Happiness is a new radiator (if you are a 14 year-old car, that is). My little dentmobile has always run hot, and frequently overheats whenever it’s under load (like, while DRIVING). I have been babying it along, filling up the radiator with 50/50 every other day, driving with the heater on and windows down (which really sucks when it’s raining), and not driving more than a few miles at a time.
The whole point of having a car, however, is to get from place to place, right?
With summer on the horizon and both volleyball and softball games in my near future, this overheating problem finally maxed out my patience. My hairy half had tried to fix it, but he couldn’t — so I did a little Yelping and found a mechanic with good reviews (usually an oxymoron). Called the mechanic, he quoted me a diagnostic charge to find the exact problem(s), and I dropped the dentmobile off.
An hour later he had the list of culprits: blown fuse (he replaced for free), fan wire not connected (he connected it for free), and oh yeah – the radiator is clogged. No fluid is circulating in it, which defeats its entire purpose for being in the car. He quoted me a new radiator, coolant system flush, and labor. All rather reasonable, and even better: he could have the work done in a few hours.
The mechanic went on to say that the radiator in my car was not the right one anyway. It was for a 5-speed manual, but I have a 4-speed automatic, and something about the different transmissions and piping and tubing going from the whatzit to the hammagiggy and how having the wrong radiator meant that it was piped in wrong which means the transmission fluid isn’t making a circuit like it’s supposed to for the transmission fluid to cool down. Or something. The car’s been totalled out twice, and some previous owner was a real idiot about car repairs so it doesn’t surprise me much. The electrical problems that it had when I bought the car spoke volumes about the inadequacy of mechanic know-how in its history.
So, for the cost of one month’s car payment (for a new car with significantly less character than mine), my car is cool and collected, running at under half-way on the hotmeter, even when going uphill. I turned off the heater, put on my sunglasses, and enjoyed the drive home.