Saturday, July 7, 2007

Automechanery 101

The other morning when I left for work I noticed a sign posted next to my car. I stopped briefly to read it. "No Parking on 7-7-07 after 6AM by order of the CSPD". How curious. The last time they blocked off the street like that was during the St. Patrick's day parade. At that time I just moved my car onto Weber St. which was not closed. However at that time I also had a functioning car. This time around my car had two acute problems. One: (critical) the battery had died long ago, and two: the original reason it had been sitting there, the busted CV Joint.
Yesterday (July 6th) I started to panic. I thought to myself, "well, I'll just jump start the car and drive it around to the other side of the block" clunking and shuddering and all. So I went out there after work and tried to do a jumpstart from Dustin's car. I got all the cables hooked up, hopped into my car, turn the key and *click* nothing. Undaunted I double checked the connections, none were loose or on in the wrong position so I tried the key again. *Click* again nothing. So I thought, "Well no problem, we'll just put it in neutral and push it into the driveway for tonight, and push it back in the morning." So I tried to shift into neutral, but it was stuck in Park. By this point I was positively crestfallen, how was I going to move my car? I can't afford $80 just to tow it around the block. Defeated I went around to the front to unhook the jumper cables, that was when I noticed the positive lead on one half the cable was corroded to the point that it was about to fall off. Further inspection revealed that the plastic grips on both the negative leads were melted. Then it dawned on me; perhaps someone had improperly cross-circuited the cable before...maybe its just the cable that's crummy. So I drove Dustin's car to Walmart and bought a new "booster" cable for $8, connected it, turned the key and by golly the car started just like it always had; like it hadn't even been sitting for 3 months. I drove it around to the other side of the block and parked it. I decided to let it idle for a while BUT of course after about an hour it cut-off (out of gas). As I recall in the days prior to putting it on suspension I had driven it on "empty" for about 3 days. That is easy to fix since there's a gas station up the block so its no big deal.

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