Friday night, I was home from a very long week of work kicked back trying to unwind and starting to enjoy the weekend. Dogs have been walked and fed, garbage is posted to the curb, dishwasher emptied. I'm sitting down and enjoying a single malt and Pulp Fiction when my cell phone chirps in from the son. Junior's calling me on a Friday night at 1930. That normally does not bode well. He talked with me earlier in the day, but it was about insurance coverage with his new company. This call sets off my internal alarm. He is calling me from the garage at work and informs me that his car won't start (one of my parental angst - child is stranded somewhere and I am unable to help). This is my old '93 Camry that he inherited going to college. 163k miles, in excellent shape for an 18 year old car (I'd drive it to work if it was still at home). I've worked on this car many times so I know it's quirks/issues, but, since it has been parked in Austin for most of the last 5 years, I am not as in tune with any problems. Anyway, he is trying to seek my advice on how to get it started so he can make it home. Immediately, dad mode kicks in. I try to diagnose the symptoms and give him some pointers that I would do if I were there (hard to do via cell phone). A couple of tricks/tests are of no help. It's hard to diagnose a problem from 165 miles away, but I try. Make sure it is fully engaged in park - nope, that doesn't work. Battery ok - check. Turn off the transaxle (neutral) safety switch - nope, no help. All the little tricks I've learned over the years did not seem to help him. At this point I was resigned to have the car towed in to check it out but told him to check the fuses to see if there were any that might have blown or gotten old/brittle. This is hard to do via phone and having no visual reference, but he insisted to try it out. He located the fuse box, scoped out one of the possible circuits and pulled the fuse and checked it out (looked ok). He reset the fuse and tried to start the car and, shazam, it worked! He was happy and grateful to have it running and able to drive home. I was overwhelmed/amazed that this simple "swag" method even worked!
I felt like I've definitely earned a few extra cool dad points this weekend.
So, was it wrong to do the happy dance? The dogs seemed to enjoy.
And just for those curious minds out there, here's a close up of Blaze....
|Always a lady|