Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Week of Mechanical Difficulties

I enjoyed having a week off but I didn't really accomplish much. I'm luckier than several of my coworkers who spent the week sick. There are still viruses making the rounds, a third of my kids were either out sick this morning or found other ways to school.

I don't think that my bus is happy to be back to work either. Monday, after trying to start it five times, I went in and got Tony, our early mechanic. For me it didn't sound like it was even thinking about starting. Of course it saw the error of it's ways and started the first time for Tony, making me look like an idiot, not an uncommon occurrence. I guess my car was none too happy to be forced back out in the cold either. The passenger window went down but argued about going back up. Having had trouble with that window before I cracked the rear window instead. It didn't go back up! Since it was just a crack I decided not to worry about it. I'd just let it have it's little temper tantrum and it would be fine in the morning.

Well, I was wrong. It wouldn't go up in the morning so John forced it up. No problem. By the time I picked up the the women in the carpool it was down about three inches. At least it wasn't snowing. Nope the snow didn't start until later. We brushed off the back seat as best we could and the one woman sat on the other side for the ride home. I went home and duct taped plastic over it and made an appointment with my mechanic for the next day. The girls came home with me and we stooped to pick up pizza on the way home. I had made Nikki get in on the other side and explained that the window was broken and that we couldn't use the door so the plastic would stay on. As I was coming put of the pizza parlor I could see the back door starting to open. She just had to see if the door worked! I was not happy with her.

Wednesday morning I was running late because the roads were worse than I thought they'd be so of course I had more problems. The temperature was very cold and the side door vandal lock had frozen over night. I wiggled it, I banged on it but it wouldn't budge. I had no choice but to go find Tony again. I just hadn't banged it hard enough. Tony hit it with a hammer and I was in business. To add insult to injury, Tony stood right there to be sure I wouldn't have any trouble getting it started. It started and then promptly stalled. He laughed, I tried again and kept it going. I took the car to the shop and got the bad news on my window. It was just a little plastic part that was broken but GM only sells the little plastic part attached to a very expensive motor. He was able to fix the front window but doesn't think it will last so I'll have to buy a new motor for that one in the spring. :(

I got back to work slightly poorer but everything was fixed so no problem! Until one of my dashboard lights came on. I've had this happen before (different light) and I knew there was a good chance that if I shut off the engine and restarted it that the light would reset. I should be so lucky. So I radioed in and told them I'd tried to reset it with no luck. I waited for a mechanic to get to the radio and he told me to turn it off, turn the key back on without starting it, turn it off again and then restart it. Tricky! Of course it didn't work. I happened to be at the furthest point out on my route and dreaded waiting for another bus. Since it wasn't a safety issue they let me drive it back in and would have another bus ready for me. Someone else volunteered to cover my shuttle. The light stayed on until I was two blocks from the garage. They think it was just some moisture affecting the sensor. I know it's just that my bus hates the cold as much as I do. They did have another bus running for me but it was far from warm yet. My elementary route was cold!

This morning the vandal lock was frozen again. No problem! I found something and gave it a good whack myself. This was the coldest morning yet so I warmed the glow plugs twice before trying to start it and it caught the first time. Yea! I did my walk around and everything was just as it should be. I had 7 minutes left to go in and warm up, all I had to do was check the brakes first. I put it in gear and released the brake and it would not move. #%$^#! I goosed it good, nada. I had to go find Tony, who was helping someone else so it took me awhile to find him. It had been parked in slush so the tires were now frozen to the ground. He broke it loose and I went on my way.

It is still bitterly cold but the sun is shining. I'm hoping for an easy afternoon!

So how is your week going?


  1. Did I hear you say you hate cold weather?? Oh the frustrations! But you always manage to put humor into the most annoying situations Apple :)
    I hope everything goes smoothly for you tomorrow.
    Stay safe, and as warm as possible!
    Thanks for the smiles :)

  2. I know this wasn't funny to you at all but it made me smile. Thanks for sharing - I can so totally relate. I hope your Friday goes well.

    I am taking the rest of the day off - my youngest is sick again...and I fell down my hill trying to shovel this morning before route time. I've got to go out and do more - it just stopped snowing heavily. At least it's good exercise!