Monday, May 26, 2008

Olympia is a hell of a place to leave my car

Mike and I had a lovely get away in Westport this weekend. On the "Cranberry Coast" of Washington. Who knew we had one? Anyway, we left Westport at around 9 a.m. this morning for the ~130 mile trip home.

All was well until about 3 miles outside of Aberdeen when my radiator light came on. So, I pulled over, Mike and I poured over the MOST unhelpful manual and poked around the engine. Considering that the engine is approximatly 1 cubic foot, there isn't a lot of room to see anything. Oh, and nothing is marked in the engine OR in the manual. We did manage to find a fuse that was unhappy, though it could power the Vegas Strip for all I know. So we limped along to Aberdeen with only 3 more stops on the side of the road when my emissions light came on. You know "Check Engine" is not a useful title for ANY light. Yep, we just checked, I still have one. For now. Which planet does that logically translate to "You have an emmissions issue" and when did that become something that would keep me from driving?!? So, I kill off a few more, um, well, hell what DO my emmissions kill off? At least I'm not stranded in Aberdeen.

Anyway, we found breakfast (whew), but not a single service department open on Memorial Day. Aberdeen Honda DID offer to sell me a new car. At Schucks, when Mike pried the fuse from the fuse box (it was kinda melted in) and we showed it to the guy at the parts desk, he posited that we had the wrong size fuse. When Mike pointed out that it was a factory fuse, he looked really sorry for us. We replaced the fuse, no joy. Made it to Starbucks (my first in TWO AND A HALF DAYS which NARROWLY averted mass murder) and my coolant was boiling. Neat! After calling my roadside assistance, waiting an hour for the tow truck, riding with the really nice driver to Olympia, we met up with Ron (THANK YOU, RON) who delivered us to our door 7 hours after we set out.

Anyway, my car is waiting for the service department to open up in the morning. It will either cost me $100 or $1000. That's if it's one problem. If it truly IS a problem with two different systems (the coolant system AND the emmissions system), each will cost me either $100 or $1000. THEN I will have to track down a live chicken to do the exorcism of the demon which has obviously taken over my beloved car, which at the end of the day is the real pain in the neck, for me AND the chicken. Wish me luck.

UPDATE: Well, I nailed it. Dead water pump + french fried fuse box = $1035 + tax. The good news is that my AC hasn't been blowing cold (not the world's biggest deal here in the PNW), but that's been fixed by the water pump issue. And for a few dollars more (included in the $1035), my timing belt and actuator have been replaced. Apparently those are in the same spot as the water pump, and allow the car to get me to the church on time and still feel self-actualized.

1 comment:

Neil said...

I suppose I might have mentioned that having yer timing belt replaced if'n they're in digging around the water pump anyhow... it's a slow & laborious job & it's one of those things that if you're in there any way, you might as well kill two birds with one labor-charge stone. And as a catastrophic-failure preventative measure, this ranks near the top of the list. Immediately follows stereo replacement issues in my hierarchy.