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?
Wow! Well at least it works now. That is a pretty strange scenario.
I called in the fire brigade once. Two fire trucks and half a dozen men in full gear came into my house (which was only rented at the time, and very old) to find a lampshade had slipped and was resting on the bulb, causing a burning smell!
They were very good about it and said I should always call if in doubt, with any burning smell. What is it about men in all their fire gear?
.-= babs-beetle´s last blog ..Furniture Project =-.
LOL @ doofus, such a great word
.-= Ian´s last blog ..Monday Minute for 4/5/2010 =-.
I would never have guessed that little light could drain the battery.
.-= Kristina P.´s last blog ..Snuggie-veway Winners! =-.
This story most certainly provided my giggle for the day. I am glad you eventually got the truck fixed.
.-= Arnold´s last blog ..WordPress Upgrade =-.
If you are a doofus, I am a complete goofball. Because there’s no WAY I would have ever even expected to figure that out. That’s a mystery worthy of Click and Clack.
.-= Brenda´s last blog ..Like a Blended Iced Coffee =-.
Bwahahahahahaha. See how much money you could have saved if you’d taken it to the great mechanic in the first place. Bwahahahahaha. That’s a hoot of a story for sure. Thanks for my first laugh of the morning.
Have a terrific day. 🙂
.-= Comedy Plus´s last blog ..Deforestation =-.
I’m trying to think of a personal blond moment – the closest I can come is the time I gave this guy $5000 to pull a twerp out of my tummy – I didn’t know that I could just go squat in a field somewhere and pop it out for free AND immediately start working again. What a ripoff!
.-= Sheila Sultani´s last blog ..No More Peecrastinating, I’ve Got A Urination Proclaimation =-.
Weeeelll, if you couldn’t see it how could you know?
Fortunately the male person around here is very handy and very cheap. The only thing he has ever been stupid about is the roof on the yurt. He knew he did not know how to put a metal roof on a round building so he hired someone to do it.
That someone came recommended but that someone was a total idiot. He spent 8 months putting on half a roof, taking $10,000 and then quitting because the male person was supposedly badmouthing him by saying he wasn’t getting the job done. erm
Then we had to pay someone $5000 more to finish the job. We have the most expensive small, round roof in the state of Montana.
.-= Pricilla´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday (Almost) =-.
Wow! At least it was an easy and cheap fix! You get your car back, no more sweaty boy in it, annnnd you were under budget.
I don’t know if I ever did anything like that. I’m sure I did, just need my afternoon caffeine to jump start the brain. But I’m sure my husband did something like that. He’s a doofus too.
.-= Alison´s last blog ..100 more Disney Movie Reward Points =-.
I have never heard of such a thing. Not that I know names of car parts or anything, but still, I give the mechanic props for finding that one. Not easily solved, I would think.
.-= joann Mannix´s last blog ..I’d Be A Twit Of A Twitterer =-.
.-= The Mother´s last blog ..I Want… =-.
Dylan: I would have never guessed it. My first thought was that my son left the dome light on but that wasn’t it, obviously.
Babs: I have to agree with the fireman, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. I had a neighbor once who decided to cook some bacon one morning, while cooking it she ran to the store to pick up some eggs. She didn’t bother to turn off the stove. By the time she got back from the store she didn’t have a house. I don’t know what’s up with their gear but they look manly in it so I hope they continue to wear in when it isn’t necessary.
Ian: I love the word Doofus, I’m not sure if I spelled it correctly, it could be Dufus too. It sounds just like what it describes.
Kristina: The mechanic told me what the reading was while it was on 1130 and when it was off 12, apparently it is quite a drain.
Arnold: I got a kick out of it too until I realized what a doofus I was and then I was just embarrassed. Glad it pleased you.
Brenda: Who or what is Click and Clack?
Comedy Plus: I could have saved $20, six months and my car wouldn’t smell like dirty socks. Next time I’m going to skip the cheap mechanic.
Sheila: Didn’t you get the memo? I’d have taken both of mine out on my own but then they wouldn’t have been done. By six months I was done with the whole pregnancy thing. Too bad the doctor wouldn’t help me out with those three extra months.
