Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Man On A Mission

I said my first truly manly sentence a few days ago.  Here it is out of context: "First, I used my ratchet wrench to disconnect and replace the burned-out EGR valve, and then I reset the engine light by disconnecting the battery."  My voice deepened a little when I finished saying it because of its pure manliness.  I felt like I was channeling the spirit of Chuck Norris.  A few chest hairs may have even sprouted (it's hard to tell).

So the back-story for that sentence started two months ago.  The day after our state inspection sticker expired on our car, the "Check Engine" light came on (of course).  So I took it to get inspected, hoping they would ignore the red warning on my dashboard because I covered it with a picture of my wife.  That didn't fool them, so I failed the inspection.  And they told me I needed to replace a tire.  So I replaced the tire (well, I paid for someone to replace it), then I went to AutoZone to see what the engine light was indicating.  Their engine diagnostic came back with a code for a busted EGR valve.  And luckily for me, the AutoZone guy didn't even know what that was, so I didn't have to pretend I had a clue either.  So after trips to 4 different auto parts stores, I finally found out that it's a part that costs $80 and nobody in the state of Texas knows how to change it without charging you at least $50 for labor.  So after asking every one of my friends and coworkers and searching online for an instruction set, I found out (from the one person I should have asked - my father-in-law) that it's an awkwardly positioned part under the hood that you can replace on your own if you don't care about getting your hands dirty and cutting your knuckles a few times.

So I bought the part, spent two hours in the garage attempting to hold a flashlight with my teeth while positioning a ratchet wrench just right without dropping anything.  But I got it fixed, got the engine light turned off, and passed inspection.  I think if I wasn't such a cheapskate, I would have paid for someone to fix it.  But I couldn't stomach the thought of paying $85 for a tire, $33 for an inspection, $80 for a part, and another $50 for labor.  Not to mention that every place I talked to said they'd have to run a $200 diagnostic on the vehicle first just to verify the findings of the free AutoZone check.

Anyway, now I have an extensive knowledge of everything to do with EGR valves on a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan Corvette.  I know where it's located, how much it costs, what size bolts are involved, where the power supply is attached, and most importantly I know how to replace it.  Now I think I'll see if I can find out what EGR stands for.

5 comments:

Jenny Murff said...

You are hilarious!!
You should play Pioneer Woman's Word Nerd tonight!! Not that you're a nerd... :)

Landry said...

But you are definitely a pioneer woman.

Table for Seven said...

So, now that you're all manly and stuff, how about you come do that same thing to my suburban????

Jill said...

So can you post a picture of this 2007 Dodge Grand Corvette? I can't even imagine how cool it must look.

Linz said...

Wow, I'm impressed. I've never even seen my engineer husband fix something on his truck...of course, his truck is new so that's probably why.