposite side to the west with Toyota/Scion in between. As I finally came to the Ford showroom — the very last place in my search — I was ready to give up, because I had checked all three service centers and turned up nothing. Why would the tow driver leave it at the Ford showroom? But, there behind the building was my daughter’s tan 2002 Cavalier. We still haven’t located the key or any note left for the service people. Obviously, somewhere in the process an important step was left out: telling the tow truck driver exactly where to leave the car. I don’t blame him, though … obviously he wasn’t from the Oneida area, and maybe he was a little daunted by the size of the NYE Automotive Group. From now on, if this situation ever arises again where we need to tow in one of our NYE vehicles, I plan to make sure any tow truck driver knows exactly where to leave it. The Cavalier goes to GMC service. My Ford Focus goes to Ford (naturally). And the rebel car of a different brand my other daughter drives has been given special permission to also go to Ford service. It’s good to plan ahead and know where you will take your vehicle — or have it towed — if in need of service. That way you won’t spend 20 minutes in search of your car when the tow driver leaves it in a strange place. But, like I said, it is a valuable lesson that can now be shared with others. The NYE Automotive Group is located at 1479 Genesee St. in Oneida, N.Y. For more info on any of our vehicles and services, call (315) 363-0600 or email email@example.com.