Ya Gotta Check Under the Hood!
Still loving the new car — so much so that I am not thrilled to drive with dogs in it yet. Having a dog in my car is not an infrequent occurrence, and recently I had to go pick up a new foster dog. I did not know how this woofer would feel about car trips — some are excited, some nonchalant some poop puke and drool. So my new baby was not an option.
Grabbed the keys to Singer Girl’s car, which is always around thanks to Drummer Boy’s chauffeur services. Took off towards Secondhand Hounds (the rescue for whom I volunteer). About 10 minutes into the drive, noticed the temperature gauge was in the red. Uh, what?
Glanced at the upper left corner of the windshield, where the little oil change reminder sticker lives “change again in October 2017.”
Granted, she hadn’t driven the car the suggested 3000 miles since I had the oil changed in July. But still. You’d think she would’ve wondered if maybe, just maybe she should’ve checked that out!
Call up HWSNBN. He agrees with me: the dog can wait: get thee to a Jiffy Lube. So I do, slowly, watching that needle climb higher and higher into the red, sniffing furtively for smoke and waiting for the tell tale wisps. Totally not in the mood for an engine fire…
No line at the J-Lube. Explain the sitch. Dude rolls his eyes at me (seriously: not my car. I would never have let this happen in my ride!). Pull in, hand him the keys, and settle into the cracked vinyl waiting room seats, debating between Car and Driver April 2011, or Words with Friends…
“Um, mam? When was the last time you opened up this hood?” As I reply that it probably hadn’t had a breath of fresh air since summer, I glance at the car.
“What the HELL IS THAT????”
There is a hay bale under the hood.
I shit you not.
I approach the car, and notice three mechanics are pulling on gloves and glasses. They are goin’ in.
The tech declares it to be a squirrels’ nest, the biggest he’s ever seen (can’t help but feel proud). Please keep in mind that this car has been kept inside our attached, only 4 year old garage. It HAS been driven, albeit like 3 times a month max since summer. We could’ve had a goddamn brush fire on the freeway!
Text HWSNBN and Singer Girl. He reacts much like I did. She doesn’t respond. A few texts go back and forth in the group chat. Still no response from her. Eventually, I get an unrelated text: so when is the new dog getting here?
“Didn’t you get my other texts about your car?”
“Don’t you have any reaction?”
“Not really. Is the squirrel ok?”
THE SQUIRREL? Freakin’ rodent may have eaten all the wires and tubes in the engine!
But she does an online shrug at me and asks again about the dog.
Meanwhile, the engine detaching has come to an end. They couldn’t get it all without risking damaging the car, so advised we get it in soon for a second opinion. And side note: the oil was fine, but the water level was low. The only thing causing the temp problem was the critter condo in the carburetor.
Since then, HWSNBN shop-vacced his heart out and removed a lot of the remaining debris. We also have squirrel traps all over the garage. He is channeling his inner Bill Murray ala Caddyshack gofer quest. The engine no longer runs hot. The dogs ride in my car with a very thick quilt on the pretty seats). And SInger Girl continues to ride off in the sunset with Drummer Boy. The squirrels are plotting their next move…