Monday, July 8, 2013

Simply Van just simply stopped running!??

Wow, what do you do when your van/home/rv just mysteriously stops running?  I mean, it was running, I just started it and then it just shut off - no surprise sounds no nothing.  Just not running and won't start.

Well in my case - I take a deep breath and text my mechanically
inclined son AND the closest friend, who this time happens to also be a mechanic.  and I look around for clues, try to remember if I did anything differently at least so I can answer questions intelligently.  Then I tried to start it in Neutral, just in case.  The son said it sounded like I wasn't getting any fuel and he turned out to be right (okay no need to Gloat now-smile).  The mechanic friend was willing to just come out immediately, tho I told him not to bother until morning, because it was getting dark and it could wait.  I'm in a safe place, I'm in my home, we may as well wait for day light it will be easier.  Isn't that one choice we have when we live and travel with our homes?

Next morning, the mechanic friend discovered that the son was correct, the engine was getting spark tho no fuel.  We poked around looking for the answer and then decided, since the fuel pump is inside the gas tank and I had just filled the tank...we needed more help.  So we began the search for an auto repair shop.  Being the 5th of July, and part of a long weekend for many people, we couldn't find anyone to help out right away.  Instead of freaking out and worrying, I negotiated with the Dunkin Donut's manager for permission to leave the van in the parking lot until Monday, when most auto repair shops would be open.  The mechanic friend's family lives in the area and a sister volunteered to let me stay in her apartment, take a nice shower and get busy with her and her grandson's which would get my mind off the problem while I waited.  I agreed and man did we have a ball - taking long walks, picnicing in the woods, feeding giant carp in the lake, playing at the local swimming pool and then topping it off with some movie therapy watching her favorite Downton Abby - yes just what the doctor ordered so to speak.

This morning (Monday) we connected with Swift Automotive in Baldwinsville, NY.  John, was able to come to the van and get it started, so no towing was needed (thank you God - that saved $100).  He traced the problem to a fuel relay switch which he repaired.  He also took a look at a couple other perhaps minor (?) bothersome things I had noticed.  He found that my NEW radiator cap was bent -- like smooshed bent.  Now my son and I replaced the whole radiator last November before I started my SimplyVannin how it got smooshed - the only way I can imagine is when the oil changes are done at WalMart -- and this would be the second time I've heard of radiator cap problems coming from a van's oil change at WalMart.  Now I can't be SURE - and I think it will be wise to check up behind the WalMart guys in the future - because this could cause a real serious problem.  Anyway - he also told me my radiator was filled with only water ---- well, how could that be when my son and I put a 50/50 antifreeze mix in when we replaced and flushed the radiator and system...more mysteries.  John did a great job running diagnostics, replacing a few things and getting me up and running again.  And the cost was reasonable.

My son is happy because he was right! (okay okay)  My friend is happy because I am up and running again AND I'm not broke! I am happy because - who cares! I am just happy to be alive -