Location: marengo, il, United States

Monday, November 22, 2004

A Mild Complaint

This van I bought used back in 1994, so I’ve driven it for ten years now. The Aerostar has served me well, too. Other than a singular tune-up done six summers ago, I had some mysterious major part inside the engine compartment replaced two years back to insure that the little needle on the instrument panel gauge would stop laying over to one side. That gauge is the one that obviously depicts two car batteries.

The headlights began working better after that ordeal, which pleased me to no end. Oh, and the battery needed a charge as well, my mechanic had sworn, so I allowed him to add that to my bill. All in all, it wasn’t that bad of a deal.

Fussy things, cars. And I am a person that hates messing with fussy things of any size.

Last winter the usually-dependable red van got cranky on me. Well, “crank” is an odd word since the trouble generally occurred after temperatures outside dropped below fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Then the motor refused to start. I tried every possible combination I could imagine, which isn't all that many. I went from pumping the accelerator once to twice, and then up to eight times, depending on how cold the weather felt. On some days my so-called technique worked, while on others the engine would turn and keep turning, but to no avail. Fine, I said on those days. Be that way; I’ll go back inside and nap till the weather warms. No fuss, no muss.

Most all the leaves are now gone from the Pin oak that used to shade the driveway, but the air temperature has also dropped, so what little sunlight does hit the van gets nullified. Twice now I treated myself to extra naps in as many days.

Then yesterday, while talking to a good friend on-line, I posted a few lines complaining about my problem. From half-way around the globe in the pleasant little city of Hobart, Tasmania, he suggested that the choke is most likely stuck, and that I should depress the “gaaas” pedal firmly to the floor. (he makes fun of Yanks and our strange lingo)

But since he is a fair mechanic plus an Australian, I figured I should at least try his suggestion.

So I gave it a shot this morning. The temps hovered around freezing when I opened the driver’s door to get in. Now I do admit that my shivering came more from climate shock than anticipation, as I held no hope Gyro’s trick would really work. But after inserting the key and pressing the accelerator once, I tried starting the fourteen-year-old vehicle. Not surprised that it made the same noises as last winter I thought,

“Uh huh. This works great, Gyro!”

Then I tried the second time, and the van fired up like it was summertime outside. All I could say as I sat and listened to the magnificent motor humming was,

“Crikey, mate! Cheers!”


Blogger Gone Away said...

Very good post - and a demonstration that the net DOES have its uses!

5:58 AM  

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