Let’s Hear it for the Girl! (and the Boy!)

Last evening, the kids went over to visit their friends for a few hours.  Mark and I dropped them off and we went over to Lowe’s to buy some cedar to build a small step.   Afterwards, I went on over to WalMart (located next to Lowe’s).  Mark sat in the truck with the two Scotties and when I came back out, he told me the fan for the heating and cooling in the truck just stopped working. It was terribly warm, so we rolled the windows down and headed for one of the auto supply stores.

Mark and I were hoping the problem was a blown fuse,  but being so short (and the truck so tall!)  I was unable to see if the fuse  (which was located in the engine compartment)  looked dark or suspicious.  Add to that the fact that the instructions in the owner’s manual were hysterical, and, well…..Mark sent me in to get a fuse,  but he said we would wait until this morning to check the thing, as he wanted to see if it had “continuity”. ( yeah, sure…I understand, totally)

After using Channel Lock needlenose pliers on the fat little 40 amp fuse,  I was able to get the thing out.  In checking  it, however,  the fuse was NOT the problem.  Ugh…..

Enter Michelle!

Yes, when Mark began reading the manual for the truck,  I began to shiver as I heard things like “connectors”, “wire harnesses”,  and statements like “make certain to disable passenger airbag before working  on blower housing”.  So, I *am* a wimp.  And I know it! 

Perhaps it is Michelle’s youthful trust,  combined with innocence that she is able to crawl around on the floor of the truck,  working as confidently as any “grease monkey”!  She had no problem listening to Mark’s instructions and accomplishing each and every task!  AND, the dear girl even took beautiful photos as she worked!  A true marvel, I tell you!

Here is the blower housing…..

blower housing.small

As an aside,  I *did* remove the fuse for the airbag….it was a 15 amp fuse, located in the fuse box inside the engine compartment.  After that,  I rendered myself useless and retreated to the house!

After quite some time,  Mark called me to come look……Michelle had removed the blower housing and took apart the connectors,  only to find that……

burnt out connection.small

Yes, the plastic on that connector located fifth from the left was melted!  Now that the truck is 4,000 miles out of warranty,  wouldn’t this happen! 

Mark made a call to the Chevy garage.  The new parts would cost a grand total of $160.00!  Parts, mind you!  Mark, at that point made a smart remark to the parts guy….something like “so, that is how GM intends to resolve its bankruptcy problem”?   (Good thing I wasn’t present….I would have gasped at such a poignant remark, although I would probably be thinking the same thing!!!)

e is the problem.small

You can see the spade marked “E” is where the connection burned up.  Well, Mark figured this problem was with us for a long time and that the part was probably faulty when the truck was built!


Mark told Michelle exactly how to clean up the contacts, using a small flathead screwdriver and a piece of emery cloth.  Michelle worked diligently.  She came into the house to grab a peach as she was hungry.  Shortly thereafter,  I began making dinner for my hungry girl.

Mark called me back out once more.  This time,  we were going to test  Michelle’s job.  She reconnected the parts and I turned on the ignition just so the fan would come on. We tried setting #1….#2….#3…..#4……  Mark then told me #5  is *really* a high setting.  As soon as he signaled,  I turned the fan to #5.  All was well.

Michelle was observing down on the floor, sniffing near the connectors to see if she could smell any burning.  Nothing.  We ran the fan, then she checked the connectors to see if anything looked like it was further damaged.  It looked fine! I then turned on the ignition and ran the truck with the fan on high.  Same results. Looking good!

Michelle finished up the job and was commended for a job well done! She was incredible.  Afterwards, I quizzed her as to whether she enjoyed the job.  She shook her head and gave me an emphatic  NO!  Ah well.  Mark has worked with Michelle on her precalculus and chemistry.  She learned to speak his (Greek to me!) engineering language and it has paid off well!

After dinner,  Ben and Mark headed out to the garage again. This time, they were fashioning a new step for the camper as the one Mark usually uses (made by my father) is too narrow for Mark to use a walker.  Since he lost a lot of mobility when he was down with a sore,  Mark hasn’t gained full strength (or maybe it s more an issue of confidence?)  and he sometimes uses a walker. 

The new cedar step is almost done now and is looking very nice. 

Hurrah for kids that can help their dad!  Basically, I think I would call this day a success!