Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cheryl’s Average 12 mile Check Engine Run!

12 miles in the morning light   I’m running out of titles….So I’m looking for just about anything to grab on to.   It’s just the way I write things.

So Cheryl ran a “mere” 12 miles this morning.   12 miles.   That is all.  cool enough for Cheryl to start out with a long sleeve shirt She said it was easy!   12 miles!   I guess that means that the training runs are serving their purpose.   When 12 MILES seems like a walk in the park…..then you know we are on the right path for a Boston Marathon finishing time!   ( did I mention it was 12 MILES?) 

The weather has been nice and cool in the mornings, so ( with no job to attend) we have been able to push back our run time to a more Reasonable start time.  Namely, a time when I’m fully awake And the sun it already up!  Long Shadows already! This, of course, means that there are fewer animals, monsters, aliens, and other anomalies to see during the experience.   A few rabbits and an occasional deer, I guess.  In other words….rather boring.   It’s ok though!   We still enjoy the time talking about problems, discussing our future plans and braiding each other’s hair.   ( ok, I made that last one up….My hair is too short and sparse to braid!)

Cheryl thinks that was "easy".  When we got back to the car…..Subie let us know that there was a problem under the hood.   I lovely “Check Engine” light came on.  These are loads of fun!   Unless you don’t have a computer that tells you what the problem is.  Subie says, "Surprise!"Otherwise, they just cause an anxiety attack in people like myself.  Cheryl is usually not concerned with these things,Ethan's "worst case Scenerio" imagination. thinking they are just a fluke that will heal themselves.    I always visualize the worst case scenario….specifically:  SUBIE ABOUT TO EXPLODE!

However,  the Subie has been a little odd this last month or so.   Whenever we fill it up 1The overall problem we face...without a coputer to tell us the REAL problem. with gas,  he stalls for the first few minutes of trying to get him started.    It is an odd thing,  until we looked it up on the Subaru Forums.  Apparently the vent that allows the gas tank to recycle air is sticking.   This causes Dangerous gasoline Fumes to escape and kill Polar Bears in the arctic!   Save the Polar Bear....and fix your Check Engine Light! If it is stuck off,  gas will glub back up the nozzle and get you clothes wet, stinky and flammable.  Before the world BURNS! If it is stuck open….say goodbye to the atmosphere!  Obviously,  this is a SERIOUS problem that must be taken care of IMMEDIATELY! 

Thankfully, this does not make the car “un-drivable” and  we can still run our car without any problems.  The Check Engine Light is annoying, but won’t cause us to be stranded along the highway…or burst into flames. So, there is no REAL reason to fix the problem …other than the planet dying.  That being said,   I don’t like it when Subie is feeling under the weather and  I want to fix this problem ASAP.  PCV valve?   Nope....not this easy.   Cheryl did some looking online and one of the potential “cures” is the PCV valve located in the engine block.   So easy even I can change it!  

It's ok though...we bough the wrong one anyway. The only Problem:   We bought the wrong valve!   The nipple part is too large and the hose will not slip over the top.  AND….Problem two:   The PCV valve is located on the Lower half of the car,  not the top….with a rotating screw in that keeps losers (DIY-ers)  like me from working on their own car problems.   I’m sure it is ultimately to “Protect” my car from the whims of an amateur.    So…on to the next solution. 

 Check out this Iowa Grime! AND the bolt I already broke off! charcoal canister dropped.   Vapor Canister  Vent Solenoid! This is located under the car near the back right tire…so it should be covered with dirt and really really rusty!   I removed the charcoal canister so I could get to the vapor canister.  Only ONE short 12 mm Nut is all that was between me and “Job Well Done” .   ( You might be able to see how I “failed” on one of the charcoal canister nuts already!)lube up the ONE nut that has to be removed.    ONE NUT!   The Difference between success and failure!

THREE HOURS LATER….the nut refused to budge!   I even enlisted Cheryl to come out and be my “extra pair of hands” .   After several attempts at “pretty good ideas”,  we reassembled and are now looking for other options. Even Cheryl can't crack it! The Options are pretty clear:  Cut the Bolt…..Or Break the Bolt. Then replace the bolt and nut with new ones.  The final verdict is the right one….there are no other options that will work in this situation with our limited resources.  And I will have to take a stab at it tomorrow as I’m pretty fed up with it currently.  

There IS a silver lining though…..One,  I know what the problem is so I can plan accordingly .  Tomorrows plan.....this should work! Two,  I found out the people at Advanced Auto are retailers and NOT mechanics…so don’t ask them for any help, ideas or why their computer can’t understand the Subaru’s computer. ( that is another story all together!)  Last and perhaps BEST of all….I got really sexy pictures of Cheryl actually holding tools!   Now…. only I actually know what she was doing, but the pictures give the illusion she actually knows what she is doing under the car.  So sexy!

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