Mar 09, 2011Price Cutter parking lot (365:068)

Today the van broke down.

We spent the morning looking at places on Google Earth checking past and future hikes and other interesting things. Eventually, the chores of the day called and we went out to deal with a whole host of minor commissions before I settled down to do my coursework. 

That was the plan. It came unstuck as soon as I turned the ignition key on the van. The starter pre-engage solenoid jammed. I tried looking under the bonnet to find the starter motor, an almost impossible job on a modern vehicle. I couldn’t see it let alone hit it to release the solenoid. After about twenty attempts it clicked over and we managed to get the van going. The only problem was we didn’t dare turn it off again until we could get to the repair shop, which would have to wait until after we picked the kids up from school, in two and a half hours’ time.

We called ahead and booked the van in for repairs and to have its regular service completed at the same time (which includes changing the front brake pads and milling the rotors – ouch!). We also booked a hire car so we could get to Church for the Ash Wednesday service, the kids to school, and us out on a planned hike tomorrow. I then spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the van in various parking lots with the engine running while Ginger crossed as many of the items off our to-do list as was practical. It was while I and the van were sitting idling away our time that I took today’s picture.

After collecting the big kids from school, I dropped Ginger off at the car rental and took the van in. I was expecting the starter to work perfectly once it reached the safety of the repair shop, but it failed straight away which was a relief. The good news was that the starter motor is covered under the van’s warranty. The bad news was, so is the A/C condenser and door lock actuator we’d already had fixed. That’ll teach us not to re-read the small print.

The evening’s Ash Wednesday service at church was over by around eight pm, after which I had to do my coursework – planned for the afternoon. I managed to finish all the reading by around half ten. That was quite a day.

Copyright © 2011 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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