What the Truck?

“You can set my truck on fire, and roll it down a hill
But I still wouldn’t trade it for a Coupe DeVille…
‘…I never knew you were a Pickup Man!’

I’ll bet you never knew I’ve listened to country before either! Yup, those few lines come from Joe Diffie’s “Pickup Man” and even though I love my truck, today I was thiiiis close to setting it on fire and rolling it down the hill.

My truck died last week after I drove it to work. Joy and I had it towed home so that I could attempt to repair it. Over the last week or so, I’ve spent several hours in near freezing weather trying to diagnose and fix the problem. I took the battery, the alternator, and the starter out and had them all checked out at the local Auto Zone.

When we last had my truck at a garage, and not the man-cave closet/storage catch-all I call a garage, but a bona fide garage with a real life (and expensive) mechanic working in it, I was told that the truck could use a tune-up. This meant new plugs, wires, distributor cap, rotor, air filter, and something called a PVC valve. So this weekend I replaced the plugs and wires, ’cause heck, maybe it could be something that simple. But no.

Today I even installed a brand new starter, just in case, and still nothing. I took a day of vacation just to do this, thinking it would fix everything and I could spend the rest of my day goofing off and enjoying my new computer. But alas, the new starter failed to live up to it’s name so I did what any frustrated and sufficiently greasy male with a wrench in his would do. I read the friggin’ manual.

Thinking that the problem might be electrical, and because the manual said so, I proceeded to diagnose the trucks electrical system in very esoteric ways, like with a voltmeter. I’ve rarely used my voltmeter for anything other than seeing if the pair of batteries in my desk drawer were any good, but today by golly, I was checking for continuity and resistance! I have no idea what that means, but it sounds really, really empirical. Frankly, the only resistance I was able to detect was from my truck and it’s refusal to start!

By mid afternoon, I figured that I had devoted enough time, energy, and busted knuckles to the cause and did what any woman I my position would’ve done… call a repair shop. Yes, tantamount to admitting defeat and ignorance in the man kingdom, I’ve decided to once again let someone with their name sewn on their chest fix my steed. I’ll probably end up paying a bit more for it, but there’s no shame in admitting you don’t know the answers or you need help.

Hopefully, I’ll have my truck back in another day or so. Until then, I’ll just have to keep driving Pokey around. I love Pokey. My trusty little air-cooled Volkswagen. By far, the most complicated piece of electrical equipment in my bug is the CD player. If Pokey breaks down, I can usually get him up and running in a few hours, and if I can’t figure something out, I’ve got the collective knowledge of the internet, local bug club, and the wisdom of a Spook at my disposal.

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