3 things 3 years with a $3,000 truck has taught me

1. Your skills are an asset—not a shortcut.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a $3000 vehicle when you can put another two grand into it to make it perfectly reliable—you’ve just got to follow through and commit to making it reliable right away.

2. You get out of your network what you put into it.

The more you help people solve their problems, the more people you’ll find willing to help you solve your problems. Fezzik is essentially sponsored by my friends. Thank you.

3. You can’t always get what you want. (You get what you need.)

Okay, so I learned this one from The Rolling Stones. But Fezzik’s really driven the lesson home.

Nice as it would be if Fezzik was a bespoke, overland rig like Linhbergh Nguyen’s—or pristinely gorgeous like Kevin Roy’s—I really just my Montero to be reasonably reliable and capable of going when the going gets tough.

. . .

I haven’t had a completely reliable Mitsubishi since Daisy, the 97 Talon I bought new in 1996. That’s going to change here in next couple months. (See #1, #2, and #3, above.)

P.B.D. Preskitt & The Elusive Accent

A really neat little title for a stupid little blog post that didn’t turn out the way I wanted.

Andrew shared a funny article on Facebook about Peabody, Mass. The locals don’t pronounce it right. Kinda like the locals here in Arizona don’t pronounce Prescott right. Or how people in Kansas and Arkansas don’t agree on pronunciation, either.

Then again, maybe ONLY the locals get it right. They’re the ones who named the place all those years ago. In any case, I thought it novel and wanted to write something pithy about the subject. We may sound different, but we’re the same in how we’re different, ya know?

All I can say is, I only really notice Andrew and Brad’s accents on the Auto Off Topic podcast every once in a while. And when I do, it’s so damned subtle, I lose it before I can even make sense of it.

It’s not the stereotypical “Pahk the cah in the Hahvahd yahd.” It’s not Kris Marciniak’s perpetually entertaining story about the Statie and the California driver’s license. It’s not even Mark Wahlberg playing said Statie in the latest, national tragedy exploitation flick.

The closest I’ve been able to put my finger on it is the way Brad says “body.” And it’s so subtle, I can’t even type it up phonetically. “G-bwoddy.” “Bwahdy shop.” Damnit.

Maybe I should have just titled this one “Brad’s Peebuddy Bwoddy Shop.”

Really, Fezzik?

This is no joke. Literally three times in a row now—since June—within 24 hours of telling someone (usually V) that the check engine light is gone and I’m feeling good about how Fezzik’s running, that damned CEL comes right back on.

The last few times it’s come on—and there have been more than three, mind you—it’s been a simple case of a stuck thermostat. I’d be driving, a storm would roll through, the ambient temperature drops, and Fezzik actually runs too cool to get into open or closed loop fuel calculations.

I confirmed this theory with the MUT-II factory scan tool I borrowed from Adam back when I was troubleshooting the misfire before MOD. No big deal.

[ For the non-gearheads in the audience, the thermostat is a valve in the engine cooling system. It stays shut until the engine warms up, then opens to allow coolant/antifreeze to circulate through the radiator and heater core. If you get hot air from your heater vents, your thermostat is open and coolant is circulating. ]

Anyway, when Super Shuttle dropped me off after the Shootout, I noticed a sizable leak under Fezzik. Coolant. The next morning, I added half a gallon of distilled water to the radiator. Awesome.

No leaks all week, though. Temp gauge functioning normally.

Come home from Sedona this past Sunday to find another puddle under Fezzik.

Really, dude? C’mon. You broke down just sitting there? 

I suspect it’s the coolant line to the throttle body. Keith’s going to let me borrow his pressure tester to know for sure. Hooray dealing with filthy shit on the back of the engine!