It’s never a good day…..

when your Jeep goes squeeeeellll-ker-chunk, and your serpentine belt ends up looking like this:


I should also mention that your water pump pulley shouldn’t wiggle around it’s axis. It should only spin, in case anyone is wondering…..

So, a quick tow (thank goodness for AAA), $80 in parts, 4 hours of knuckle scraping, arm scratching, dropped tool induced cursing, and I’m back in business. (Did I mention I hate hose clamps, and the person who invented them??)

I am by no means a skilled mechanic. There are others in my family who have a gift for it, but sadly they live 4 hours away. But this is one of those times I’m glad my dad let me work on our cars growing up.

I started out young fetching tools, and then graduated to basic maintenance. Later on I helped him rebuild the blown diesel engine on our Surburban. When I started driving, I inherited his 1974 Volvo. Dad had all but worn it out when he gave it up to me. While it was never a babe magnet (or maybe it was me??? Nope, it had to be the car..), it did provide me a lot of invaluable experience. That car easily had 300k miles when it was towed off. At that point my dad did something incredibly smart. He bought a 1972 Volvo that he found in a junk yard for $500, and then told me if I wanted to drive, I needed to get it running. All that was really wrong with it was a worn out cam shaft. He provided the financial capital for the project, but I did all the labor. Armed with parts from the first Volvo, and his tools, off I went. I have to say, I really miss the days when I could walk into the local Napa store, tell them what parts I needed, and walk out without paying a dime. They knew me, and they knew who to send the bill to. Wish I could still get him to pay for parts!!!!

That car served me well for several years, but the experience has served me more. It taught me how to be somewhat self sufficient, and gave me the confidence to boldly try things I may know nothing about. What’s the worst that can happen?? It’s already broke. Those broken down cars also gave me a lifetime of memories doing things with my dad. You don’t have to be an expert at something to be able to teach your kids, you just have to include them. They’ll learn right along with you…..

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