Thursday's Child ... has far to go ... (0nm10wn2feet) wrote,
Thursday's Child ... has far to go ...

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Adventures With Automobiles...

So, we've been dealing with automotive set-backs lately.  What fun.  Srsly.  Never a dull moment here, more's the pity!  Why on earth can't I have boring?  I truly do want to know what it's like to be bored.

A couple weeks ago, we had three out of four car/truck things out of commission.  Well, not completely, but two of them were.  Unfortunately, there are three people in the house who have to go in three different directions - two of them on a daily basis, and one of them twice a week.  Can we say "musical cars?"  Why, yes!  Yes, indeed, we can!!

First, Jessica's truck (the "Danger Ranger") died.  Deader than the proverbial doornail.  No power to ANYTHING.  Whee!  Steven wracked his poor brains trying to figure it out.  Checked all the usual suspects - battery, solenoid, alternator, fuses, fuse links - no such luck.  Checked all the obvious wiring.  Still no go.  So it sat there for a couple weeks while both he and MSK 'pondered' the situation.  That, dear friends, is shorthand for 'ignored it beautifully.'

THEN, Steven's car started missing horribly.  I mean horribly.  There are few things more irritating to a 'car guy' than having his 8 cylinder auto running on only 7 of them.  It also makes for a very cranky car if one HAS to drive it in that condition.  Also tends to crap up other various bizarre parts in the computer-tuned, emission-controlled monstrosity that is the 350 cu. in. engine that they shoehorn into the engine compartment of a 1994 TransAm.  Not good.

Steven replaced what he could in a valiant effort to take care of the problem himself, but he just hasn't got the diagnostic tools to fully evaluate things like this.  So, we took it into our regular mechanic (for the past couple years anyway) and got a buttload of bad news.  The problem, it seems, was the cap and rotor for the stupid, screwed up Optispark distributor system that Generous Motors deigned to install on those poor vehicles.  What a majorly balled up design.  It is SOOOOO completely screwed up that the parts alone ran us $600.00.  For a freakin' cap and ROTOR!!!!

Now, we could have found the parts for half that online, so I'm assuming that my mechanic buys his from a South African diamond mine or something.  Then, the labor to remove and replace said parts was over $400.00.  Why so much for something that should be so damn simple?  Again, the aforementioned shoehorned design of the 350 cu. in. engine.  In an engine compartment that would have problems readily accommodating even a FOUR cylinder engine!  Basically, to R & R the cap and rotor, they had to disconnect the radiator, the A/C unit and a few other large and unwieldy parts just to gain access.  Can we say "stupid, non-ergonomic design?"  Yes, I thought we could!

Thus, for one week, I was stuck driving Jessica to Flint for school, Steven to Lake Orion for work, then going back home for a few hours.  On the return trip, I picked up Steven in Lake Orion, then drove all the way up to Flint, THEN got to come home.  Lots of driving, that's for sure.  One thousand dollars later, we finally got Steven's car back, but in the meantime, discovered that my truck no longer had tail lights or parking lights.  And, no, it wasn't anything as simple as a blown fuse - THAT would be too easy for us, right?

So, for the past three weeks, I've been driving the truck around after dark praying that I wouldn't get pulled over.  If we can't afford to fix her truck OR mine, we sure as hell can't afford the ticket.  It's stupid too, I mean, I have brake lights, turn signals front & back, headlights, fog lamps, back-up lights... just no tail lights or parking lights.  Then, last week, the fan blower started making an UNGODLY noise.  I assumed that it was probably a bearing in the motor.  It would eventually need replacement, but we should have been able to use it for at least a couple weeks after the noise started, or so one would think.

Yesterday, Steven and MSK finally found the culprit in Jessa's truck.  Thank goodness.  The "Danger Ranger" is back in business and I don't have to drive to Flint and back twice a week now.  Yippie Skippy, huh?  All I can say is, it's a DAMN good thing, cuz this week's trips would have been pretty freakin' COLD.  Yuppers, the damn fan blower motor quit today - on my way to the store for a MAJOR shopping trip.  I briefly considered turning around and getting the car, but realized that there was NO WAY I was going to get all those groceries in that poor car.  Yeah, that much of a MAJOR trip.

The weird part about the blower motor, though, is that when it started making that GODAWFUL noise, I saw little bits of what looked like paper towel floating out from where it's mounted under the dash.  And it sounded more like stuff was stuck in the darn thing than it did a bad bearing.  Like there was paper stuff stuck in it.  Or something.  Unfortunately, after running it for a few seconds, it started to smell hot.  You know, like the way that friction will cause metal or plastic parts to smell hot?  Only this had a strange undercurrent to it... like something was on the verge of burning.

Did I mention that it was only 37 degrees when I left for the store? I managed to make it there without needing to use the defroster (which, of course, I couldn't use without the BLOWER).  Unfortunately, it was only 34 degrees when I went home... and snowing.  And, as soon as I got the truck started and left the parking lot, the windshield fogged right up, of course.  I had to roll the window down all the way and drive home that way.  No gloves, no hat to cover my ears, colder than it has been all Fall, and with the window wide open.  Oh yeah, and right through an area notorious for cops, in the dark, without tail lights.  There are days when I really, REALLY detest my existence, y'know? *snicker*

There you have it, the latest installment of the continuing saga of 'Adventures With Automobiles.'  Don't you wish your life was as interesting as mine??  I know I wish someone else had all this fun!!!  I'd be ever-so-delighted to let someone else have it for a while - so I can run away and find out what it's like to be bored! *snort*
PS - On another interesting note, now that I've spent the money to get the horses vetted, it would appear that the stable owner that was going to take them might not have room for them after all.  And now there's no money for hay.  I have to laugh - that's exactly the way I should have known it would happen!!!

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