Grease Monkey Part 2

So, remember how I replaced our old radiator last month? And how fun that was?

Well I must have bragged about having a fun time with that too much because this week, our new radiator decided to fail (we decided we likely got a faulty one, though it's hard to know for sure), causing our car to start overheating and smoking and scary stuff like that. 

The inner ring of the top radiator opening, melted:

The hole in the side of the radiator opening:

After a scary trip to and from the parts store (in which I fervently prayed that I wouldn't ruin the engine by driving an overheated car), I got a new radiator to put in (hallelujah for 90 day warranties!), and then got up first thing the next morning and put it in.

That went super well (only took about an hour this time), so I ran inside, fed Miriam, and then headed out to return the broken radiator. 

And then the car immediately started overheating again, and I was either going to cry, or swear, or both. 

I pulled off into a parking lot and made a frantic call to my dad to ask what he thought might be wrong (during which time not one, but three men came up and asked me if everything was alright, and if they could help). His best guess was that the thermostat was broken, preventing the radiator from cooling the engine. 

After some frustrated grumbling, I drove the car home (again praying that I wasn't ruining the car by driving it while overheated) and researched how to fix the thermostat.

As luck would have it, it was both something I could replace myself (just 2 bolts to remove, and in an easily accessible place in the car to boot) AND our local automotive store had our part in stock. We emailed out to our kind fellow church members and within minutes had a ride to go get the part (I'm breezing past this part, but let me tell you, we were incredibly grateful to have a network of such kind, helpful people to rely on!). 

Once I had the part, it was only about 30 minutes of labor to get in here:

and remove this:

The new one went in easy-peasy, and the car has been properly regulating the engine temperature ever since! I'm not going to lie though, I was pretty freaked out to drive it the first couple of times, certain that it was just going to overheat again. 

I'm incredibly grateful that my dad knew what might be wrong (thanks Dad!!!) and that it was something I could fix myself, without having to take it to a mechanic. With Jesse being in school and me at home with the babes, getting our car fixed is non-trivial, financially, so it's nice to be able to pinch some pennies and do it ourselves. 


julis said…
Seriously, I'm in awe. A.W.E. You are indeed awesome!
As one who drove a car that consistently overheated over and over again last summer, I absolutely understand your level of panic.
it kills me how independent and skilled you are. come teach me.
Kylie said…
You are like super woman! I wish I could trust myself to do something like that - the mechanic costs a fortune!

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