Surprises! Or, I Think I Need More Coffee….

Holy cow.

I’ve been away from my blog for 10 days – this is what happens when you get snow days, illness, and really cold weather all at once. I came back to discover that my blog has 44 new hits as of today alone. 0.o

I don’t have this hooked up to a search engine, so only my friends and family can see it. I haven’t posted anything in ten days, and therefore haven’t posted a link to it anywhere, which means people are coming to it completely independently of anything I’ve said or done.

Oh, dear.

I really need to be more punctual with my updates. I think part of my issue lies in that I’m not sure people really want to read about my daily cleaning adventures. It’s not really exciting. I’ve tried to remedy this uncertainty by expanding into general discussions of domestic happenings, still trying to keep it under the heading of “how to make my house run more smoothly.” I feel a little more confident, but I think I’d really like to know from you all what you like to read about! Which of my posts have been your favorites? You can use the 5 star rating system by each post to let me know.

Ok that’s enough of that. I came here to write a real blog post. Let’s get to it!

When I last updated ten days ago, I posted about being really tired and missing my car. As it turns out, that really tired feeling was the first symptom of a week-long illness that kept me in bed for five days. I made sure the basics got done – dishes, trash, that sort of thing. But the kids’ rooms have fallen apart completely and I have so much laundry to catch up on. (I cannot wait til we move to our new house and we have our own washer and dryer we don’t have to put quarters in to get half-done!)

The good news, though, is that as of ten o’clock Friday morning, we have a car!!!!!!! We’d had it towed from the mechanic who’s had it for six months to the guys at Gateway Auto. The first mechanic did nothing that anyone could tell. No replaced transmission (which turned out to be completely unnecessary, of course), no clutch (which we gave him), no cv joints or drive axles, and certainly no new stereo (which he was throwing in for free out of the kindness of his heart, because ours had been stolen). Nothing. The guys at gateway discovered that, because it sat so long without moving, only half of the car’s fuel injectors were working and the battery terminal had been corroded. They replaced those, and went on to replace the clutch, the drive axles, and the cv joints. And, just to be nice, they put the exhaust system back together so it wouldn’t be so loud anymore.

Funny story about that. Apparently, my sweet lady was driving around town delivering pizzas and shooting people. Or sounding like it anyway. Every time she got up to speed, the car would backfire! So she’d be driving down Iowa Street, and POP! POP! POP! One of those pops knocked the exhaust out of whack again, so the car was roaring around town late into the night.

We did come to realize that it was an o2 sensor that needed replacing. The one in the car now is just so dirty and old, it’s not doing its job, and is causing the engine to run heavy on fuel. The engine’s taking more fuel than it needs and not burning it all, and the rest of it burns while it’s in the fuel lines, and that’s where the popping sound comes from. It’s mostly harmless, though it does cause some wear and tear over time and it does definitely affect fuel efficiency.

I feel so smart! I diagnosed a problem with my car via the internets and the guys at the auto parts store (who, granted, are not mechanics) backed me up!

So she got the sensor while she was at work, and spent the better part of the next hour trying to figure out how to get it in. It should be simple, but you need 3/4″ or 20mm wrench to fit it and none of the drivers had that size on them. But then finally, she did get ahold of one, but realized she couldn’t get enough room to turn it – the space was too tight. Juana Bee and her internet-savvy discovered that – aha! – there is a specific wrench for the o2 sensor that is a socket wrench with a notch for the wire. Of course. Genius!

Now, my day’s mission includes heading to Autozone while my lady sleeps, kids in tow, and turn on my charm and radiance to fix the problem once and for all. Also in the cards for the day: play a silly sticker game with J.J., help B.R. open up a new cup in Mario Kart, catch up on aforementioned laundry, and set the kids to work on their bedrooms.

I really also ought to work in calling my grandmother somewhere in there – I’m not sure she has my new phone number and it’s been a really long time. Oops!


About Juana Bee

I'm raising two beautiful and brilliant kiddos who inspire me everyday, with my life partner who likewise challenges and inspires me.
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2 Responses to Surprises! Or, I Think I Need More Coffee….

  1. Mandi says:

    Rick was trying to google about o2 sensors the other day and wasn’t nearly as successful as you, maybe he should seek your guidance, oh wise one!

    • Juana Bee says:

      See, I was pretty clumsy with my search technique. I think I googled something to the effect of, “Nissan Sentra is backfiring. How do I make it stop?” This lead me to a bunch of mechanic forums, and a phrase that kept coming up was “running rich”, so I googled that, and found out that it meant the engine is sucking up more gas than it should be. This in combination with the wiki explanation of causes (low fuel pressure), and the previously acquired knowledge that an o2 sensor measures how much air is in the fuel system, drew me to my conclusion. I felt like a rockstar.

      And then I got on FB and asked for a wrench to fix the thing, and found out that there’s a wrench specific to the job. And at the parts store, I was helped by a lovely lady (who was somehow resistant to my feminine charms), who insisted that I had to rent the durn thing, even if I was just using it right there in the parking lot with supervision.

      I wasn’t feeling so rock-star-like anymore!

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