Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sick but Worldly


Henry is one well-traveled 1990 Ford Taurus.

Originally from Torrance, California, Henry has been to Santa Monica, San Francisco, Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Arches National Park, Goblin Valley, Four Corners, Monument Valley, Moab, New Mexico, Austin, New Orleans, Skyline Drive, Harper's Ferry, and New York City. He's visited every campground in New Jersey and crept around the backroads of the Pine Barrens. He's visited remote campgrounds in Virginia. He's been with me since April 22, 2002. Fifty-thousand miles ago.

And after all this, he decided to crap out last night—in the rain—in central Jersey, in a mall parking lot.

"ARF!"* I said, leaning my head onto the steering wheel.

Henry started right up. Huh?

Then today, he got cranky again. Click click but no turning over.

"It's the starter," said the AAA guy, who showed up to watch Henry suddenly start on his own. "Just keep trying. Sometimes these starters keep working for months while they go bad."

I drove Henry straight home to his garage. I'll take him in to my mechanic on Friday. If he'll be kind enough to start.




*"Arf" is not exactly what I said, but it seems more G-rated.

6 comments:

Marie said...

If cars played Strip Passport and got stamps for states, Henry would crush.

Ed Ward said...

Yeah, but I'm trying to figure out what the forfeit would be for a car. You don't want them taking off their body parts, after all...

Marie said...

Oh, he'd have no problem with that. Parts break off all the time.

Joe said...

On starter issues, make sure that your mechanic (or you, if you're as handy with car bits as you are with plumbing) check the starter contacts before replacing the starter. I had a similar problem a while back, and it was just build up on the starter contacts, like you sometimes get on the battery contacts.

If I'd had known enough to poke around under the hood I could have solved it myself. As it was, my mechanic was honest about the problem and only charged me $30 or so for labor and new contacts, which was considerably cheaper than a whole new starter. But be careful; if you electrocute yourself I'll have to stop reading your blog.

Marie said...

If I could manage just a little electric current, it might make for good reading material later.

Amanda Castleman said...

Um, is no one else alarmed by the furry anteater-donkey thing about to devour Henry? This, to me, is a more pressing issue that a cranky starter...

Marie: hope the legendary Ford Taurus recovers soon!