Tag Archives: car repair

A Cure for Speaking Nerves


Good morning Everyone!

One emphasis in Kayla’s school district is public speaking. Almost every class requires each student to do presentations to the rest of the class. This poses quite a challenge for Kayla, who gets incredibly nervous before each presentation. Last night, we unexpectedly discovered a partial cure for her speaking nerves.

The mystery cure? Present Kayla with the real possibility that she will no longer have a car to drive.

Kayla’s car broke down last night on her way home from Wednesday night church in Montgomery, Alabama. We live in a small town east of Montgomery.

Kayla was due home at 8:15, and when 8:15 arrived without Kayla, I texted her to find out where she was. I got a return text that she was on her way but her car was “acting up.” (The phrase “my car is acting up” has the power to instill the same terror and annoyance in a parent’s heart as the words “Mom, I forgot to tell you” uttered at 9:45 p.m. on a Sunday evening.)

“Acting up” translated to the engine shaking violently and making a clicking sound while it was running with the battery light and engine light on and the temperature gauge on “H”. So we told her to pull over at a safe spot and we’d come get her and call AAA (because of course she didn’t have her AAA card with her in spite of having been told multiple times to keep it with her at all times when she was driving.)
The safe spot she found between Montgomery and our home town? The Piggly Wiggly at another town nowhere near where you would expect her to be. Through the use of a geometry that would befuddle Euclid, she is convinced that the shortest distance between the two points of Montgomery and home exists on the non-straight line of Montgomery to Town 1 (west), then from Town 1 to Town 2 (south), then back east to our town. Note: We have discussed the impractibility of this route before.
She couldn’t tell us how long the engine temperature had been on “H,” so we couldn’t tell her what the odds were that her engine had blown but we did have to prepare her for the possibility.

The end result? She only had room for so much dread and even though she was still nervous about her presentation, apparently the worry over the car took the edge off it somehow! Then, about an hour after the presentation, she found out that it was just the serpentine belt that had broken and she hadn’t managed to blow the engine after all.

It’s not a method I’d recommend using very often, but at least this one time when she needed it, it was there!

Have a great day!

Nancy

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Car Talk from Alabama


Good morning, everyone!

I drive a black 2010 Hyundai Sonata that I really enjoy.

push button cartoon

From http://www.clickartonline.com. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

One feature in this car that impresses me is the push button start.  Now, I know that push button start is not really a modern invention – many cars in the fifties and early sixties had them – but the computer chip in the “key” that tells the car that it is okay to open or start when the button is pushed is new.  As long as that computer chip is about one foot from your car, all the push button features will work.  The reason I enjoy push button start is – just imagine this ladies – I never, ever have to dig through my purse to find my keys.  That is really cool, no matter who you are!

From www.clickartonline.com.  Copyright protected.  All rights reserved.

From http://www.clickartonline.com. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

However, about three weeks ago, I came home for lunch one day, and when I got ready to leave the house, the car wouldn’t crank with the push button start, even though the lights in the car and everything else except the engine were working.  I tried everything I knew to do, from using the emergency start key to charging the battery with our portable battery charger, but nothing worked.  Defeated, I called the office, where one of my co-workers was gracious enough to come collect me and take me back to the office.

woman with rolling pin

The Effect the Innate Sexism of all Mechanical Objects Has
From http://www.clickartonline.com
Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved.

The plan was for Mark to check the Sonata once he got home, but before he did, while he went inside to change clothes, I tried the battery charger again.  It still didn’t work.  When Mark came back to the garage, he took the portable battery charger, connected it the exact same way that I had, and of course the car started right away.  (For the women:  Don’t you find the innate sexism of mechanical objects frustrating?)

The car ran well for a few days, but then it refused to start again while Kayla and I were running an errand.  This time I took the portable battery charger, hooked it up, and the car started right away.  I think the car knew that Mark was within calling distance.

When we took the car in for service the next weekend, the kind people at Parker Tire tested the battery for us while we were getting new tires from them.  It was only at 200 crank amps when it should have been at 500 crank amps.  I’m not terribly familiar with what a crank amp is, but since I can do basic math when I put my mind to it, I know that missing 300 of anything tends to have a negative effect on an object.  I was relieved that Parker Tire replaced the battery for us, and I happily drove away, knowing that my battery troubles were finished.

Until…..

From www.clickartonline.com.  Copyright protected.  All rights reserved.

From http://www.clickartonline.com. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

Last weekend, Mark was helping with inventory at his plant, so Kayla and I bought some Christmas decorations for the outside of our house.  I asked Kayla to shut the trunk once we got everything out, but about three hours later, when we were finished, I walked into the garage to discover that the trunk remained open.  Wanting to be sure that the battery was still good, I got in the car, pushed the button, and nothing happened.  I was upset, of course, enough so that I made a special trip into the house to inform Kayla that I was not happy that she had forgotten to close the trunk.

I came back out into the garage, wearily hooked up the battery charger to the car yet again (really, I’m getting to be quite good at it), and tried to start it by pushing the button.  Nothing happened.  By now, I wasn’t just annoyed, I was exceedingly annoyed – even though the trunk had been open, a new battery shouldn’t go out like that.  I made sure everything on the battery charger was working, and tried one more time before I went to call Hyundai.  The car still didn’t start.

Push button start punch line

Oh.
From http://www.clickartonline.com. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

I got ready to go back inside to call Hyundai, and automatically reached for my purse.  At that moment, I realized that the car was not turning on because it lacked the key.  My purse, with key tucked in it, was safe in the kitchen.

Sigh.

I apologized to my daughter, got my purse, and of course the car started like a charm.  Problem solved!

Have a great day!

Nancy