23 February 2012

Automotive Archnemesisery

No, I don't think it's a word either.

In accordance with prophecy, we drove down to Parris Island last night. By we, I mean I drove the whole way and the wife got to sleep some. After we arrived, we had about a half hour downtime, during which my body decided it would have none of that, and I was forced (by my body) to sleep instead of going to family day to congratulate my brother-in-law.

I'm told in retrospect it was the right decision because of the back pain others incurred. Apparently Marine Corps boot camp is hard on everybody in proximity.

While driving down, we made remarkably good time, hitting no traffic, which is a borderline miracle when going around DC. Right after we got back on to I-95, though, I felt the car kick as the tachometer showed a jump of about 500 rpm suddenly at around 65 mph.

This displeased me.

The darned car has been stalking me, waiting until I was vulnerable before striking. Shortly after our first stop in Roanoke Rapids, NC, it kicked again and the Service Engine Soon light came on.

Three-hundred sixty-one miles short of my destination.

I've been carrying around the replacement Engine Speed Sensor for a week, just in case, but honestly wouldn't know what to do with it.

I'm not even sure I should've been touching it.
I decided that since the kicks were very infrequent and mostly happen in 2nd gear—which I wasn't going to be in much—I would tough it out and hope to make it to our destination.

At this point, you know that we made it. All that was left was to get it fixed. For this, I thank my brother-in-law, husband of Cain's wife, who replaced that part for me with relative ease (which is to say he only lost two fingers in the process). After that, we went to Advance Auto Parts once more to check the computer.

Where we found that the crankshaft position sensor was still a problem.

For those who may think this is the same part I replaced last week, you're both right and wrong. It's the same exact part, but it goes in a different part of the engine. This is the one on the bottom of the engine.

The bottom of my car, seen here devouring my brother-in-law.
So another $27 later, we had the part and my brother-in-law set to work replacing it. For those who've never done this before, it wasn't easy. For those who have, it also wasn't easy. But he got it done and my car ought to get me halfway home before finding a new problem to harass me with.

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