For the last six or so months my truck has not moved. It would only start if I gave it a jump. This was not a huge problem, I have a car that works just fine but the boy uses the truck.
I bought the truck, a ’96 Tahoe, in ’98. It had 90,000 miles on it when I bought it but it’s big ass Chevy and those engines can go for a long, long time. I crashed it twice, major accidents, causing the whole body to be replaced except for the roof. There is one little spot of rust on the back cargo door, other than that it looks pristine. And, more importantly, it is paid for and the tabs cost next to nothing to renew.
However, because it is a big ass Chevy, it sucks gas like a cheap hooker. I think it gets 7 miles to the gallon on city streets and maybe up to 11 on the freeway. Ten years ago this wasn’t as painful as it is now.
I drove the truck as my main vehicle until 2007 when my dad passed away and I started taking care of my mom full time. I couldn’t get her into the truck, it was too high off the ground. So, I bought a car that I could get her into easily. I would have traded the truck in on the car but they wouldn’t take it. Even then it was too old, had too many miles on it (over 200,000 at that point) and it was a gas guzzler. The blue book value of it is under $1200.
By 2007 the A/C had stopped working. Fixing it was a major investment, and it needed a lot of other work. Shocks, cams (I don’t know what those are but they keep telling me I need them) and parts of the interior are slowly going missing. Someone stole the ashtray filled with change in it and the dog jumped on the cup holder pulling it out. I can’t put it back in without taking the whole dashboard off so it sits in the back seat unable to hold cups.
I kept the truck because, no on wanted it, but also because it is great to haul stuff with. I have a trailer hitch on it and can tow the boat with it and we can fill it will leaves in the fall to take to the compost site. It has a practical purpose.
And then it just stopped working. Unless I jumped it or charged it with a charger it wouldn’t go. I replaced the battery last year but that didn’t last for more than a couple of days. I was back to jump starting it. Something was wrong. I talked to my brother and some guy friends who all thought it was the alternator. I had replaced that last spring so I didn’t think that was the problem.
I brought it to a shop several months ago. They said it was the cables to the battery. They charged me $20 and said it was good to go. The next day it wouldn’t start.
I gave up on it. I knew whatever the problem was it was a big one and it just wasn’t something I could afford at the time. I took it off my insurance because I knew I wouldn’t get to it until the spring or summer.
For the last six months I have been sharing a car with my son. This means only one of us can go anywhere at one time. It also means my car smells like a sweat sock.
Yesterday I gave up or gave in and jumped the car. I took it to my mechanic. Not the battery cable one but the mechanic who had cared for my baby since I got it. They are more expensive and not as close since I moved but they knew the vehicle and the owner had rescued me on a couple of occasions. I felt guilty having taken it somewhere else just to save a few bucks.
I told him what was happening and then I told him I had a budget. He had to figure out the problem and fix it for under $200. Not much to work with. I was pretty sure that with that budget we probably were not going to get it fixed. But we might be able to rule out a lot of possible causes.
He called me yesterday afternoon and told me to come pick it up. He also said I owed him $120. I declared my love for my mechanic over the phone and told me son we had to go pick up the truck.
Can you guess what the problem was?
I bet some of you can.
Apparently, the vanity mirror on the visor was not closing all the way. The little doo hicky switch was not being depressed when the mirror was closed because the hinge had snapped off. With the visor closed you couldn’t see that the light on the mirror was still on.
I feel like a complete doofus for not being able to figure this out. It reminds me of when I called the electrician because the light he had just installed wasn’t working. I paid $85 for someone to come out and change a light bulb.
In my defense of doofusness, they had to remove the wires to the vanity mirror to turn it off. Even if I had located the trouble I wouldn’t have known how to do that. I would have tried Super Glue or something to keep the button depressed but I wouldn’t have been able to remove the wires.
Have you ever called in a professional to fix something that was obvious?