Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Don't Bother

The Jalopy, my old Saturn minivan, occasionally doesn't start on the first attempt.  This has happened, off and on, for years.  It's something i just know happens, but i figured it was simply because it's a temperamental old vehicle.

#2 Son came to me and said, "Mom, Young Jacob looked at Jalopy when I tried to start her, and he thinks she needs a fuel filter."

Since Young Jacob is a person who has worked on cars since he could walk and once replaced the entire wrecked front end of one of his own vehicles, i decided to take her in to the shop and see what's up.

Walking in Monday morning, Kevin smiled at me and said hello, while Lenny greeted me by name and asked, "Whatcha got for me today?"

Possibly the fuel filter, i said.  It doesn't always start on the first crank.  Yesterday, my #1 Son took 8 attempts to crank it, but this morning, it's fine and has started right up each time.

"Well, let me see, I don't think yours has the replaceable filter," he said.  Checking the computer as i grabbed a cup of coffee, he noted, "Saturn minivans are like so many vehicles now, you don't replace the fuel filter, it's a part of the fuel pump and of the whole fuel assembly.  The whole thing has to be replaced at once."

Because the auto industry wants to make more money by making you replace more stuff! i noted.

"Well, but I need money!  Lots of money!"  Lenny was grinning at me.

Yeah, i could stand some, too, i noted drily as i sipped.  So, what do we do?

"Didn't you have the fuel service done on it?" he asked.  "Let me see."

Yes, i think so, i said.  And i also know i went to Dan's shop, where they do the more complicated repairs, and had the whole fuel assembly, tank and all, replaced a couple of years ago when the fuel gauge wouldn't read correctly and we couldn't get the check engine light to go off."

"You have had it all replaced, then, and we serviced the fuel system to clean it out, so my suggestion is to drive it until something really happens.  After all, I need money, but I want to get it the right way.  If I didn't, I would just reach in your purse when you walk in.  If we just start replacing stuff without knowing all that's going on, you could throw a lot of money away and not even get to the real problem."

Thank you, i said, and meant it.

"Any other problems?" he asked.

Well, the service ABS light still comes on once in a while, i said.

"Pish, I'm not worried about your doggone light!  It does that, and it's going to do that, and your car is just fine."

Yes, but i'll have to have that light turned off before i get it inspected again in February, i noted.

"No, you don't.  A check ABS light on won't fail you on inspection if the person knows what he's doing.  A check engine light will, but bring it here and i'll make sure it passes," he grinned at me.

Wow, i didn't know that! i said, amazed.

"An unscrupulous person might tell you that you fail and offer to fix the problem for you, trying to make money, or they might not know what they are doing, but as I said, I need money, but I need to make it the right way."

Okay, well, thank you, i said.  If it starts to really have trouble i will bring it back.

"Nice to see you again, come back when it is having a real problem that we can track down and fix," he said as i said good-bye and headed out the door.

It's nice to know a mechanic shop that does your car's body good.

Today is

Dia del Nino -- Honduras (Children's Day)

Harvest Home Nibbling Contest  -- Fairy Calendar (Gremlins)

Husker Harvest Days -- Grand Island, NE, US (the largest irrigated working ag show on a permanent site in the US; through Thursday)

National Day -- Gibraltar

Paryushana Parva -- Jain (beginning of the 8 day festival signifying human emergence into a new world of spiritual and moral refinement, and a celebration of the natural qualities of the soul; local observances of the dates can vary)

Rhishi Panchami -- Nepal (continuation of the women's festival, a holiday for Female Employees Only)

Saint George's Caye Day -- Belize (National Day)

Sewing Machine Day -- date of issuance of an early sewing machine patent, to Elias Howe; some sites call this "Sew Be It! Day"

Swap Ideas Day -- Robert L. Birch of Puns Corp wants people to explore ways in which their ideas can be put to work to benefit all humanity and develop incentives to encourage using our creative imaginations

St. Finian's Day (Patron of Ulster, Irland)

St. Nicholas of Tolentino's Day (Patron of animals, baby, dying people, mariners/sailors, sick animals; Albi, Italy; Cabanatuan, Philippines; Guimbai, Philippines; Lambuna, Philippines; Mati, Philippines; Tandag, Philippines; Toentino, Italy)

Teacher's Day -- China

Thimphu Drubchen -- Bhutan (sacred masked dances dedicated to Bhutan's protective spirit; tourists may watch but are strictly prohibited from taking pictures; through the 16th)

TV Dinner Day

World Suicide Prevention Day

Birthdays Today:

Amy Irving, 1953
Joe Perry, 1950
Jose Feliciano, 1945
Charles Kuralt, 1934
Roger Maris, 1934
Arnold Palmer, 1929
Rin Tin Tin, 1918
Fay Wray, 1907
Adele Astaire, 1896
Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890
Ian Fleming, 1888
Isaac Kauffman Funk, 1839
Marie Laveau, 1801

Today in History:

The Battle of Marathon takes places between the forces of the Persian Empire and those of Athens, BC490*
An earthquake known as "The Lesser Judgment Day" hits Istanbul, 1509
John Smith is elected president of Jamestown, Va., Colony Council, 1608
Nathan Hale answers the call of George Washington for a volunteer spy, 1776
Simón Bolívar is named President of Peru, 1823
Elias Howe is granted a patent for the sewing machine, 1846
George Mary Searle discovers the asteroid 55 Pandora, 1858
Lincoln Highway, the first paved coast-to-coast road in the US, opens, 1913
Austria and the Allies sign the Treaty of Saint-Germain recognizing the independence of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, 1919
20 African-American students enter public schools in Alabama, 1963
Hamida Djandoubi, convicted of torture and murder, is the last person to be executed by guillotine in France, 1977
Switzerland, traditionally a neutral country, joins the United Nations, 2002
The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in history is powered up in Geneva, Switzerland, 2008

*actual date disputed, but it was the 9th day of the 9th moon on their calendar


  1. I'd hang on to that mechanic. Most are not that honest. I'm glad you still have all your money too.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