Pricilla: I don’t think you are the only one this has happened to. I had a third floor that was paid for and never finished by the contractor. I ended up finishing it and boy did it look like I finished it. I hate some contractors. At least the male person knows when not to do a job. That’s helpful sometimes.
Alison: When you have your coffee come back and tell us, I really need to know there are more doofi out there.
Joann: I’m sure there was some logic involved, something I don’t usually possess, but they are trained.
Mother: Oops, I missed you. I’m glad you liked it. Too bad this won’t be the last time something like this happens.
Last week our home phone was dead and I was so mad. I hopped on my cell and called quest.
Then I realized we got all new phones and the old phone I was trying to use, my husband gave to our daughter to play with.
I have had that phone for 12 years so I guess, I don’t handle change well 🙁
.-= Laura´s last blog ..Guns and Nursing Homes =-.
Ain’t it just amazing how the crappiest little things left on can kill the battery?
.-= Joe Cap´s last blog ..Random Wednesday =-.
Hot water heater stopped working. I had a home warranty at the time $50 for no matter what the problem was. Guess what it was? Somehow the breaker tripped. He flipped the breaker on. Wah lah! It worked. Since he was here, he also drained it. Still, I felt like an ass.
.-= Lola´s last blog ..Random Tuesday Thoughts =-.
I was feeling sorry for you until I read “smells like a sweat sock”. Then I just had to laugh.
I am fortunate that:
1) my ex-husband is a mechanic and if he couldn’t fix it, it wasn’t broken.
2) my best friend/ex-business partner (he retired at 71) is a mechanic and can also fix anything, IF he chooses to. Sometime he just doesn’t feel like tackling the big stuff. No problem, because 99% of the time, it’s minor stuff.
and best of all 3) after 40 years of hanging out with my ex-husband and my best friend/ex-business partner, I can now do things myself… stuff like wiring an electrical outlet, some minor plumbing, hammer a nail, operate a cordless drill, saw, paint and… I really surprised myself last fall and installed 3 floors in my house! I totally ROCK, don’t I?
Howver, I never would have figured out the vanity mirror, although I did know there was a dead-short somewhere killing your battery. But that’s what I have people for. :0)
.-= Barb at WillThink4Wine´s last blog ..Awww…Mondays =-.
Laura: That is something I would do except it would have been me who replaced the phone and gave the old one to a child to play with so I would have had no excuse for not knowing the phone was a dud.
Joe: It is amazing and yet supposedly you can charge your phone in it all night, watch movies and all that. I don’t get it.
Lola: I’d feel like an ass too but at least he did something worth while and presumably useful. I forgot to mention that I called the plumber last year because my furnace was making a funny noise. He changed the filter, I guess you are supposed to change them more than once a year. Who knew?
Barb: That is impressive. 3 Floors?!? That is amazing and something I would be too afraid to tackle on my own. I can use power tools and I am a painting fool (we don’t need no stinking tape) but electricity makes me nervous as does gas so I leave those to the professionals, or my neighbors.
I did not think it was a short. I really thought there was something with the alternator or battery.
I have an update. I mentioned that the cup holder had been removed by the dog a couple of years ago causing a gaping hole in the dashboard. Guess who just fixed it? I did, that’s right. I didn’t need to take the dashboard off, all I needed was a screwdriver to move some widget below the bar so I could slide the cup holder back into place. (this was not a plasticy cup holder, it was on metal rails so it slid out causing another space for a cup to appear)
That….was awesome. I love stories like this. Especially since they are, at the end of the day, really really happy ending stories.
.-= Margaret (Nanny Goats)´s last blog ..The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem =-.
My queen of all doofus moments: I went to the mall one day – a quick in and out. When I got back to my car, it wouldn’t start. There wasn’t even a “click” when I turned the key. I checked to make sure I hadn’t left the lights on, the radio, etc. Everything was off. After 20 minutes of fiddling, I called my dad. I told him the whole story, my panic increasing with every word. I was only in the mall for 15 minutes. Nothing was left on. The doors are all closed properly. There’s no click. What do I do?? 10 second pause. He told me to put the car in park. I’d left it in “Drive” when I took the keys out of the ignition.
