Car Surgery

‘Memba the cheerful orange engine light that appeared on Wednesday’s console, striking terror into my heart and bank account? My brother reset it, and I drove around engine light free for a couple of weeks, but it reared its alarming head again before I had even left the County on my way to Monterey (that’ll learn me for having the nerve to venture so far afield). I knew it wasn’t anything urgent, but it’s still concerning to keep seeing that engine light. Especially when you thought it had gone away for good.

When I got home – unscathed, thanks for asking – he took another look, groveling around in the cee-ment pit he and Rob built for this exact purpose when they put up the carport:

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It’s a huge improvement over groveling around in a muddy ditch with the car perched overhead. And there’s even room for a washer, dryer, and body-sized freezer, all solar powered, since my brother lives entirely off the grid.

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My unpaid mechanic’s considered opinion was that the car needed a new thermostat. The engine has not been getting hot enough, which is better than it getting too hot, but is still not good over the long run. He called the parts store, and they needed Wednesday’s VIN to decide which part was needed. I texted the VIN to my brother, but they still couldn’t tell. The possibilities were Part A, at $160, and Part B, at $40. My brother suggested that we buy both and then take back the one we didn’t need, but the parts store owner said that Ford only buys parts back every three months from them, so it might be a while before we could get the money back. He then volunteered to call Ford himself to find out which was the winning part. I would have lost the bet, because it was the $40 part. Yay!

I dropped Wednesday off on Wednesday evening on my way home (how appropriate is that?) and my brother operated on Thursday while I drove The Beater to work, enjoying its Waltony rattles and hums. Hopefully the surgery will be successful AND the patient will survive.

Speaking of surviving: I’m lucky I survived the drive home the other night. I noticed headlights coming toward me – in my lane of the two lane highway. He was rocketing toward me, clearly trying to pass the RV and car ahead of him. In my opinion, there was not enough space between the RV and car for Mr. Maniac to slot in, so maybe his crazed plan was to pass both of them. I pulled over to the shoulder just in time as he jammed past me, making Wednesday and me rock like we were in an earthquake. I was thankful that the shoulder was there – many, many miles of Highway One do not have one – and that I got out of Mr. Maniac’s way in time. It was time for a glass of wine – or two – when I got home. At least I got there in one piece!

A YEAR AGO: All Suzy, all the time.

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2 Comments


  1. Saved by the brother once again Suzy, thank God he and Rob are around to help you with these car problems, they can cost one a fortune but thankfully you have two who really know what they do and do it well. Again you had a close call on your way home the other night, from what you write about pulling over and having a shoulder to do so, someone is really watching over you little girl, we all have a Guardian Angel or two watching over us, they were there for you once more that night.


  2. Thank goodness for such a talented brother…and brother-in-law. Glad you didn’t have to make the larger expenditure.

    What crazy people drive the roads nowadays….we have many of them in our area too.. Wish the police were around at the right times.

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