freakin’ truck deuce


rusted truckA parent’s goal is to make things better for their family.

At least, I think that’s what a parent’s goal should be.

I changed out the starter for the fourth time in the little Toyota truck my daughter drives to school.

The first time, I changed out the factory starter because it dragged a little bit when it got really cold.  I wanted the little truck to be right if my baby girl…my soon to be 18 baby girl…was going to be driving it.  So…I went down to the parts store and found a remanufactured starter that I could replace the high quality… but possibly failing… factory starter with.

It worked…sporadically.

The funny thing about a lifetime warranty is that what it really means is that they will replace the faulty part one time in the lifetime of owning the part…and when they replace it, they give you a “new”  (ie unused… but remanufactured) version of the same part that was failing in the first place.

Imagine the frustration in knowing that you were going to get to replace a piece of junk with a brand new, in the box, shiny bright…piece of junk.  Coooooool.

But what was my option?  I replaced the starter with a brand new remanufactured replacement…and it did the same thing.

A young lady shouldn’t have to rap on the solenoid with the handle of a ball-peen hammer to get her car to work.

I’m sure that it’s a character building experience in some way…but it shouldn’t have to be a normal part of adolescence to even be aware that sometimes things don’t work the way they should.

Adolescence should be more about good beginnings than breaking down.  A kid doesn’t need to concentrate on what won’t work all the time.

Life could roll more smoothly than that.

This time, when I replaced the starter (for the fourth time), I used a factory starter that I got from a junkyard.

It is amazing how much easier it is to replace a starter in a 1988 Toyota truck when you’re doing it for the fourth time than it was to replace it the first time.  You get good at things you have to do over and over….or maybe you stay bad at it but just get more efficient.  I don’t really know.

I remember driving down to visit my sister’s family in Atlanta when the kids were little.

We had an old Plymouth Valiant at that time…slant six, automatic transmission, four door.  If a child was going to draw a car, this car is what he’d portray….boxy.

This old car was really dependable….really tough…but kind of ugly.  It was ugly in that cool patina sort of way that some old cars get…but it was kind of a beater.

When we pulled into the driveway, my nephew (who’s now a lawyer…but at the time he was pretty young) said, “What’s that?”

He was looking at the rust on the wheel wells.

I guess he’d never had the chance to see or own any cars that had any rust.

We live in a moist area of the country.  We have a lot of rain, lots of humidity.  Things grow like we were living in a jungle.

Rust loves moisture…so we have a fair amount of rust on some of our cars (if you can’t stop it in time).

Cars rust.

It’s a good thing when a child isn’t up to speed on what rust is.

Back to my original point…I guess that what I’m thinking is that we really do all just live what we know.  Until I can show my daughter that it’s not the norm to have to always whack on the starter with that hammer you carry in the truck, she’s going to be used to that being just a normal part of the driving experience.

There are a lot of different types of normal, though…maybe we’ll try a car that’s not rusty from time to time.

Maybe we’ll try cars that start all the time.

I have high hopes for this new starter…and I have high hopes that I can do my part to make our lives roll easy.

image from here.


Comments are closed.