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Car Work


Fuel Injector

Working on cars is good…Working on cars is bad…

“I don’t want to work on cars again”. I complained as we headed to our garage in Hayward where the Miata was waiting for us with its guts spilled out. I was petulant as I could think of a thousand different and more enjoyable ways of spending our weekend. Hiking Montara mountain, cooking up delicious meals, enjoying a nice glass of wine while debating what Fellini was really trying to convey in “8-1/2”.

This is how it goes with cars. Not only does a job take five times as long as someone on the forum says it should, but it is bound to be fraught with difficulties. The dealership will have given you the wrong part, or you probably forgot it at home. There’s moments of dark despair on every job, where you sit with your head in your hands wondering what in the world possessed you to undertake this in the first place. My moment of stark panic came when, fresh and eager, we arrived on Sunday (our second day on the job) to see the Miata merrily spewing fuel onto the tarp, with the real possibility of blowing up the owner’s home.

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But, in spite of all this, there are things about these car repair jobs that we come to miss. In our previous garage in Hunter’s Point (where even cab drivers refuse to go), the Mexican auto body repair shop would be working on an extremely sorry looking Yellow Cab with the radio belting out Latino music or soccer, accompanied by cries of despair or jubilation depending on who just scored. And then there was the excellent Southern place owned by a Chinese immigrant that served the best charbroiled catfish with black beans, our favorite lunch haunt. Or it was the neighborhood bar that served just ok organic wines but had really interesting flatbreads and a welcoming smile as we trudged in wearily after our late evening auto class. Or, as in our current garage in Hayward, the nice owner who buffed the scratches out of our FJ just because we were customers. Working on the Miata, outdoors, with the eucalyptus trees swaying in the breeze to a comfortable 80 degrees weather and stopping for souvlakis and gyros and cinnamon rich moussaka in a local greek diner grows on you.

In the end, Shreesh stops the fuel leak by the simple expedient of opening up the fuel cap to release the vapors built up due to the heat. We are able to get to the almost humanely-impossible-to-reach lower bolts of the intake manifold and take it off for cleaning. The Miata now not just runs, it purrs. All-in-all, not a bad way to spend a weekend.

3 Responses to “Car Work”

  1. sudhir tamhane says:

    It is said that those who are God’s favourite ( or to be punished, depending upon your likes) are made Auto-addicts. I for one would prefer to have a glass of beer & try to find out where in the Universe the Big Bang took place.

  2. Shreesh says:

    You should hear the Miata now, after this work! It is really purring. The previous owner had installed an oil-based air filter which he did not maintain. This caused the intake system to get all kinds of junk in it.

  3. Pramod Taskar says:

    How is it that you did not repair Miata on driveway of the house instead of Garage? When you work with gas, open air may help in preventing explosion.
    Was the car kept inside after you finished day before and then it leaked.
    Talked with Nikhil, He was asking about you. Gave your blog.
    Could not get on your blog. Problems with internet

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