Saturday, April 22, 2006

Adventures in Overheat Land (the car, not the human).

While going to Downtown Fresno Thursday afternoon. Murphy, the $500 87 T-Wag blew a radiator hose. I was on the freeway, driving about 70, sudenly notice (or felt) something different. I looked in my rear view and noticed white smoke. I pulled off the freeway into downtown, I drove on, hoping to get to my destination not far away. I didn't quite get there. Murph died in the middle of an intersection, a few blocks from where I was trying to go. I pushed the car to the side of the road and popped the hood. The upper radiator hose dun blowed up. God I hope I didn't fry the engine trying to get to my destination.

So I called AAA and got a tow truck, and only had to wait twenty minutes for it to arrive. The tow driver asked if my car was AWD. I said no, it's 4WD. So he jacks up the back end, with the front wheels on ground. We are in the truck ready to go when I ask:

"By the way, why are you towing from the back"?

He says "Well on 4WD cars the front wheels are free when the transmition is in 2WD mode".

I then tell him that 4WD Subies and most other cars that have 4WD are normaly Front Wheel Drive when not in FWD. You would think a tow trunk driver would know these things .

Tow Guy then gets out of the truck and attaches a set of jacked wheels to Murph's front wheels. I'm sure there would not have been damage to the transaxle if the car rolled home on the front wheels, 4 1/2 miles away, but I'm glad that we didn't do it regardless.

So the lesson here is: Make sure you check that Tow Guys, or mechanics for that matter, know about your Subies.

Got the car home, hopped in the work truck, and went to Kragen Auto for the hose. I decided to get the lower hose too since I'm under the hood getting dirty. I also replaced the temp sensor to see if the bizzaro digi gauge temp readings would normalize (turn fan or headlights on and watch the thing spike). I replace the parts, put water in the rad, and Murph started right up . Yesterday, while driving around, the check engine light was on for a while, but is off now. I think an electrical connection to a sensor might have still been moist, but I'll keep an eye on it.

PS. The other lesson learned: When you change the head gaskets on your car, as I did a month ago, you should replace the radiator hoses (and other hoses) since you already have them off the engine!


Bathroom Hippo said...

Well...did you?

Citizen Deux said...

In the immortal words of shade tree mechanics everywhere...

shoulda did 'er then