Monte Carlo (and this blog) RISING LIKE A PHONEIX
Three weeks ago, we thought we lost an old friend. A friend who has been with us since 2002. A reliable friend, a dependent friend. A friend with low to moderate gas mileage.
That’s right, 3 weeks ago, our beloved black Monte Carlo started overheating quite regularly. This has been a recurring problem for a while now and we’ve used a variety of temporary (and cheap) fixes. We mainly used some radiator sealant that you pour directly into the radiator along with the coolant. We’ve been doing this since October of 2012 and it has worked pretty well. Rather than getting a new radiator installed, we’ve used this four dollar bottle of radiator sealer every 3 months and it works like a charm. There was a slow drip over this time, so I always had a bottle of coolant in the trunk if the need arose. One thing is for sure though, this method has saved us hundreds of dollars, maybe more. If you ever see someone rolling around with a jug of coolant in their car, give them your condolences, maybe a pat on the back and say, “don’t worry fella, it’ll get better soon.”
This method worked well for months and probably would have been the final fix if the problem was just a small crack in the radiator. However, on one fateful ride home, the temperature needle shot up to red and I had to pull over in the St. Louis ghetto. I could see water pouring out the back of the engine block and the radiator was bone dry. I managed to pour some water and coolant directly into the radiator itself and limp my way home. When I pulled into the drive way, there was steam rising from under the hood and I could hear distinctly the sound of boiling water.
We took the Monet to a mechanic and he pronounced her finished, over, DONE FOR! Cracked head gasket was the diagnosis, and all was lost. The bells of the town sounded 11 single chimes, one for each year of the Monte’s noble service, and all the citizens bowed their heads.
Well, the Monte sat at the mechanic for a whole week – gloomily enduring the snide looks of onlookers and people passing by. Finally, Amanda’s Dad decided it was time to take the Monte to the junk yard. We were told we would get 300 dollars for the piece. So, Amanda’s Dad turned on the Monte and started driving toward the junk yard. The temperature needle began to rise and rise. But wait! It came to the half way point of the gauge and there it sat, perfectly moderate. As he drove and drove, the car never overheated. For an hour he drove and the noble steed was true to form.
This defied the expectations of all the local mechanics and the legend of the Monte grew. Like a phoenix, rising from the ashes, the Monte could not be stopped! I’ve been driving it for 3 weeks since and haven’t had a problem once. Of course, I did graduate to a higher grade sealant for the head gasket. It was a 30 dollar investment, but has really done the trick. Not a drop has leaked out since I put it in and old faithful is running like a dream. Assuming the head gasket is really cracked, this sealant seemed better suited. It looked like liquid metal, like something the villain from Terminator 2 might drink…
There are few pleasures in this world that match driving a paid off car. And for someone who drives 2 hours a day and in a car that has 241,000 miles on it, the new thrill is seeing just how far this train will go. To be honest, I never thought it would make it past 200. But now, who knows how far we can go.
Just like the Monte, I hope this blog will rise from the ashes of burned out authors and lack of posts – like the PHOENIX. I have recently finished my Master of Arts degree and will have more time for reading, writing, black smithing, working out, and of course keeping all of you apprised of the life of this portly Catholic father and husband…