Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's Daring You

Ever since the last time i took the van in, the ABS light has continued to pop off and on frustratingly.

It will go a day, then come on, then not come on for two, then back on again.

Of course, since #1 Son's car has been undergoing repairs, we couldn't have the van down, also, so i've had to wait to go see Kevin and Louis, but i finally bit the bullet and just went.

The light was not on when i pulled in, of course, so i walked into the lobby and got some coffee, then walked up to the desks, telling them i needed some advice.

The symptoms are predictable.  There will be nothing.  Then the brakes will start to make a thumping noise at times, and soon after, the light pops on.

Young Jake said that the thumping is probably rotors, but with the recent, thorough brake jobs on both front and back, that was unlikely.  Louis also told me that if it was rotors, it would happen all of the time, not just occasionally.

The most likely culprit, they still believe, is a wire somewhere.  So i let them drive it around to see if they could get the light to come on.  It did.

Here's the weird part.  The light came on, the mechanic came back, left the engine on, and hoked up the computer.  No codes came up.

The light is coming on without setting any codes.  At all.

That's not supposed to happen.

They checked the rotors, just to be sure, and we are all good there.

Finally, Kevin came and told me, "This one has me stumped.  We once had a lady come in here with a tail light that would work, and then not work.  I had my guys spend 5 hours, only charged her for an hour and a half, and we couldn't find a thing.  She took it to the dealer, and it finally cost her over $900, plus what she had paid us, to find out when someone put the jack back in the trunk, it was in the wrong spot by about an inch and it had rubbed a hole in the assembly from the inside and shorted a wire."

"We looked up and down the wiring, and can't find any short.  The next step would be to get up behind the dash and see if there's a short up in there.  Or take it to the dealer."

Except that there aren't any Saturn dealers any more, i noted, i would have to take it to the Chevy place and hope i got someone who knew what they were doing.

"No, but most of their mechanics went to work over at the Chevy dealerships," he noted.

So if i were lucky enough to get one of those assigned to it, they might be able to find it.

"Yes, but I don't want to give up quite yet.  You drive it as usual until next Friday.  I'm going to be out of town most of next week, and I want to be here since I know what is going on.  Come Friday or the Monday after, and I will have them do some more snooping.  It's safe to drive until then, there is nothing hydraulically wrong with the vehicle and the brakes and rotors are in great shape."

When i asked him how much i owed him for the just under an hour they had been at it, he grinned and said, "Oh, nothing.  Yes, I know we are in this to make money, but sometimes it becomes all about the challenge!"

Somehow, i think the car is daring these guys to figure out what is going on, and i hope they win that dare.

Today is:

Alcatraz Day -- the first prisoners arrived this day in 1934

Bud Billiken Parade -- Chicago, IL, US (second largest parade in the US, begun in 1929)

Cowes Week -- Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK (largest, longest-running, and most prestigious sailing regatta in the world; through the 18th)

Day of Honor for Oddudua -- Santeria religion (cognate of the Roman Catholic St. Clare of Assisi; credited with the creation of humans)

Dog Days end -- yes, supposedly, in this heat

Feast of St. Attracta -- Irish Catholic Saint (founded a hospice and convents, and supposedly slayed a dragon; Patron of Achonry, Ireland; Men of Lugna)

Ferry Fair -- South Queensferry, Edinburgh, Scotland (centuries old fair, around the time of the Burry Man Parade, originally for farmers to find labour for harvest, now for fun)

Fiesta de Santa Clara -- Santa Clara Pueblo, NM, US (Native American celebration of St. Clare of Assisi, their Patron saint, with a corn dance and prayers for rain)

Heroes Day -- Zimbabwe

Independence Day -- Chad

Ingersoll Day

International Federation of Library Associations Annual Conference -- Helsinki, Finland; through the 17th

International Tree Climbing Championship -- Laurelhurst Park, Portland, OR, US (

Mt. Hagan Cultural Show -- Mt. Hagan, Papua New Guinea (one of the biggest cultural shows in Papua New Guinea; through tomorrow)

National Garage Sale Day

National Raspberry Bombe Day or Raspberry Tart Day -- whichever one you like best, or both, if that's the way you roll

National Scrabble Championship -- Orlando, FL, US (through the 15th)

Play in the Sand Day -- as per many internet sites; yeah, like at the beach, nothing like sand in your shorts, i get enough of that on vacation, thank you

Presidential Joke Day**

Son and Daughter Day -- the day to give your son(s) or daughter(s) the gift of time

St. Clare of Assisi's Day -- (Foundress of the Order of Poor Ladies [Poor Clares] Franciscan nuns; Patron of embroiderers, eyes, gilders/gold workers/goldsmiths, good weather, laundry workers, needle workers, telegraphs, telephones, and television writers; Assisi, Italy; Santa Clara Indian Pueblo; against eye disease)***

St. Philomela's Day (Patron of babies, children, desperate causes, forgotten causes, impossible causes, lost causes, orphans, poor people, priests, prisoners, sick people, students, test takers, toddlers, young people; against barrenness, bodily ills, infertility, mental illness, sickness, sterility)

Birthdays Today:

Hulk Hogan, 1953
Arlene Dahl, 1928
Mike Douglas, 1925 (Note: he also died on this date in 2006)
Alex Haley, 1921
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, 1667 (Last of the Medicis)

Today in History:

First day of the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar, used my the Maya and other pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, BC3114
Traditional date of the defeat of Bel by Hayk, progenitor and founder of the Armenian nation, BC2492
Battle of Artemisium, naval battle of the Greco-Persian War, fought at the same time as the Battle of Thermopylae of the same war; Leonidas, King of Sparta, dies in the land battle, BC480*
Papandayan Java volcanic eruption kills 3,000, 1772
Charles Lawrence gives expulsion orders to remove the Acadians from Nova Scotia beginning the Great Upheaval, 1755
The world's first roller rink opens in Newport, RI, 1866
The first civilian prisoners arrive at Alcatraz, 1934
Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a frequency hopping, spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi, 1942
A bomb explodes on Pan Am Flight 830, en route from Tokyo to Honolulu, killing one teenager and injuring 15 passengers, 1984
NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history, 2003

*some put the date as Aug. 7, some as Sept. 8

**because presidents have a sense of humor, too, as shown this day in 1984 when Reagan thought the microphone was off and joked about Russia being outlawed

***why tv? because when she became too ill to attend mass at the end of her life, a miraculous image of the service would display on the wall of her room


  1. Yikes.. you and your care woes. I hope it all gets sorted out soon, MM.

  2. I come pretty darn close to hating cars because of all the trouble they cause and because of every little thing that can go wrong with them. So how is it that I have a son who spends all his wakeful hours thinking about them.

  3. Thank you, Hilary.

    Stephen, most men love their cars, and my Sweetie and younger son are no exception. The older one likes them well enough, but doesn't really care what he drives as long as it goes.