Published on December 8, 2004 By d3adz0mbie In Humor
I awoke this afternoon (I keep strange hours) to my wife frantically trying to explain to me that something was 'living' in our car. She thought we had a small rodent or even the dreaded evil Drusilla (a bird we recently set free, more on that in another blog). I could tell immediatly that the problem was mechanical - the car was clicking, from somewhere deep in its depths. The kind of diabolical, monotonous clicking that lets you know something just isnt right.

I fear our car. I refuse to drive it on long road trips, as it has a tendancy to blow up. We bought it several years ago, with only a few thousand miles on it. Several mechanics verified it was pristine at the time of purchase, so we purchased it with high hopes. Little did we know that on our very first road trip several gaskets would tear themselves apart, spewing oil over the highway some 160+ miles outside of the closest hint of civilization, stranding us for hours on what was soon to be a very hectic Christmas Eve. We recovered from that, but the car and I have been at odds ever since.

So I start to investigate the clicking. Click-Click. Click-click. I was reminded of many a ghost story, with the impending arrival of some long dead ancestor coming to tell me my life was about to change forever. Well, it was either that or my car was ticking down to yet another dreaded explosion, this time inside our very own garage! With great care I was able to slowly track the noise to a relay box under the hood. Click-Click. Click-click. Opening the box revealed not an evil undead parakeet, back to haunt us for setting it free mere minutes before a thunderstorm would so quickly take its life, but a maze of relays and fuses. Sitting there, mocking me.

So, one by one I felt each for a vibration. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Click. Click. Aha! It was two relays, each with in tandem with the other, emitting their taunting clicks. So, like any good mechanic, I pulled them out. Problem solved! No more clicking! I started the car, tentatively, but it ran fine, without exploding. But wait, what if the car needed these relays? What if the clicking was something more than just two little black parts? What if the car wasnt running fine, but laying in wait to blow up on some desolate intersection?

Reading the Owners Manual I quickly discovered the relays belonged to mysterious internal systems know as Automatic Ride Control and Master Power relay. Ugh. That wasn't good at all. The car actually needed those to work. Ruling out supernatural causes (for the moment) I quickly searched Google for a part listing of the relays and the systems involved. Ugh. Not good at all. A quick call to the dealership and I was even more discouraged... the car probably had an electrical problem, a potential fire hazard perhaps. Suddenly I had visions of mechanic bills in my head, likely exceeding the value of the car. Kids, Santa might be a little tight with the gifts this year.

So I sat down to talk to my wife. She's my best advisor, and I needed to figure out a plan of action. Where did we want to get a rental car, which mechanic have we had the best results with... she remembers those kinds of details. As I was explaining we wouldnt be able to drive the car while the relays were removed, she interuppted with "But you started the car just fine without them earlier!" What was that? I had indeed started the car without them... something not possible if one of the relays was for the Master Power Relay. Perhaps spirits were at work after all, toying with me, or perhaps I needed to go back to square one and re-read the Owners Manual.

Re-read I did. And by simply turning the page I discovered two more charts for the same relay box! Oh, engineers were at work here, not some wicked ghost. Whoever had designed the manual layout decided to give diagrams for every single make of my vehicle in one, cost saving manual. One chart caught my eye immediatly. Could it be so simple? I jumped into the car and started it up, and sure enough, there was the problem on the dashboard. I turned a knob off, turned off the car and put the relays back into place. Silence.

The relays were for the rear windshield wiper, which had gone out some years ago. Click once for up, click once for down. Click-Click. Up-Down. It was just a matter of problem solving.
on Dec 08, 2004

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha   (that's a wild howl of triumphant laffter in celebration of you having beaten the machine as well some genuine empathetic happiness born of having been there before and knowing how good it feels and a lil bit of joyous relief at no longer havin to deal with that kinda stuff myself)

excellent narration..equally excellent outcome

on Dec 08, 2004
You should try and sell the relays on ebay, claim they are haunted by the spirit of the dead bird. You'll probably make enough to buy two or three cars
on Dec 08, 2004
excellent narration

He is a good storyteller, but then I am a bit biased.

claim they are haunted by the spirit of the dead bird. You'll probably make enough to buy two or three cars

No doubt, Danny. Great idea.
on May 01, 2006
I like what you do, continue this way.