Go to Auto Zone and they’ll use their diagnostic tester to see what’s up

I gave my husband a Car MD one Christmas when they were an advertiser on Frank Johnston and it’s been very helpful, but Auto Zone will do the same thing. Look. You’ve got an emergency fund. This is what this thing is for. Be thankful! You’ve got a potential problem and you’ve saved the money in an emergency fund to cover it. Believe me, every single one of us here will tell you as soon as you get an emergency fund, Murphy will follow. It’s just part of the program. That money will always need to be replenished but that’s ok. You’ve saved the money, and you can take care of the problem. No worries!

Around here we have auto zones

and if you ask they have one of those meters that they will come out and hook up to your vehicle and get the code and tell you what it says is wrong and will even print out directions from the computer for repair if you would like and do it all for free! I have used this more than once which makes it easier to decide if it is a “I can do it thing” or a shop here I come thing.

My blazer was acting crazy almost 2 yrs ago now

When I put the key in, every now and then it just did not turn off, take the key out & try again, it started up no problem. Now I made hubby drive it and it never happened to him, grrr. Then when it did start it would rev up for no reason, even driving down the road it would make that odd revving up noise for no reason. Hubby thought I was going nuts. It never did it when he was driving, so he had me drive and he rode, nope still never did it. Yet for me & the kids alone in the car it did it a lot. Well he had to go to Korea for a year, he after about 9 months he came home to visit and that stinky car FINALLY did it for him, of course now the car had to go to the shop, lol. Turns out the thing you put the key into, that cylinder thing was acting up. They said it is rather common, and to not put anything but that key on the key ring, to prevent it. Cost over 300 to replace that and key it to match my car key. Better then having to make keys and have 1 for the doors & 1 for starting it.
Hubby looked it up online and asked several car people friends. We took it to mechanics that would do a free look, transmission specialists, firestone, all sorts of people. Nope they couldn’t figure it out. GRR.
But we did finally get it fixed and it hasn’t been acting like that since.

Before buying a manual, check your local library for one

Many will have them available for reference, but not check out. But for a small fee you can copy just the pages you need. Far cheaper than buying the manual. HOWEVER, if you are going to keep this vehicle for awhile, by all means buy the manual, you will more than get your money’s worth out of it with just one repair. I purchase our repair manuals on half.com or the used books on amazon.com for cheap, cheap.

I’m not a mechanic

nor do I play one on tv, but when we had similar problem it turned out to be one of two things, both of which you could fix right now yourself for free.
1) The battery cables are not on securely. They may look secure, but be wobbling when you hit bumps. So check that.
2) You have corrosion built up on your battery cables. A little baking soda and water will clean that right up.
Both will cause electrical cut out such as you described.

Tara, you may or may not recall that

I just went through several months of issues with my ’83 Ford Ranger, which is supposed to be my daily driver AND product delivery vehicle for the farm. Long story short, there are a lot of online references you can check, which will help you sort out what it might or might not be. But you have to be very specific in your searches for information. You have to specify the make, the model, the engine type and the transmission type of your vehicle to get accurate info. For instance, mine is a 1983 Ford Ranger. But I also have to search on the 2.8L V-6 engine size, because there were two smaller engine options with that year and those engine options have different issues. Also I have to specify that it’s a 5-speed, because the automatic would have slightly different issues. Furthermore, that model has three different possible carburetors installed. So first I had to figure out which carburetor I had (which was on a tab on the carburetor), then I had to figure out which engine I had (stamped on the vehicle identification plate). THEN I could start looking online for information.

Armed with that information, I Googled on search terms like “1983 ford ranger 2.8L 2150 motorcraft carburetor low idle speed” and then looked through the answers for only those articles which talked about my 2.8l engine and/or my 2150 Motorcraft carburetor. It will feel at first like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack. But once you start to refine your searches with more and more specific information, you’ll get more and more specific symptoms/answers.

Another thing you can do is go down and talk to the folks at several different auto parts places wherever you live. We have three of them in our little town. One is what I would consider the traditional “old, slightly greasy, feels like a repair shop” sort of place, where the employees are all silver-haired. And extremely knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The second is new, bright, squeaky clean, populated by teenagers. Oy! But BOTH of them have been very helpful as we’ve worked on our Ranger’s carburetor. The third one I’ve not yet been in, because I’ve been able to get my answers from the other two. Tell them you’ve got your Winstar with some on-again-off-again issues, and ask if there’s a manual for that make/model. If they have one, go ahead and get it. