He had to use the emergency brake since the car wouldn't go into park.
The father of four and one on the way wasn't sure what he was going to do about a new transmission or car.
"A lot has happened the past five years," said Andrews, 30, of Lenoir City. "I felt despair. I thought, 'God, do you hate me?' I was feeling really weatherworn."
That's when he saw how God takes many shapes, he said, including the shape of his employer of three years, Claris Networks in West Knoxville.
Larry Bodie, chief executive officer for the cloud computing and IT firm, and his management team bought Andrews, systems administrator, a new car that same day.
Although Andrews admits it was "crazy" he received a 2011 Chevrolet Impala on Nov. 16, he said this type of thing isn't uncommon at the IT company.
"People here do things like this all the time for other people," Andrews said. "Someone's car breaks down, someone from the office is there."
When his oven broke, Bodie showed up with a new one. When Andrews' house flooded, most of the 60 employees at the company came to fix his home.
Bodie said the company is like a family. They help each other through difficult times and celebrate when things go well.
The CEO said they're "always doing something crazy" to reward deserving employees.
Usually, it's iPads, gift certificates or other electronics, but the company decided to do something different for Thanksgiving, which is how talk about Andrews' "gold jalopy" began.
Management decided to have an "Extreme Car Makeover" competition where people nominated the employee most in need of a car makeover. This person would receive $1,000 for their vehicle.
"It would get them a new AC, some new tires, maybe some detailing," Bodie said.
But that was all the competition was supposed to be.
Andrews heard he was getting a lot of nominations. The Volvo was still running at that point but definitely on its last leg.
Andrews received 95 percent of the vote. Bodie was trying to figure out how to present the $1,000 check to Andrews when he got a call from Andrews' supervisor about the blown transmission.
"The car was not worth putting a new transmission in it," Bodie said. "This makeover thing, we were trying to do it in the spirit of Thanksgiving. I thought, 'Why don't we just buy him a new car?'"
He ran it by management, and everyone agreed it was the right thing to do for the company and Andrews.
By lunchtime, Bodie presented a homemade SOLD sign and new keys to Andrews.
"I was in a complete state of shock," Andrews said. "That doesn't happen. That shouldn't happen."
When he called his wife, Joy, she cried for five minutes.
Bodie said it was emotional for him, too.
"I was almost in tears," Bodie said. "There was this look of relief on his face, that it was one less thing that he wouldn't have to worry about for his family."
Bodie said he feels blessed the company is able to do this for its employees, especially with the weak economy.
"We feel a lot of love here," Andrews said. "It's not just a job. It's a family."