Friday, February 29, 2008

$1000 Oil Change and a Mystery No More

I got up this morning with plans to get the oil changed in our cars. I did that. I didn't plan on having to sink a bunch of money into one of them. I'm doing that.

Justin, at the oil change place showed me where my truck was losing coolant from a connection near the throttle assembly. There was a bunch of corrosion near the spot and you could see where it had been leaking down the side of the engine. I'd noticed lately when idling that I wasn't getting any warm air. That was due to a low coolant level. Anyway, he assured me he could get the $152 part and have it good as new this afternoon. I told him to go ahead and fix it and left my cellphone number with him.

I headed over to Wendy's for lunch then walked about a mile and half home in the face of stiff wind and waited for Justin to call. It wasn't a good news bad news call I received. It was bad news and more bad news. When he removed the part from where the antifreeze was leaking, an intake to the throttle assembly broke off and would also need to be replaced. This part is somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 but includes the part he was initially intending to replace. The other bad news was that nobody in the cities had the part and Justin has to have it rushed in from Chicago with hopes that it will arrive by Monday. Before attempting the repair the other choice was to top off the coolant levels and keep driving the truck as I was but I didn't really consider that much of an option. Its ultimate demise out on the road would be much more costly and considerably more of a hassle.

Okay, so maybe I exagerated in the title to this post when I called it a $1000 oil change. I believe it's going to set me back something just this side of $800.

There actually was some good news in all of this. The Taurus we bought for Rachel a couple days ago will work just fine as a backup for me until I get my truck back. I'm happy about that.

I was hoping to get out and ride today but that didn't happen. It's probably just as well as there were plenty of dicey stretches out there with the strong winds blowing snow across the road in many spots. I was able to get out yesterday for 41 miles just ahead of the snow. I'm glad I didn't wait any later in the day. It began to snow just as I got home and once it started falling the roads got slick in a hurry. I don't mind riding when it's a dry snow coming down and slow to accumulate but that stuff was slippery wet. Not good.

Along county road 46 in Rosemount there are a few dozen cement walls, the remnants of something from an old military outpost I think. I have no idea what they are. They've been there forever as far as I know. I stopped to take this photo of them and thought I'd post it here with hopes that somebody can tell me what they are. There are other structures of a different shape on the other side of the road. Within the past couple years somebody came in and cut down all the trees growing up around them so now they really stand out.

I suppose I could do an online search and find the answer. Maybe I will.

And I did...

This is what I found. Here's a video about the T-walls that KARE 11 did a while back.

I love the internet.


John said...

Too bad about the truck. I hate car trouble. You can check out my own post for a bit of my recent car trouble!

Kevin said...

There's never a good time to have car/truck trouble. I'm kind of over a barrel with this one in that I'm at their mercy with my truck DIW on their lift. I suppose that beats being DIW on the highway.