This and that, and the car saga continues

What a beautiful day today!

As I write this, we’re at -1C (30F) right now. The sun is shining, the skies are clear, and we’re supposed to be warm like this for the next couple of days. On Sunday, we’re even supposed to go above freezing! From the long range forecasts, we are going to get chilly again, but none of the deep freeze we’ve had for the last while. Spring is in the air!

It definitely makes doing my morning rounds much more pleasant.

Things have not been pleasant for all, though, as I noticed when I saw Big Jim walking around this morning.

He wouldn’t let me get close, so this zoomed in picture with my phone was the best I could get. He’s got loose tufts of fur all over, and is looking very rough around the edges. Judging from the state of his backside, it looks like he’s had the runs, too. He’s just filthy! Poor thing. 😦

While doing my rounds through the spruce grove, I noticed a piece of tree came down.

The first picture shows where the broken top of a tree got hung up on the branches. If finally came the rest of the way down. I’m happy that I’ll be able to clear that out in the spring, and not have it hovering in the air like that anymore!

Late this morning, my daughter and I took my mother’s car into town to run a few errands and stop at the garage. One of those errands was to stop at the post office. My husband FINALLY heard from the pain clinic.

They mailed him a 17 page questionnaire.

It included questions like, have you had any tests related to your pain, and giving a list of examples. Some were the usual, like X-rays, MRIs, blood work and so on. Other were tests we’d never heard of before. The problem was, they wanted to know all the tests he’s had done, where they were done, and the dates they were done.

All of which are in his medical file, for starters. Also, there have been so many tests, done in two provinces, there was no way we could list them all, never mind where they were done and when!

Other questions were very poorly phrased, and still others were redundant.

But at least the process has been started.

It only took 2 years. 😦

So those got mailed back to the pain clinic first. The next stop was the garage.

Once there, I told the mechanic (who is also the owner) that it was still making that noise. He ended up taking the car for a drive around the block (he’s the only person there, so he had to lock up the garage to do it). Once back at the garage, he asked if he could put it up on the lift, and of course, I said yes.

Since the sound seemed to have started after the tires and brakes were done, he made a point of checking all of them, first. Then he started the car and put something on the gas pedal to get the wheels turning and checked again.

This was the first time I was outside the car while the wheels were turning, and I could REALLY hear the noise a lot more than from inside! It was much more clearly coming from the rear of the vehicle, too.

He found the source.

It’s the differential.

Like everything else under there, it’s pretty rusty on the outside and clearly hasn’t been touched in years. There’s only so much he can saw without opening it up, but he thinks it’s probably low on fluid and recommended a flush. I brought up that I was coming back next week to do the brakes on our van, and he said that getting the differential done is what he would consider more urgent!

Also, drive the car as little as possible.

So… the next time I take the car out, it will be to drive it back to the garage next week!

At least it’ll cost just a couple hundred dollars. A relatively cheap maintenance cost, compared to what it would cost if it actually broke.

While we were talking, I brought up about how I hadn’t heard the noise until after the other work was done. It is possible…?

I didn’t even finish my question and he was already nodding his head. He knew where I was going! Yes, that noise was probably there for quite some time. I just wasn’t able to hear it over all the other noises. Even if I had, I would not have been able to separate it out from the other sounds. Now that the car has all new tires, new brakes and the new serpentine belt and pulleys, everything else is nice and quiet, and I could finally make out this noise. There’s no way of knowing how long it was there.

At least I can say that, once this is done, that should be it! We weren’t hearing any other weird noises while it was running, and he gave it a pretty thorough inspection while tracking down the sound. As long as I keep up on the regular maintenance, there shouldn’t be any more nasty surprises like this!

I’ll be so relieved once this is done. The noise was already driving me nuts, not knowing what it was and even if it was normal or not. Now that I know what it is, it’s going to be even harder on my nerves! Thankfully, I won’t need to drive it again until it’s time to get it fixed.

Way too much of our budget is going to vehicle stuff. 😦

The Re-Farmer

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