I drive a 2001 Ford Taurus. My parents bought it for me in my senior year of college. In the years since then (nearly 5), I have driven the Bonnie Lass all over central Appalachia and other points on the Eastern Seaboard. I’ve driven it across mountains, to the ocean, around cities, and down all sorts of country roads. It’s actually reached a point that I and my parents are continually surprised that it is still holding together after all the rigorous roads it has been on. (I don’t happen to think my car is a he or a she. It’s a car. I did name it though…)
But in the past few years, the Bonnie Lass has been falling apart a little more and more every day. The air conditioning doesn’t work. Thankfully it was a cool summer. It takes longer to warm up than my commute is to work. We had to replace something important and relatively expensive on it this past spring (I can’t remember what it was… an alternator..starter..something important and expensive). The windshield cleaner doesn’t come out onto the windshield anymore. It just kind of dribbles down the hood. And, important to our story here today, it leaks coolant.
The Bonnie Lass doesn’t leak coolant in a fast predictable way or in a slow predictable way. Sometimes it will be months and months without needing to be filled. And then, Bam! It will need to be filled several times in one month. We’re currently on a several times in one month cycle. But I didn’t know that today when I left for my lunch break.
I got into my car and tried to start it. And it wouldn’t. It tried to turn over but just couldn’t do it. I called Justin to let him know and went to ask somebody for a boost. When I popped the hood on the car, out of habit of having to fill it a lot, I looked at the coolant. And it was empty. Bone dry. No wonder the car wouldn’t start. I filled it up with the little bit of coolant I had left in a jug in a trunk and went on my way to lunch.
After work, I went grocery shopping and picked up a few groceries and a couple more jugs of coolant (I really should invest in their stocks). And I filled the coolant up. Again.
Such a familiar scene to me.
I took this photo because I got cocky. I thought, Haha, I’ll take this and send it to twitter and people will see…that I need coolant. I’m not sure what I was thinking. But before I knew it, I had done the unthinkable. I got clumsy. I knocked the lid of the coolant off the spot I laid it and it fell. But it didn’t fall all the way through the engine and onto the ground below. That would be too easy. It got stuck about half way.
Blue Lid seen here playing hide and seek.
But I didn’t start taking photos for more twitter posts. First, I panicked. The engine was still a little hot and quite frankly I was afraid of sticking my hand in there and getting burned. I sat the jug down and ran around to the trunk and rummage around for something I could fetch the lid out with. I searched the trunk for something small, long, and pointy. What on earth would a person like me have that could reach into a tight spot in a car to fetch a lid? Hmm… how about a knitting needle?!
A DPN going where no DPN should ever go.
You’ll notice that I have my car key in my hand. I’ve already locked myself out of my car by leaving my key in the trunk once before. In the very same parking lot. I only needed that lesson once. This is the point where I got cocky. While digging around in the trunk (there’s a lot of stuff in there. It’s my dirty, little secret.), I realized that I have knitting needles. And my next thought was, Oh! This will be great for the blog! I’ll use a knitting needle to retrieve my lid and I’ll have a nice bit of blog fodder. I’ll be so clever by fixing my situation with a knitting needle and proving that a woman doesn’t need a man to mess around with cars as long as she keeps her wits about her. That’s really something I strive for in my day to day life. Not needing a man to help me make my car work. When your car develops quirks as often as mine, it’s a sometimes obtainable goal, sometimes not.
Except I’m clumsy. And the very next thing I did after taking that photo was drop my DPN into the engine. After all that, I ended up having to stick my hand in the hot engine anyway. I fished the needle out, and set about getting the lid. Which is, after all, what this whole long, winded thing was about. You’d think after all this, all this talking, and reading of this blog, that it would have worked. Haha, silly girl had to use a knitting needle to get a foreign object out of her car engine. Sorry.
The only thing the needle did was to lodge the lid further into the …well.. I’m not sure where the lid ended up. It wasn’t on the ground. I looked. It wasn’t in any place I could see by craning my neck around under the hood. Thankfully since I have that dirty little secret of a trunk, there was still about 3 empty jugs of coolant with lids. So I took one of those and put it on the new jug.
The new lid matches the old lid!
Then I went home. It was an exciting day. The day I lost a lid in my car and also dropped a knitting needle in there. Never a dull moment around here. Joke’s on you though, since you read the whole ordeal.
And I still didn’t have to call a man to come help me.
And I don’t know what happened to the lid. Hopefully it didn’t get stuck in something expensive. Hopefully it just fell out on its own accord and is now living somewhere happily with other roadside litter.