Thursday, June 16, 2011

the best sound in the world

We've had some bad automotive juju around here over past few days. Fortunately it wasn't the beater van that is the primary income transport vehicle. This was not only a vehicle repair exercise but a logistics problem as well. Both the second oldest daughters car and the prodigal son's jeep crapped out at the same time. Both are college age, off for the summer and have jobs they need to get to. Both are in the city but living in an apartment on the other side of town. (this is a drive that puts you in another state if you live in Rhode Island).
Prodigal Son is working a house sitting job whence he can be stationary. His jeep will not kick over the starter. Daughter is home, but her car is a Moletov cocktail and has two recalls on it and the gear shift mechanism is completely effed.
I've rebuilt brake systems and fuel systems stem to stern, even rebuilt a gm 700r4 transmission. I suspect I can fix the girl child's car, but I have some serious time constraints. Boo ( the girl child) needs to get to work in the afternoon on Monday and Tuesday. So I figure if I can get the boy child's jeep up and running, she can borrow that while I resolve her car problems.
Saturday morning early I pick up the wicked smaht and prodigal mechanic in training son, all tools loaded into the beater van and we head to the apartment were dead jeep resides. Digital multimeter test on the battery shows 1.7V. A few possibilities: battery is bad, alternator is not charging the battery, or the cable harness from battery to starter to chassis is kludged.
We remove battery, purchased two months ago at Walmart and head off to..Walmart. New Battery installed, the jeep starts. Multimeter test shows the incoming charge on the battery is 13.94 volts. Alternator is working fine. The battery was a p.o.s.
Son says, "thanks for helping me out Dad". I muttered something like, "you're welcome", but until he reads this post, he won't know how good that made me feel.
Monday morning Belle and I transport Boo's car over to a local mechanic for some serious surgery. The non-warranty stuff was done at the local shop. The recall work was done at a nearby dealer. Daughter picks up the car and there are problems. The short version is that the local shop neglected to replug a connector in the steering column, which the dealer fixed. The dealer broke loose a heat shield on the exhaust system, which the local shop fixed...after Boo bitched them both out. I got a very apologetic call from the local shop.
The best part was when my daughter called on her way back to the apartment to say her car was running great and, "Thank you Daddy".


  1. I know exactly what you mean, and how the simple "thank you" made you feel. I didn't think it would be a big deal when my Daughter made the shift from taking us for granted to actually appreciating what we do for her - but it was.

    It was even nicer than when she turned 20, and realized that her Mom and I might not be as dumb as she secretly thought we were when she was a teen :)

  2. I tell our youngest daughter "Bootsie" all the time that I can't wait until she has kids of her own so that I can be smart again.

    Daughter with the bad car juju is getting much better about being appreciative. Still needs work, but we are patient and she'll be worth the wait.

  3. Offspring gratitude...
    So rare, and so appreciated. Kinda makes you think that all those 10,000 times you drilled "Please & Thank You" into 'em actually made it into their subconscious.
    I rolled in from Lauderdale last night to find the PC writing personalized thank you cards to everyone who came to her graduation shindig; not just the gift bearers mind you, but everyone.

    I inquired of the TWWKMT about this phenomenon, and she shrugged her shoulders.
    "Her idea. She's a Southern Girl. It's what we do."

    I have hope for the future, if we can find a way to keep the Gubbmint from destroying in 4 years the systems that we have worked 235 years to refine.



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