Saturday, April 22, 2023

Day of the Truck

Earth Day Sunrise this Morning from my Patio 
Tequesta, FL
April 22, 2023

Happy Earth Day! 

I had a fortunate event happen two weeks ago as Chris and I were returning from Universal Studios. It may not seem fortunate, but given future plans the timing it could not have been better. When I got out of my truck after arriving home I smelled radiator fluid. Being that it was after 10 PM and we had enjoyed a very long day, I made a mental note to check the truck in the morning. And I did. 

Upon inspecting the truck, I determined that the water pump had failed or was failing. Normally a failed water pump becomes a catastrophic event along side of a busy interstate highway, but in this case I believe the pump was in the process of failing and we made it home. The engine did not overheat and I had no indication from the instruments in the truck that a failure was underway. 

As we were leaving for Maryland to celebrate Easter a few days later, I made an appointment at the local repair shop after our return. My truck was returned to me yesterday. As it turned out, the entire cooling system was contaminated. The water pump failed, the radiator was failing, the thermostat needed replacing as did the housing. As the mechanic noted, he had expected, given the age and mileage on my truck, that the repair would be a fairly simple water pump replacement. It was not! The good news is that my truck is ready for the upcoming trip north and that is the really fortunate part of the story. I would hate to break down along I-95 in Georgia or South Carolina in the middle of the night. 

We discussed the contamination and have no idea about the source. I suggested that it might be windshield washer fluid accidentally placed in the wrong reservoir by an attendant at the oil change store we use, but the mechanic said that that is a windshield washer fluid is water based product and not likely to cause the contamination he saw. He suggested that someone may have put a stop leak product into the system, but I know that I did not do this. Had there been a leak, I would have taken the truck for repair. I was not surprised when he mentioned the contamination because when I was inspecting the fluid that was pooled on the ground I noted it was not a clear and consistent color. 

I will take the truck for a test drive of at least an hour to ensure everything is ready, but I am thankful that it all played out as it did.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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