.-= Nicky´s last blog ..Cheese In The News – Vol. 8 =-.
Margaret: Yep, it could have been so much worse. This one really did have a happy ending.
Nicky: When I started to read your story I was sure it was going in a different direction. One of two ways. When my sister in law had just moved here from the UK she wasn’t used to driving on this side of the road. My brother tried to reduce as much driving for her as possible. He always made sure the car was filled with gas. I’m pretty sure she knew how to pump gas in the UK but she must have forgotten how to do it over here since her husband always did it for her. One day she called me in a panic because the car wouldn’t start and she didn’t know how to get a hold of my brother. This was before cell phones. I drove down to meet her (she was in the drive thru of a bank) and after trying to figure it out I tried to find my brother. I didn’t have a clue. He came down eventually with a gas can in hand. He didn’t even have to look at the car.
Not more than a month ago I was at Target. I parked my car, looked around so I knew where I had parked it and then went inside. When I got back out I found my car right away and put my bags in the car. I tried to start it but it wouldn’t start. The key wouldn’t turn. It took me much longer than I like to admit that suddenly my car was very dirty, it had throw blankets all over it and the interior didn’t look familiar. I had gotten into another person’s car. Mine was parked right next to it. The worst part is that while they were the same color and the same kind of vehicle they were completely different makes and models. I quickly got out of the car and hoped no one saw me.
Yep…I SO get it! …Called to have someone to look at our trash compactor…and it was simply off the track. Yep… Doofus, right here.
.-= Kim – In Search of Me in Mommy´s last blog ..Dear Lord?!!? =-.
Oh Jen, I would have NEVER figured that out! I’m so glad you have a good/honest mechanic and I’m sure he was happy to help the Ravishing Redhead! (Oops, Ranting. Naw, I was right the first time!)
.-= Linda Medrano´s last blog ..Honesty, Integrity, and Economics =-.
Hey, as someone who has dabbled in gas siphoning while prostituting myself, I take offense to your “sucks gas like a cheap hooker” comment.
There have been several times when I walked in to the kitchen and “smelled something burning” and panicked… haven’t called 911 for it (except for our REAL kitchen fire) b/c eventually I figure out something has fallen on the burner of the dishwasher and is melting. But for those few minutes, I KNOW something is on fire.
I am actually the one who GETS the calls for the dumb stuff. “My computer is broken!” “Is the power strip turned on?” “All the documents on my palm are GONE!” “Just click the X on the right top side of the currently open document and you will see the list of all your files” (that was a BRAIN surgeon!) “My printer isn’t working!” “Is there paper in it?”…. but hey, it keeps me in a job!!!
.-= Katherine´s last blog ..The Easter Bunny Rocks! =-.
Hubby has drained the battery in his car by accidentally leaving the dome light on…I would think that’s more of a doofus move than yours is, because I wouldn’t have figured out that your vanity light was causing issues – I would have thought it was the alternator! 🙂 And since the mechanic had to remove the wires to get that little light turned off, you’re definitely absolved of all doofusness. 😉 Thanks for the giggle – I could see myself taking the exact same steps you did! 🙂
.-= Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)´s last blog ..Wordless/Wordful Wednesday – Fishing for Treats =-.
Okay, well, you might be a doofus, but you are hilarious. And honestly, who the heck would have EVER been able to figure out the vanity light in your visor mirror was the issue? Not me! And much like you, even if by some miracle I did figure that out, I also would have tried to fix it with something ridiculous like glue or duct tape. For some reason I think duct tape ‘fixes’ a lot of broken things!
.-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently™ – My Week In Review [Part Nine] =-.
Cars are just like computers: They’re wonderful when they work and they’re maddening when they don’t. And they have a pesky way of making you feel like an idiot. Don’t let the mirror make you feel dumb. It’s so vain, it probably thinks this column is about him. Don’t you? Don’t you?
.-= MikeWJ at TooManyMornings´s last blog ..Blogger Q & A: Why I Call Myself MikeWJ =-.
Yes. I called a plumber in my new apartment when the tub full of water (and a toxic addition of Dran-O) would not drain. When his snake only went two inches and stopped dead, he looked at me like he could see light coming through my head and turned the lever for the drain.
