Monday, January 11, 2010

In a Past Life, I Was a Mechanic

I know very little about cars and how/why they run. In fact, my knowledge of them can be pretty well summed up in one sentence. Put gas in the thing, turn the key and put it in drive. See, not a whole lot. However, somehow I can always diagnose what is wrong with my vehicle when it won't start.

A few years ago, I had a Toyota Tacoma. Hubby was out of town on a training exercise. I took the kiddos for a check-up and came out to find that my truck wouldn't start. There was this little clicking noise, but no attempts to start. Lucky for me, there was a kind soul there to give the kiddos and me a ride home. I did some googling and decided that the problem with my truck was the starter. I called my father-in-law to discuss it with him. He told me that the truck was too new for the starter to have gone out. I insisted that it was the starter, but took his advice and pulled the battery to have it tested. (Of course, I had to have the truck towed home first.) So, I take the battery down to the parts store, they tested it and, darn if the thing was just fine. Well, to be fair, it was a little weak, so I went ahead and replaced it with a new one. I took the new battery home, put it in the truck and tried to start it. I got the same little clicky noise and no start. So, I waited a couple weeks for the hubby to get home. He pokes around on the truck some and guess what...the starter HAD gone out. Turns out, that year model had some problems with the starter. It made absolutely no sense, but I was right.

Fast forward to last week...I went to the cleaners/alterations place to get something fixed for the hubby. I come out and my jeep won't start. Again, lucky me, someone was able to come get me. I did some googling to find out if there were any start issues with my particular model jeep and came up with nothing. So, I decided that it must be the battery. I read in a few places that a battery can be so dead (and the cold doesn't help) that it won't even jump start. I assumed hubby knew this, because he's a guy and knows stuff about cars. Well, he and our friend go to look at the jeep, get it fixed and bring my baby home. They come back a while later without my jeep. I asked if they had bought a new battery. Hubby tells me that it wouldn't jump so they don't think it's the battery. I fill him in on the whole deader-than-a-doornail-won't-jump thing and stomp off. A little bit later, he and our friend set out again. They go buy a new battery, put it in the jeep and it started! Geez, I was right again. Hubby insists that it makes no sense and our friend swears there has to be something else wrong with it. But I've driven a few times since then and had no problems.

I don't know how I diagnose these problems that make no sense. I think it's my special talent. Maybe I was a mechanic in my last life...


  1. That is a very useful talent! Wanna come to my house and tell whats wrong with my Dodge? :)

  2. Nice! I think I just tend to date guys who love their it rubs off on me. I've had the deader-than-a-doornail thing. It stinks :) The fact it was like 10 PM at a non-local airport wasn't very helpful! I could've used your mad car skills!

  3. I love it! I don't kow much about cars either, but from past experience I know that the clicking is the starter. I did NOT know that batteries can be too dead to jump! Go, you!!

  4. That's a handy talent to have. I know nothing at cars and have no special insight about them and it drives me crazy, but there's just not enough time in the day to learn everything I guess.


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