Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Official Slacking Blogger Update

Okay, it's official. I have been a total slacker the past couple of months in updating this blog. There have been plenty of things happening in my life that I could have written about, but I haven't. I've been lazy. I've been spending all of my free time watching SportsCenter or the Food Network. I guess spending time doing those things makes for less motivation in updating my blog. Since I have some free time right now though, I've decided to give everyone out there a treat by putting up a new post. I think some people have gotten tired of the picture of my feet and the scale from the last post.

This is my car. A 1997 Chevy Blazer LS. When I bought it, I loved it. I actually bought it thinking that in the near future it would be used as a family car. Well seven and a half years later, I'm still the only one driving it. On the bright side, it hasn't been trashed because of rowdy kids. I've managed to trash the car all by myself. I'm kind of surprised it's stayed in one piece for so long. I've had to get new tires twice, get the brakes replaced twice, replace the U-joints and the drive shaft, replace the windshield, fix the rear hatch release lever, replace the drivers side mirror, and weld the drivers side door latch back on so it would stay closed. And there is still a lot more that needs to be done.

This is what it looks like now. A little bit dirtier and definitely more worn down. About a year and a half ago I was getting new tires for the second time. At the time I was told the ball joints needed to be replaced as well. I didn't have the money to replace them so, in typical Mo fashion, I put it off. About a 2 months ago, my car started making this loud clunking noise as I was driving down the road. I did some research on my own and determined it was the ball joints that needed to be replaced. I took the car to the shop and told them I needed the ball joints replaced. The worker asked all of the typical questions about my car. Make, model, year, and what I wanted done. Then he asked if it was the upper or lower ball joints that needed to be replaced. I was speechless. Upper or lower ball joints? My car has two sets of ball joints? It turns out my car does have two sets of ball joints because it's a 4 wheel drive. I told the worker that I didn't know which set needed to be replaced. He said that wasn't a problem and they would evaluate which ones they were. To make a long story short, it took the better part of 2 days and $400 to get the ball joints replaced. As I was driving home, I remember thinking at least I won't have to hear that awful clunking noise anymore. Just as I had that thought, the noise started up again. Argh! I spent my travel home for Christmas budget on my car, and it still made the clunking noise.

Last week as I was driving home from work, my car started to overheat. The temperature gauge was north of 260 degrees and the check gauges light was on. I figured the thermostat had gone bad, so I stopped to get a new one. I had to stop three times on my way home from work so it wouldn't overheat completely. In order to replace the thermostat, I had to wait for the engine to cool down, so I decided I would replace it before work the next day. The next morning I changed out the thermostat and figured that would be the end of it. I decided to let the car run for a while to get the coolant circulating and to see if the car would still overheat. I came back about 10 minutes later to look at the temperature gauge. Lo and behold, it was north 260 degrees again. Not cool. (No pun intended, but still funny.) The thermostat wasn't the problem. It was the radiator or something else to do with the coolant system. Argh! This was going to cost more money.

I took my car to a local radiator shop to see if they could figure out what the problem was. After a quick check, it was determined that the radiator was cracked. The mechanic decided to add some more coolant in order to find exactly where the crack was. He began pouring the coolant into the radiator to fill it up. He kept pouring and pouring and pouring. It turns out the water pump was literally falling off of the car and the coolant was being poured on to the concrete. The mechanic said they could fix it, but that they would have to order a new water pump. While he was speaking, the only thing I could think was how much it was going to cost. After doing some figuring, he gave me an estimate of about $200. I agreed and he began work on the car.

The next morning he called and said the work was done. I could come get my car. Not excited to pay the money, I took my time in getting to the shop. After paying for the work, I drove away. As I was driving, I noticed my heater worked. It hasn't worked in a couple of years. That means I can stay warm in the winter time when I drive. I was so excited about the heater working that I had already driven a couple of miles down the road, when I realized I hadn't heard any clunking noise either. I would have never thought replacing the water pump would get rid of these problems. Now that my car is in good running condition again, I even enjoy driving it again. I'm not happy that I had to spend $600 in the past month to get things fixed, but at least I am experiencing farfegnuten (the joy of driving).

At least until my radiator cracks some more.

1 comment:

jacob said...

I just finished blogging about my own car problems (and solution) when I saw this post.