Friday, November 29, 2013

I Need a Teleporter: Both Vehicles are Broken Now.

So we were driving to work the other day happily unaware that shit was sneaking up on us like a tiny assassin made out of bad luck and car repair. Unfortunately we became aware of it when the check engine light came on. So Scott got out of the car at a gas station and did things under the hood that I did not understand and then he checked the oil level and it was like super dry and then he was all like fuck we have an oil leak. And I was all like that would explain the burning ass smell when we start the car. Because who drives around with there car smelling like burning mechanical ass without doing anything about it?

We do.

So in addition to the truck being up on blocks we now have a problem with the car. Which if you are counting along at home means that the only thing we now have running is the backhoe. Which is not street legal and I'm pretty sure that we can't drive that to work. Fairly sure.

Of course this whole thing got more complicated because this is my life and nothing can ever be simple. Because of our work schedules we had three days off to fix the car. Sounds like plenty of time right?

Ha ha no.

Because Day One of crazy vehicle repair time we had just got home from an overnight job and it was like, 5am. So the only thing we managed to get done was driving our tired zombie asses to the auto parts store where of course they only had parts for the truck and had to order the parts for the car. Also we made the decision to get all of the parts at once for both vehicles because I have come to accept that money isn't a thing I get to have anymore.

Goodbye paycheck, may the wind be ever at your back.

Anyway we got the parts back home and then went and tried to stay awake until bedtime because that is something that adults do for some reason. At this point we decided to work on the truck breaks on Day Two because we had all those parts and it was already sitting there and then when we got the car parts we could work on it later on in the afternoon.

What this really translated to was that we spent most of the day fighting the truck breaks.

So first we got out the parts for the front breaks on the truck. Now these are disc breaks and we have done a bunch of disc break work before and were all like this should go pretty fast. Which if you are familiar with this blog means that everything went to hell in a poop basket.

To explain, the part that we had to replace is this metal shell called the break caliper that holds the break pads. So when you step on the break the caliper squeezes the pads into this round dish called the break rotor. Basically when you break the caliper gives the rotor the biggest hug ever. This also means that when you go to replace the caliper you have to shove the pads into it and then put it over the rotor like a taco. A metal filled taco.

Except one of the calipers didn't want to go on. At all. Ever. So we fought with it. We pried and swore and used the hammer. We took turns swearing at it while we beat on it with various things in the vicinity. About then Scott got fed up and we put the other side which went on perfectly just to make us think we were crazy.

It was about then that we discovered what the problem was. The thingajig the caliper bolts onto was bent. I don't just mean a little bent, like oh we could straighten this up with a hammer, no I mean like bent to shit to the point that when we gave up and went to get the car parts the guys at the AutoZone told us our best bet outside of going to a junk yard was to heat it up with a torch and bend it back. Of course this would mean that we would be weakening the metal so when the fucker breaks it is going to break right at that point and then I pointed out that I was a terribly unlucky person and the auto guys who had watched us buy parts for two cars at the same time kinda had to agree.

Of course it was like too damn late in the day when we went to the auto parts store because breaks are assholes like that. So then we got all the parts we needed for the car and drove home, and then we noticed it was getting dark. We also noticed that we had one day left to do this. So we strapped on headlamps, got out a work light and began to take the engine apart.

Did I mention we have to replace the gaskets in the engine? And that we have to take the engine apart to do it?

We had to take the engine apart.

So this involved us standing in the driveway with a work light and headlamps, labeling every wire, tube and hose on the damn thing in order to get it back together the next day. Of course it was windy as fuck too. So we get all our shit together and I ask what I can do to help and then Scott tells me to get a rag and to pull off some such hose and then I get some pliers and take the little metal thing that holds the tube on and pull it down the tube and then I grab the rubber firmly and pull and instantly a whole shit motherfucking ton of fluid comes out of there like a goddamned fire hose and I freak out and shove the whole thing back in and then I am like what do I do?

And then Scott is like, just take it off and then I pull it out again and this fucking liquid goes fucking EVERYWHERE and Scott is all like holy shit that was overfilled and then we freak out and stuff paper towels in the hole in a dim attempt to stop the deluge and then I look down into the car and everything is dripping and then Scott is all like, we'll have to clean that tomorrow and I'm like fuck this is gonna make the car smell great when we start it up again.

So then we go back to unhooking things and labeling them and I don't have any more hoses spew gunk all over me and then it gets windy as fuck because ha ha the weather hates my guts. Finally we are getting pretty tired and my knees are trying to murder me and I am limping around because leaning way over the front of the car is something they don't like to do, apparently and then finally, finally we can pull off one of things we need to replace and clean.

At this point we are joined by Tom Tom Tiger our kitty. He proceeded to demand attention. We try to explain that we are covered in black gunk from the motor we are scrubbing down and that he will have to wait. He stalks off.

So there I am busy scrubbing down the inside of this integral car thing, wondering if it is possible for my fingers to get any colder, when I hear a squeak. I look down, and in the weak beam of my shitty Wal-mart headlamp I see Tommy has caught a mouse. Which is alive. Which he lovingly gave to me.

By putting it on my foot.

We quit pretty much right after that.

So tomorrow we have to install the new gaskets and then put the freakin engine back together and then get ready for work the next day. Should be a piece of cake right?




  1. Well, on the plus side, you don't have to deal with dishonest mechanics. I couldn't replace a gasket to save my life, so I'd have to take it to a shop, and they'd charge me for shit like rotating my windows because I don't know any better.

    Still, 2 non-running vehicles = no es bueno. Sorry.

    1. Yeah the main reason we work on our own cars is cost. Well that and being able to make sure the job is done right. You only need to find a wrench under the hood once...

    2. I agree that finding a genuine car repair shop is quite tough but you can find one by asking more and more questions. Don't be intimidated. Ask questions about why something needs fixing or how a technology works. As the customer, you have a right to become more educated about your vehicle.

  2. Don't you just love it when life keeps giving the boots to you when you're down? I used to think (when I was young and stupid) that I'd like to restore an old car or tractor in my leisure time for fun. Now I just fix things all the time, and fun is more often than not, what happens when I leave this place.

    Hope you got something going in time for work, or before your fingers froze off from exposure.