July 23rd, 2002

Charlie Brown

Catalytic Converters and the Women Who Love Them

Okay...we have finally pinpointed the problem on my car. It seems that the catalytic converter may be broken. Which would probably explain the loss in good gas mileage. It took forever to find this out though. First of all, Saturday my dad and I tried to figure out what was making the rattling noise. So, he got under the car and checked the flywheel, heat shields, starter and oil filter (the noise didn't start until a few days after I got the oil changed, I wanted him to make sure it was on tight). Then we checked the water pump and serpentine belt...everything was a okay. So, my dad says, take it to this garage and see if they can figure it out. Well, they only do electrical stuff, hence the name "Trail Auto Electric". Don't ask. So, I go in, explain the problem, and they tell me that they can't help, so I ask for a recommendation and start to get a little flustered and, yes...girlie. So, the guy looks at me and my mother with her cane, and says he'll take a quick listen. And he comes up with this possible solution to the problem, check the converter. All of this for free!!!

Woohoo!!!

*cough* Anyways, so that was nice, free figuring out, didn't have to pay for diagnostics since it is a mechanical problem and it took him two seconds to figure it out. Now, my dad and I just have to go to a junkyard and find a converter and then fix it. (Read: he will get under the car, and yet I will probably get dirtier than he does because I'm handing him all of the tools and holding stuff from above thereby getting completely dirty just from touching various engine parts). But that's okay, because I have actually come to enjoy hanging out there and handing him tools. It makes me feel...accomplished. Plus, I learn a few things while I'm out there. Oh yes, that reminds me, we also have to get a windshield wiper motor. I can probably do that while he gets the converter out because I have the instructions from the Chilton manual