On Boxing Day I drove up to Red Deer to pick up C., Terri's sister. On the return trip, the van seemed to behave strangely. It appeared to run just fine, but shuddered a bit, I pulled over to check a few of the basics, but back on the road it seemed the whole rear end was shaking. I figured it was transmission or linkage-related, but couldn't get it in until yesterday, at which point the shaking was much worse, and the transmission refused to switch from first to second without a great deal of complaining.
They did a diagnostic at National Transmission, and yes, the transmission was confused as to what gear to be in, but it was because the engine was misfiring... on ALL cylindars!
When I heard over the phone,
"All your cylindars have dropped",
I had visions of an engine rebuild... remember, I'm a sound guy, not a mechanic, and what I heard SOUNDED bad! I just about ordered another beer! (I was sitting in at the Beagle next door!)
He said, "Well, at least it's not expensive transmission work, but you could need a new ignition kit."
National wasn't set up to do such a repair, but made a couple calls for me and got me booked in at another garage... for January 2nd. Hmm... not great, after all, we have work on Wednesday night! BUT... at least it was relatively minor. I've done ignition kits in almost every vehicle I've owned... anything over 160K probably DESERVES an ignition kit.
I called my regular mechanic, Brian, who I knew was away in Mexico for the season, but was pretty sure his shop guy was kicking around. Sure enough, he answered the phone. OK, now for the million dollar question:
"Are you guys super busy, or can you take an ignition kit job?"
"Naw, we're actually pretty slow after I get this last truck done..."
"I'll be by in 20 minutes!"
I didn't have time to line up a ride home, but I really didn't care. These guys are good, and aren't $100+ per hour for shop time.
I was told they could get to my van in a couple hours, and it would be about an hour for the job. So, I walked home... from 16th. Avenue (the Transcanada Highway) and Edmonton Trail... a healthy hour, anyway. Of course, I stopped for a Tims along the way... two blocks shy of Starbucks, but really...
I was out for dinner with my friends Nique and Sharon from Elementary school days - Sharon was in town for Christmas from Vancouver - when my phone rang, about 8PM. My truck was ready, and all it was was a completely decintigrated rotor. I needed, indeed, an igniton kit, distributor cap and rotor.
I did, however, get the voicemail when I called just now, so it could be a while before I get my van back... but it's fixed!