Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A weekend with GFJ - with car problems to boot!

A Honda Civic.  The car has proven itself to be very reliable, with none of the annoying minor or important flaws that plagued me on the last 3 American brand cars I've owned. And I had minor trouble this weekend that could have caused me great trouble if I didn't know what to do.

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Although I could have gone to see GFJ on Friday night, I decided to stay home and nestle under a warm blanket. With the weather expected to go into the single digits overnight, I wanted to stay warm in my own bad for one night this weekend.

Saturday came, and I packed up my bags to visit GFJ. But first, it was off to the movies to see "Murder on the Orient Express." I knew the basic plot line, but GFJ didn't. So I was able to focus on how they constructed the film instead of trying to figure out what was going on in the film. If I was to criticize anything in the film, I'd say that the railroad scenes seemed very fake to me. Most appeared to be generated via CGI graphics, and looked unrealistic - except when people were in the shots. Not wanting to spoil the story for people who haven't seen the movie yet, all I will say is that Professor Plum killed Mr. Boddy in the hall with the candlestick OR Mrs. Peacock killed the cook in the kitchen with the knife OR Colonel Mustard killed the motorist in the lounge with the wrench. (OOPS!  Those are solutions to the game/movie of Clue.)  To be serious, you will figure out who did the killing halfway through the film.

On the way to GFJ's from the theater, my car's display issued a warning: My engine was running hot!  The outside temperature was in the single digits. So I pulled the car over to the side of the road, let it idle for a few seconds until the message was no longer displayed, and then slowly made my way to GFJ's house. If the indicator would have come on again, I'd have turned the car off and called for a tow. But with prior experience with a water pump failure on a Datsun B-210, I knew that it was likely that my car's fluids weren't warm enough to flow properly or that an internal thermostat controlling coolant flow had failed in this weather. So I knew that I could slowly get the car into a safe space and have it towed either on Sunday or Monday if needed. When I reached GFJ's place, I decided to park the car for the rest of the weekend. And we didn't leave her house until Monday morning. But first, I made a call to my brother who gave me another idea to check out - did I have enough coolant in the car's radiator? 

I went to the car first thing Monday morning, and discovered that I probably didn't have enough coolant in the reservoir. So GFJ and I went to the Honda dealership in Kingston to pick up the correct coolant needed for the car. Unlike most of the Kingston area dealerships, the Honda dealership has its service department in in the original dealership's building, a few minutes away from its main sales area. So I was glad GFJ drove me there instead of me trying to drive my car and waiting for it to cool down before adding coolant. 

With coolant in hand, we went back to GFJ's place where I added coolant to the car's reservoir. And then I slowly drove off after giving GFJ a goodbye hug and kiss.  I was careful not to put a strain on the car for the first half hour of driving, and made it home safely home without incident. Do I have a radiator leak? Maybe. I wish I had a better clue to what happened with the car. But I'm glad the car has proven itself reliable in stressful circumstances. 

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