Monday, September 05, 2005

Trip to Maryland

So, Max and i made it back home around 8 AM. It took ten hours and three 20 oz Cokes to get there. 60 oz is just shy of a half gallon. I used to drink that while sitting at work, every day. I get a little retroactive diabetic shock just thinking about it. It shouldn't have been a surprise that i gained weight. The real surprise is how little i gained. 2 pounds a year.

Max fell asleep almost right away, and the tank was about three quarters full. So the first fill up and rest stop was in Ohio. The car ran pretty smoothly, with no significant problems. All things being relative, "no significant problems" means that, well, one of the times when i made a rest stop, the car wouldn't start. The starter motor has a dead spot. So i had to push start it. I couldn't just sit in the driver's seat and push it in reverse with the one foot. I actually had to get out of the car and push it a few feet. Twice. While i wasn't out of breath, it did have me breathing hard for a minute while i pulled the car onto the highway.

Apparently, my endurance for this overnight thing is nine hours, not ten. So, i really had to tough it out once i crossed the Michigan border. The the only rest stop in Michigan is the Welcome Center. It is closed. Visitors take note. You are not welcomed to Michigan. I should have stopped in Ohio near Toledo. I was too tired to think that far ahead. Readers will note the irony. For me, its a way of life. I'm not real sorry if my karma ran over your dogma.

The first tank of gas for the trip got 37 mpg, the second got 36 mpg. Strange. The second tank participated in the new spark plugs. The number two plug was really fouled with charred oil. That's the cylinder that needs the ring job. It was approximately 2.5 tanks of gas, or 45 gallons. $120 in gas, roughly, for the trip. In July, i was paying $2.139 a gallon. That would have been $96. Last year, this trip was $55.

Once home, i unpacked the car and fell asleep. Dawn entertained Max for most of the day. When I woke, I did about three hours of work on the car. There is no evidence of a continuing water leak. The water overflow was basically empty, but the radiator was full. The car needed another quart of oil. I put some electrical tape on the exhaust gas vent thingy. I removed the ground wire on the starter motor, clean up the terminal and plug, and applied dielectric greece, and tried it. It seemed to help just a little bit, but really, i need a new starter. I should have replaced it earlier this summer when i had the new one in my hands. I diagnosed for sure a clicking sound from under the hood. There's a minor exhaust leak near the exhaust manifold. I left the car up on the blocks to work on it tonight, but it just didn't cool down fast enough. It will have to wait until the weekend. Then, something i had wanted to do before the trip, i cleaned the windshields and applied Rainex. I'll be happy if it reduces the dew in the morning.

It was quite an adventure for me. That's adventure as in the UHaul slogan "Adventure in Moving", where you imagine that the front universal joint lets go, and your truck is pole vaulted from the overpass. Max wasn't that concerned about the car, or at least, i've trained him that the problems with the car are my responsibility, and that he doesn't have to worry about it. He sure had a good time over the weekend with George, the Smithsonian, and sailing.


FreeThinker said...

Did your U-Haul have one of those state images on the side? If so, what state did you have?

Stephen said...

Arizona, i think.