My Mommy Would Be So Proud…

My brother can fix about anything. When he was in 6th Grade he built a motorcycle from parts of two junked ones. But, I’m the one in my family who’s known as being ‘mechanically challenged’. I’ve never burned up an engine by running a car out of oil or tried to drive off while the car’s still on the jack or anything really stupid like that, but I haven’t really done a whole lot of auto-work outside of changing oil occasionally. I did puncture an oil pan once (with a little ‘guidance’ from my brother Dan), and actually, in the process of rotating tires once, I popped a hole in the gas tank, right at the lip of the fuel intake. I got to learn how to install a new fuel tank that fun day.

My lack of mechanic acumen presented itself very early in life, when I was ‘helping’ my dad in the garage and decided pliers would work well for removing an oily clump of dirt from my stomach. I still have a scar to attest to the fact that squeezing pliers harder does not make them release whatever they’re holding – even if that happens to be skin. (Stop laughing, I was only 4.)

But today, I have actually diagnosed a problem with my car (with a little help from the nice people at Autozone with the cool little computers), and fixed it. The engine light was on because a cylinder was misfiring (and when you only have 4 cylinders like my little Dodge Avenger that’s a big reduction), so I took out the plug wire for that cylinder and found some corrosion on the terminal of the ignition coil. So I got a new coil and installed it.

Realizing that if a little fix is good, a little more might be even better, I changed the spark plugs (which I properly gapped), and replaced all the plug wires. In the process of all this, I ripped out a hose that was so brittle it broke in my hands, so I replaced that as well as the little PCV valve attached to it. And for good measure, I’m changing the air filter tonight.

Fun, fun, fun…

2 Replies to “My Mommy Would Be So Proud…”

  1. Mike, Sounds like you’re getting your “girlie” car all fixed up there. When you’re at it you should get a car wash to! Wow. Good times! anyway i’m glad you got it fixed ~Jennifer

  2. GOOD JOB!

    Mr. Joy spent the past week futzing, I mean fixing, his 25 hp outboard motor. Actually, it was more like two weeks. The first week was spent gathering and reading/studying/poring over manuals.

    I’m proud of him also. He stuck with it, and there wasn’t even any colorful language eminating from the basement or garage!

    We like it when our boys challenge themselves AND it doesn’t involve the clicker. . .


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