I have spent the last 3 days trying to figure out what’s wrong with my car in time for us to drive home on Sunday. The short version of the story (and believe me, you want the short version) is that the car has been running hot since we arrived in Fort Collins and the air conditioning is also giving us fits. I got it into a repair shop yesterday that couldn’t find anything wrong with the coolant system but they did recharge the a/c. I was glad that it was put to bed and I could enjoy the last couple days of vacation, especially now that it’s just Anna and me since Heidi’s at her conference.
Anna and I took off for Estes Park today and 10 miles from our destination, the car started getting hot – like seriously hot. We turned around and headed back, but it just jet getting warmer and warmer. I kept dumping coolant into the reservoir and that helped. When I took Anna out to Subway tonight, the engine temp was fine, as was the a/c temp. When we got back to where we were staying, there was steam coming out from underneath the hood. Coolant was leaking from a very specific spot. I took a picture of it and sent it to my dad who diagnosed the problem from 700 miles away. The temperature sending unit was the culprit. Responsible for sending temperature information back to the gauge, it connects directly to the radiator. I saw coolant leaking out from this spot, landing on hot car parts which created the steam. According to my dad, it’s the cheapest possible radiator problem you can have.
Now I just have to find someone that can fix this tomorrow. There’s a Firestone 2 miles from here that I think I’ll call tomorrow. They’re open 7 to 7 tomorrow and since I’ve already done all the diagnostics, how hard can it be? Time will tell. If I’ve learned anything in the last few days, it’s not to underestimate the situation.
All I know is that this has wiped me the hell out. Car repairs are a hundred times worse when you’re away from home.