The thermostat on the minivan wasn’t working right.
The car wasn’t warming up anymore….or “warming up”, but taking a long time to do it.
That wouldn’t do to have a bunch of babies riding around in a cold car, now, would it?
It’s starting to get cold….we need some HEAT!!
So, I bought a thermostat and a gasket….took a look at what I needed to do….and got out the tools.
Dodge was kind to me when they engineered the car.
They put the thermostat housing right on the front/side of the engine (the engine sits sideways like all the front wheel drives….the housing is easy to get to…..right in “front”.)
Everything went well taking it apart.
Nothing was rusted or seized….the bolts came out without any grunting or swearing.
Nothing broke off in the block.
That’s good when it goes like that.
Sure enough, the thermostat was broken and stuck open.
It was also fused to the housing….but after some twisting with a pair of needle nose pliers, I got the old one out.
I cleaned up the housing and put the new one in, got the gasket into position, put my two bolts through the housing and gasket, and got ready to bolt it back to the block, and then…..
One of the bolts fell out of the housing.
So, I looked in the gravel for the bolt….and it wasn’t there.
I got my big light and looked in the gravel for the bolt I needed to finish the job….and I couldn’t see it.
I took my big light and looked all around the engine compartment….and didn’t see it.
But, if I looked way, way down….down in the darkness of the engine bay….down between what I think might be a compressor for the air conditioner or something….no, it’s not that….it’s something else over by the transmission…..something sandwiched up tight underneath the exhaust manifold….something unreachable even by a strong beam of light….that was when I realized why I couldn’t see or feel it.
My bolt….the bolt I need…..the bolt that was keeping me from finishing my wife’s motorvation ability….was DOWN THERE SOMEWHERE!!!! It was down in there somewhere.
I GOT TO USE MY “F WORD”!!!!
OUT IN THE DRIVEWAY, NOT FAR ENOUGH OUT IN SPACE WHERE NO ONE COULD HEAR ME SCREAM, WAVING A TROUBLE LIGHT OVER EVERY INCH OF THAT ENGINE THAT I HOPED I COULD ILLUMINATE AND DISCOVER SOMETHING THAT I KNEW WAS UNDISCOVERABLE, I EXERCISED MY VOCABULARY….AND IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT, ALL I COULD RELEASE FROM MY VOCAL CORDS WAS A HEARTY AND HEARTFELT “F WORD”….OVER AND OVER AND…..OVER.
I am ashamed….and still bolt-less at this point.
The necessary bolt is gone away….and I’m in a dark gravel driveway….screaming out my soft, impotent rage.
Anyway….after a frantic trip back in to town, I was able to buy a bolt that was shorter but worked….and I got the car back together….and nothing leaked or exploded when I started it back up.
Who do they think that they’re helping with this “daylight savings time”, anyway?
Anybody in their right mind is doing all the good stuff at night.
Why am I laying on my back in our gravel driveway when it’s pitch black?
Something’s not right in that picture.
Let the farmers turn the lights on in their combines.
Leave me some light in the evening.
Maybe I could find a bolt or two if the sun was still up.
“darkness on the face of the earth” Willie Nelson