Do it yourself!

I knew when I bought it I would be having to sacrifice a little sanity and money. I bought it anyway.

The most recent vehicular event has been minor, and I learned a few more tidbits about my little car. One of the things I learned is that many "car" people who work on their own, while they want to be their usual very helpful selves, don't "do diesel". I know ahead of time that the used car I was getting was not the perfect car that would never have an issue at all. James has that vehicle, it's a Toyota. His runs on gas though and maxes out at 18 MPG.

When I bought the car, I also bought the manual. It is full of writing. Yup, I think it's English too.

About a week ago we were leaving to go somewhere and the cute little "check engine" light came on. The lights are actually cute in a beetle as they are shaped like the car itself, which further enamored me when I bought it. So here is this little harmless looking light, so easily ignored... I did a u-turn and went back up the driveway.

We have this nifty little Scanner that we can hook up to the computer so that it will tell us the "codes" and give us a hint as to what she (Sprout is a girl) needs. Besides just the codes it has great information about efficiency (see previous posts).

The code was PO380. Looking up the code on the handy dandy internet led me to believe that my Glow Plug Relay needed to be replaced. Sounds simple right? It is if you have the right tools... luckily, James has the right tools and the correct skills to read that manual, and more importantly, find things in it.

My parents were able to pick up the part that is apparently made with diamonds and I was forced to pay them back...

I sat (if you can call it that) upside down in the car. Literally, with my head at the gas pedal, and my feet in the air. Don't laugh, it's like yoga. So here I am, blood rushing to my head, contorted so that I can see what I am doing, yet not have things fall in my face, trying to decide if I would do this all day for $50 an hour.... Considering the hospital bill for "contortion strain", maybe not.

I got all this done, put the plastic covers back where they belong and the car started just as well as it ever had. Then the little light came on. This is usually the point where (were I working) I would take it to the dealer and pay them to use their diamond encrusted tools to fix it. I didn't.

After consulting the internet once again I decided to check the electric conductivity of the glow plugs themselves. With James' help we got out the handy dandy multimeter and got some fantastically odd readings! The kind of readings that make a person think that maybe the world is flat after all and Einstein was just this crazy dude who liked to stick his fingers in light sockets. Then we changed the battery in the multimeter.

As it turned out, the #2 glowplug was bad according to the ohms reading. After purchasing a new one and it took about 30 minutes of work changing them out. (I'm sure a mechanic could have done this in less than 5 minutes, but I bet s/he couldn't bead a cellini spiral one drop peyote stitch bracelet).

Sprout is very happy, and none of her cute little lights are on (unless I open the trunk).
I bet I saved $300, which will go toward Biodiesel and piece of mind that I can change a glow plug and relay!

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