Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Celica Lives

Well it has been an interesting couple of days in car land. I spent most of yesterday working on the Celica. Remember the original island car? Well long story short we had been having issues with the transmission so we bought the new car, the Celica has basically just been sitting. Awhile back I took it to Community Motors because they are supposed to have a good transmission repairman and of course they said the transmission was toast and wanted something like $2500 to fix it. Well I paid close to a hundred bucks for this professional opinion and waited a week and a half for the appointment. This had been eating at me for a while, as the problem with the car was that it either worked perfectly or it stuck in second gear and wouldn't shift past that. So I set out on the world wide web and did a little research, downloaded some technical manuals and pondered on it for awhile. What I found out was that basically there are a couple of electrical solenoids in the transmission that control shifting. One of them can actually lock the car in second gear if it is operating in a cold climate, or if it is getting faulty data, or if it sticks. In further research I found this to be a common problem. So I ordered some parts from the states and spent the day yesterday installing them.

So this morning I decided to road test the car and take it down to get it inspected. So I top off the fluid and head out. At this point I am filling pretty good about the whole thing. The car is shifting fine, even after reaching operating temperature all is good in the universe. When I get down to the DMV to do the inspection ting all is still good I am the only car at the inspection booth line. I pull up get out and hand the paperwork to the tech. Well the Jumbies are about to take revenge. He takes a look at the paperwork, makes a comment about the dead inspection sticker. I have to have a trip permit to bring the car down to the DMV, now mind you I am already there but that doesn't matter and I have been here long enough not to bother with logic. So I pull the car out of the booth and park it then I walk around to the cashier and give her $5 for the permit to drive the car down. Then I see a sign that says the DMV no longer accepts checks, since I gave her the only money I had on me to pay for the permit, and I will need money for the inspection, and the car is illegal to drive, I walked to Nisky and got some cash from the ATM.

OK I know its the islands so at this point I am fine with this. Then I get back to the car and try to start it to get back in the inspection booth. "RutRo Raggy", in my best Scooby Doo, dead battery, more Jumbies, while trying to figure out how to get the car started it also comes to my attention that it is now leaking Transmission fluid, allot, out of the newly installed pan gasket. So I go over to the police mechanics and politely borrow a jump box to start the car, then I put the last of the transmission fluid that I have into the transmission and figure I will take the car home, make my repairs then bring it back another day. I stop at NAPA to get more fluid then I start home. I get about two blocks from NAPA, not any place near home, and the car dies in the middle of the road. Now the Jumbies are getting a good laugh out of this one. I get the car out of the road with the help of a stranger, thanks. Then call Deb to get the number for Siblly & Bryan the mechanics we used last year to press in the wheel bearings. Their shop is only a couple of blocks from were I broke down. I gave them a call they came and hooked up a jump box and tested the alternator I was already pretty sure it wasn't charging and they confirmed that. So I drove the car to their shop, with the jump box under the hood and bungee cord holding the hood down after adding another quart of transmission fluid.

So at this point I was pretty well done with all of this. They agreed to repair the leaking pan and get the alternator rebuilt for me. I didn't even ask how much. I just gave them the keys walked to Tickle's to meet Deb for lunch and have a beer or three. Yes all of this happened before noon. They fixed the pan and had the alternator rebuilt and reinstalled it on the car. They called me at 3:30 to let me know that it was finished and that I owed them $240. I hate to say it but by island standards that's a good deal and great service.

I did drive the car home without a proper trip permit. Yes I actually should have gone back to the DMV to get another $5 permit to take it home. Now It is in the driveway, running well and still not inspected.

By the way it is For Sale. In the past year we have replaced the wheel bearings, brakes, battery, hoses belts, transmission shift solenoids, temperature sensor, vacuum switch and rebuilt the alternator, serviced the transmission, and charged the Air Conditioning.


Traveling Shaunda said...

Wow! Get rid of it, quick!

CaptRD said...

Good job Jay - fortitude in a storm of island chaos - get a facilitator for inspection.

Michele (aka Bug) said...

You guys are too funny! Keep it....if I get laid off, I'll be there to buy it!!!!