Friday, October 19, 2012

There Must Be a Lesson in this Somewhere

I've told you previously (here) that our nice and always-reliable 2002 Toyota Sienna van made a horrible, metal-grinding/scraping noise upon trying to start it the evening of Princess Bossy's wedding rehearsal.  Hubby tried it a few time a couple days later, and had the same issue.  He quit trying, as, from the screeching cacophony, he was sure he was ruining something. 

 It's been sitting in our yard, dead, ever since, awaiting funds to fix it, as any financial flexibility to do our, then play catch-up... was absorbed by the 2 summer weddings

We meant to take care of it "soon," but time flew by, and it was suddenly past a year.  

We'd spent all summer inconveniently sharing vehicles to cover errands, activities, and 2 kids with jobs, and we needed it back in the line-up, especially with another kiddo about to get her license.

Letting a car sit for that long, ignored, is not a good plan.  --Unless you like to clean mold/mildew from virtually every surface and relish a musty odor.  Ewww.  The discovery of colorful and strangely textured things, like former oranges that had rolled under the seat and a cup from cereal left in one of the back storage trays, didn't exactly add fun to the adventure, either!

During a hot, dry spell, I opened all the doors and let it air out for a few days.  Then I went after the hard surfaces with a white vinegar solution, and scrubbed the carpets and upholstery with help from Resolve Carpet Triple Oxi Advanced Carpet Stain Remover, which has proved itself over and over again to us when the newlywed's puppy soiled our house carpets and for other stains.   It did a good job in the car, too, and soon it was looking pretty clean.  
After some further airing, I sprayed down all with Lysol Neutra Air sanitizing spray, hoping to kill off any remaining mildew (which it seemed to), and in an unsuccessful attempt to clear the air. (I think I was asking too much of it.)
I am now hoping that Auto Vaccine ClO2 car interior odor eliminator will take care of the remaining smell.  --It's on it's way and I'll let you know how it works.

ANYway... We finally had it towed to the garage for repair.  

Of course, after all the time, and because it was the original, the battery was dead.  The mechanic wanted to see what he was up against with the starting issue, so he jumped the battery.

Then he started the car.  Then restarted the car.  And started the car again!

No grinding.  No scraping.  No hiccups at all, just purring.  So he replaced the battery, changed the oil, and did other timely maintenance.  It still started fine every time and still does.  That's nice, and it was cheaper, I'm sure... But it also would've been nice to know the problem was found and eliminated.

So WHY did it sit, worthless, in our yard all that time?  Was it a blessing in disguise?  Were we supposed to learn something?  I do have a renewed appreciation for the smooth-running, reliable machine, which handles a trip to Costco for our family with ease, and allows 7 of us to go to church or Grandma's in one car.  

So, I guess,
Ours is not to reason why... Ours is but to thank and drive!

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