bigmog: (moogle mog)
I've owned my 1999 Ford Contour since it was new 17 years ago. During that time it's been remarkably reliable and trouble-free. Last weekend was the first time that it's ever broken down on me and it's my own fault. While out picking up parts for my other car, the temperature gauge on the dash moved to danger hot. The CEL also illuminated so I checked it on the spot with a OBD2 scanner. The error code was for a bad sensor so I continued on figuring that the gauge was just wrong. It was right.

I nearly made it home before the engine overheated and stopped running. I was stranded on the side of the road. Still, I wasn't quite beat. I happened to have a bunch of tools and more importantly, a towel. As any reader of Douglas Adams can tell you, a towel is a travelers best friend. Here's what I did with mine.

In a nearby runoff drainage, a small stream of snow melt made it way into the sewer. Placing the towel there soaked it with ice cold water. Perfect for cooling off an overheated engine. Doing this the engine cooled enough for me to get it home where I could troubleshoot further.

Had the issue been critical, I was decided to go out and replace the vehicle. Fortunately, it was cheap and simple. The belt for the water pump broke. A replacement was $7 and completed in 10 minutes. On one hand, I'm happy to have escaped a major repair bill. On the other hand, I was looking forward to replacing the car with something else. I'm attached to it too much to replace it as long as it continues to run.

April 2019

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