I had to drive to town the other day to pick up a few things. I normally take my car, but not today. I strolled right past it, and jumped in the wife’s van. I’m not a van kinda guy, but I just felt the urge to drive a larger vehicle.
As I started the engine, I heard the wife yelling from the front porch. “If your gonna take it, you had better fill it up! It’s almost empty!”
Fuck. Might as well have taken my own vehicle. Oh well, off I go.
I make it to town, do what I need to do, and head to the gas station. There are new signs at the gas station that alert me that I need to pre-pay. No, not me. They can’t be talking to me. I’ve been getting gas at this little station for umpteen years now.
They won’t turn on the pump.
I walk in, and calmly ask, let’s just call her Big’Un, to turn on the pump. Big’Un says that she can’t turn it on if I don’t pay for it first, and proceeds to ask me how much gasoline I am getting.
“A tankful. It’s almost on empty, and it’s about a 20 gallon tank. If you can figure out exactly how much I am going to get, then by all means, punch those buttons. If not, please turn on the pump so I can fill up.”
“Okay sir, but this is the last time we can do that. Pre-pay only from now on.”
I fill the bottomless pit up, walk back in, grab a paper, and pay the lady.
I start the van, and notice that the temperature gauge is now pegged on “H.” Great, just fucking great.
I pull out of the gas station, hoping that some airflow will cool the bitch down. It cools down enough to make the red light go off, and for the gauge to fall 2 ticks below “H.” As I arrive at the house, I wonder what in the hell could be wrong. Fan stop working? Thermostat fail? Low coolant?
It was the last one, sort of. Not only was the coolant low, it was gone. Nothing left in the radiator, or the reservoir. Zip, Zilch, Zero, Nada, Naught, Null….empty. I’ve seen ’em low before, but never empty. That’s. Not. Good.
I took my vehicle back into town and bought some anti-freeze. Drove back home, dumped the anti-freeze in the radiator, and dumped the required amount of water in there also.
I looked underneath, and didn’t see any leaks. I started the van, took another look underneath, and saw a river of green flowing underneath the van. Uh-Oh.
The leaky pipe was one than ran to the heater core in the back of the van. It was a steel pipe located just to the side of the passenger side wheel, and in the winter it gets bombarded with salty water. Water + Salt + Steel = RUST
I called around to find a new set of pipes, and found that they have to be ordered through Chrysler. I called Chrysler, and they wanted 400 fucking dollars for the set of pipes (which are now made out of aluminum due to the obvious over site when the van was originally designed.) Not only no, but HELL NO. I, being a manly man, a jack of all trades, if you will, can fix itÂ alternatively.
I went back into town (the third time) to the local part store, bought two pieces of 18″ heater hose, and six pipe clamps. Total bill was $8.49. That, I can handle.
I crawled underneath the van, amongst the green river, and proceeded to cut the leaky section of pipe out with a hacksaw. I replaced the leaky section with the heater hose I bought, and clamped it on. I refilled the radiator and the reservoir and started her up.
Look ma! No leaks!
I took if for a test drive, and then drove it to work the following day. So far, so good.
Hopefully, my skin will stop glowing green soon…