What’s under the hood?

I’m relatively sure I’m not delusional, but the chirping noise that my car was making was, according to my husband, a figment of my imagination. In his defense, he listened to a lot of heavy metal in his youth, which can rupture an eardrum more effectively than using an ice pick to clean out ear wax.

My son heard the noise and made dire predictions of broken CV joints, ripped up spider gears, busted pumpkins, and total self-destruction of the transmission. In South Carolina, that would make my car a two-ton lawn ornament. When hurricane Irene came through, many cars were blown off their blocks.

Since I didn’t want that fate for my beloved, and totally paid-for car, I flew into action, and told my husband I was taking it to the dealer. That’s how we ended up in Jedburg, with one of his work buddies taking my car apart in front of his backyard auto repair garage.

“Put it in neutral,” he shouted from somewhere under the jacked up car. First of all, there were no blocks behind the wheels, the car had already drifted close to the garage door as it was jacked up, and this guy was trusting his life to gravity and my husband’s eye-hand coordination.

To remove my car from “Park” you must first start the engine and bypass “Reverse” with the gear shift on the way to “Neutral”. This proved difficult for my sweetheart. I watched in horror as he toggled it back and forth between reverse and neutral, before he was confident that he had it right. By some divine intervention, the car did not jump off the jack, pinning our friend’s skull to the ground, and totally screwing up the wheel bearings. Hooray!

In the end, our friend came through, and discovered that the only problem was a loose clip-on weight thingy used for balancing the tires. He removed it, the chirping stopped, and my faith in backwoods mechanics was restored. He didn’t ask a penny for his time, and neither did Gerald’s Tire and Auto when they rebalanced the tire. Gerald’s even left a long stem rose on the dashboard.

This morning my computer crashed. At least, when the computer tech jacks it up and looks under the hood, he won’t be putting his life in immediate peril, but I’m not letting my husband put it in neutral.

12 thoughts on “What’s under the hood?

  1. Interesting, Karla…

    Your humor is there; yet, this post hovers on the edge of “normality”…

    Methinks your car is a “beloved possession” ?


  2. It speaks volumes to my mechanical knowledge that I’d describe it as a “clip-on weight thingy” too….

  3. Ah, I miss the days when I lived in Georgia where I grew up, and had my can’t-get-it-fixed-till-payday-so-can-I-have-a-ride Mazda jalopy. Any one of my male relatives would swear on their Bud Lite that they knew what the problem with my car was. When I finally did get it fixed (not by my relatives) it was something completely different than anyone had predicted. Good times.

    • I’m not sure how some guys magically go from building birdhouses in wood shop, to being authorities on all things mechanical. At least they think they are.

  4. Wait, what’s wrong with using an ice pick to clean out ear wax?

    I’m fortunate enough to have a brother who got all the mechanical genius in my family’s generation … and I do mean all. I read and write, he fixes things. He never left a flower for a customer, though — I think your guy might be trying to tell you something that’s more than just mechanical.

    • They leave a rose for all the ladies, which is fortunate because I was looking a little too rough to attract male attention. My hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and I was wearing my Grits Festival t-shirt. Definitely not eye candy.

  5. I once had a car whose motor mounts rusted through. The engine went crashing to the pavement while we were sitting at an intersection waiting for the light to change….

  6. Good luck with the computer. We go through them faster than my husband wears out his Fruit of the Looms and definitely faster than we wear out a car!

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