You are one funny and honest doofus. I have many doofus moments myself. More than I care to remember.
.-= mrsblogalot´s last blog ..Hi Ho The Merry Yo – The Blogger Takes a Wife =-.
I’m guessing it broke off when you were doing your makeup on the way to work one day.
You women and your vehicles. It’s like tempting fate every time we get out on the road.
.-= moooooog35´s last blog ..Dragons, Weiners and Baby Testing =-.
I would never have figured that out! If I have a car that won’t start I automatically think it’s the fuel filter. Why, I don’t know, is it because I know the word? Perhaps.
My niece and her husband moved into their first house last week. Cable guy came out and hooked them up, everything was wonderful. The next day husband turned on the TV to catch a basketball game and he had nothing, zilch, zero. He checked the cable, went outside to check the connection, cursed, fussed and fumed. Then called the cable company to demand a repairman asap. Repairman came out, plugged the cable box back into the outlet and turned the TV on.
.-= Buggys´s last blog ..My Family – Conversations =-.
You are not a doofus. I would have checked the alternator and battery cables first as well. You should yell at the guys who did those earlier things (and charged you!) for not checking the system for any drain of power while the ignition was off. That’s their job, they are supposed to be experts. My wife had that problem in her car a few years back, that a power source was on. I just happened to notice while I was giving her car a jump late one night that with all the doors closed her dome light was on. She only drove during the day and she never went in the garage without turning on the ceiling light. So she never noticed she had left the Dome light on by accident.
Just checking comment luv, Wonder why that happened?
Kim: Simply off the track? That doesn’t sound all that simple.
Linda: My mechanic is happy to help me out, he knows I know nothing about cars and I really have no business driving a big ass truck like I do if I don’t know how to care for it. But, he is honest, sometimes brutally so.
Frogmama: I’m sorry, I thought you might be offended when I wrote that sentence but it sometimes you just have write the truth.
Katherine: I really expected more stories from you, of all people.
Stacy: The exact same steps are pretty much picking up the phone. It was difficult but sometimes you just have do what you have to do.
Meleah: The more I think about it the more logical it is. SOMETHING was draining the battery. It was just a matter of finding it. If I had any duct tape I would have surely used that but because duct tape comes in all kinds of great colors the daughter uses it for craft projects leaving me with nothing left to fix real problems.
Mike: 😉 Carly would be impressed and thanks, now that song will be stuck in my head all day. Did she ever say who the song was about?
Murr: You are a bit of a celebrity, thank you for stopping by, I’ve heard so much about you however all of it was fiction. For a drain I would have tried all things before calling the plumber. Ever try that high pressure can of blast the hell out of whatever is clogging the drain. It makes the whole house shake. I know all about clogged drains with this hair so that is one thing I can troubleshoot.
Oops. I would have never figured that out. Sounds like you’ve found a great mechanic and need to keep him in your life.
One of the restaurants I was working in lost power in half the kitchen during the dinner rush on a Saturday night. Our DM happened to be in the building at the time and we went out to the electrical room. I commented that it was probably a burnt out fuse and he insisted that there weren’t and fuses to burn out. I felt a little stupid until…the electrician came out and replaced a fuse and all was well.
.-= Shelly´s last blog ..WW~ Long Day. The Trip Home =-.
Don’t feel bad Jen, it sounds exactly like something I would do too, lmbo! I hope you have an awesome Thursday!
.-= Jodi´s last blog ..Six Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak – The Last One Is Great! =-.
Keep the mechanic! Is he married?! Nice to know there are honest people who do their jobs. I think most of us have paid outrageous amounts for things not needed…fortunately the hubs is quite mechanically and otherwise inclined and saves of lots of money and keeps me from paying for unnecessary repairs.
.-= SuziCate´s last blog ..No Longer A Cameo Appearance =-.
Does a shrink count? Because I’m sure there’s a screw loose somewhere in there, but no shrink has ever been able to find it. And I’ve spent thousands.
.-= injaynesworld´s last blog ..injaynesworld you’ll never hear "No Comment…" =-.
