Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I was rereading some old emails, and reliving some of the events of the past. The year 2002 was not a good year for my car.

In April, my van broke down and had to be towed in. I made a turn and the engine just stopped. I think I said the f-word about a dozen times. My mechanical knowledge stops about where the key goes into the ignition. Here's how I report a problem: Step on gas, car no go! Kicked it and it didn't help.

According to my mechanic, the EGV (which I think stands for exhaust gas valve) on the carbeurator went out. Instead of forcing the gas into the carb, it blew it the other direction. Cost $432 to get it out. Guess what! I didn't have $400.

As my cousin Gary said, "Some days you look back...and then you look at the account....and you say to yourself, 'Why bother?' Kind of frustrating some days."

Two weeks later, Mom is going up to Brownwood this morning to take her mom to a doctor's appointment. Between Brady and Mason it starts to clatter. No option, she drives on to Brady and it dies somewhere near the Wal-mart. She calls me to come pick her up, and when I get to the Ford house there, she's been told the head gasket is blown (hopefully) and it will cost about $1000. If the engine is blown (which they don't think is the case) it will cost more than she owes on the car to fix. I did get a nice three hour lunch that day, though.

In June, Mom and I were on our way to Kerrville in my van, when I glanced at the temperature guage. Pegged. So I turned around and went home. I refilled the radiator. I took the van in to be repaired. (It was stuttering and sputtering, the a/c wouldn't blow on high, and the windsheild wipers had a short.) Turns out the heater valve went out, which drained the radiator, which may have caused the stuttering, and which may have blown the high speed fuse on the air conditioner. It should cost under $100, the mechanic said. It cost $200 to get a heat valve replaced, a circuit on the air conditioner and a new circuit board for the the wipers.

That's the thing about my car, I never have anything high dollar go wrong, just lots of low dollar stuff every couple of months.

One month later, on a Thursday, after taking the mail to the post office at 4 pm, I pulled out into the street and the AC stopped blowing. Hmm. Turned it off and turned it back on, and it worked. A couple of blocks later, same thing, except it wouldn't come back on. So , I took the car to the shop. Naturally, the mechanic could find nothing wrong with the fan. He did, however, find three freeze plugs that were going out. He could get to two of them easily, and replace them for $120. To get to the third one requires pulling out the power steering pump, and the air conditioner, which would add another $175 to the bill. I had the easy ones replaced.

Bicylce, anyone?

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