Well, it’s funny how easily mother nature reminds us that she is in control. The weather took my “normal” trip and made it quite interesting on Thursday morning.
In my mind my van has been a solid performer since I bought it. The thing is downright reliable and a great vehicle. That’s why I was so devastated when it wouldn’t start for me. I had the van towed over to the only shop in town and that’s where I learned my lesson. Unfortunately the owner of the shop was in Elko for the day at a doctors appointment.
What happened was I started the van up in the morning, just fine. It warmed up and got going fine, then I drove about a half mile down the road to the truck stop. Eli and I went in to get a bite to eat for breakfast and in that time it happened.
As the van sat in front of the shop I went and got a hotel room and fired up the laptop. After quite a bit of googling I still couldn’t come up with a reason why the van wouldn’t start. I figured that the thing wasn’t getting spark for some reason, because I could smell the gas as I cranked the engine over and over to try and get it to start.
After not really coming up with anything, I started looking into just towing the van to Price. I was very concerned about getting on the plane Saturday morning to get to work. I don’t have a job that you can just show up a little late for. The boat won’t be there when you get there! It takes a whole lot of timing to make things work, and any variance in that takes massive effort.
I then remembered that the shop the van was at was a u-haul dealer, so I called them up and asked about renting stuff to tow the van. It was about three pm at that point. Still baffled about why the van wouldn’t start, and not coming up with anything I asked the lady at the shop to try starting it just one more time for me. She said she would, then call me back.
Two minutes later she called back and said “It fired right up!”
As soon as I got over to the shop, the owner pulled up. That’s when he gave me the run down. He says that this happens often in cold weather like this. What happens is, you start the car things warm up OK, but things condensate for a bit until it gets hot. Especially the distributor cap. Then if you drive for just a little while and shut the car off for any period of time that condensation freezes which keeps the distributor from working properly. He says that he’s “fixed” many cars by taking the cap off and setting it next to the heater for a while.
So now I know.
We left around 5pm from Wells and made it to Price around 11pm. It was a little later than I had hoped, but not nearly as late as I feared. Now Ill be in baja just in time, no problem!