First I want to thank you for making my blog-hopping come to a sudden halt! Second, I want to thank you for making me realize I’m not the only one who has a doofus moment, I don’t know if yours occur more frequently than mine, but it’s just nice to know I’m not alone in the doofi (thank you for that word as well!!) community! Thank you also for allowing myself to laugh at someone else for a change instead of at myself all the time.
.-= Linda´s last blog ..Organization goes out the window! =-.
I don’t belive in fuel efficient vehicles. And HEY! You hve an award over at my place…check it out!
.-= Nicole´s last blog ..The Honest Scrap Award! =-.
Honestly from the picture the car doesn’t look all that bad. Hell think everyone as had the stupid car story. I had one last week. Someone needed a jump and was a good Samaritan. After I did that for the next 4 days I had this rattle, I knew it wasn’t anything major, just annoying. I looked at the engine a few times. Like I know what I am looking for. Hell all computers and wires now a days. Anyway I brought it in and it was the bar that held up the hood. It wasn’t clipped in the holder and it was the cause. Cost: zero, Stupidity: Bordering Red head almost to full blown blond.
.-= Man Over Board´s last blog ..The Power of Protein =-.
Let’s just say I’m pleading the 5th!! Glad your vehicle is fixed!
~Mimi from the Round Up
.-= Mimi´s last blog ..Sworn To Protect by DiAnn Mills ~ FIRST Wild Card =-.
Bwahahaha. I would’ve never figured it out. I don’t know how many times I drained my battery back when I still worked, because I’d leave the house with the headlights on when it was dark, then arrive at work when it was daylight and forget to turn them off, completely ignoring the loud dingdingding the car emits when you take out the key but leave the headlights on…whoops.
.-= Mrsbear´s last blog ..Your Emotional Rollercoaster Makes Me Nauseous =-.
I’m too backed up on the responses. You guys are funny. And it’s nice to know that I am not the only Doofus out there.
When I was first married, my oven stopped working. My husband said we needed a new coil and it was easy to replace. I wouldn’t allow him to do it and insisted on calling a service guy. He came out, looked at my oven and replaced the coil. It was an expensive lesson.
.-= Anne´s last blog ..Where Am I? =-.
Yep! Duct tape is GOOD like that! 🙂
.-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently™ – My Week In Review [Part Nine] =-.
Ha! Funny story…
I hate calling servicemen. I hate departing with my cash. Here’s a good example for ya:
I live in an old 1855 home, hasn’t been touched since then, except for a freakish 70s kitchen re-do and an upstairs bathroom.
The previous owners wedged a washing machine into a tiny, slapped-together closet by the downstairs back entry…. It’s a dark, uncomfortable closet. And when you are pulling out the wash from the washer, you are right in front of the door.. so if someone decides to enter, they cannot see you and WHAM you are slammed up against the washer and between the door. Idiots…. ok… the story, yes… it’s coming….
Well, my washer wouldn’t work. It would click, but the water would not run. And after a few seconds, there was a burning smell. 🙁 So I called the expensive service dude… who took one look and said my water supply was frozen. The pipes are along the OUTSIDE wall (not insulated, remember this is 1855 we’re talking about) and the temps had dropped into the negative digits that week…
His $200 advice? Open the closet door to allow heat in, to thaw the pipes.
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..My Smarty Siamese Cat =-.
Glad it was a quick, cheap fix!
.-= Becki´s last blog ..Shocking! =-.
Never would have guessed that was the problem, Jen. That’s why I’m not a mechanic. My Dad was a great mechanic, but he wisely told me in my high school years that I better make a living with my brain and not my hands. He was right.
.-= Dave DeWall´s last blog ..Hot Field Exercises! =-.
I am glad that your truck is fixed. I would feel stupid too. I felt in some ways like I was reading a modern day O. Henry story scenario. Unless it is really a “very special episode” of an 80s sitcom where everyone learns about togetherness and Mallory and Skippy get locked in the basement with only a “Cup-a-Soup” and then they get saved.
.-= Chris@TheSnackHound´s last blog ..Celery-Free is Back =-.
[…] been broken down to a few bullet points you only have to focus on one at a time. If I write about a subject about my truck and why I love it, I can just go on and on until I have bored my readers to tears. Which is exactly […]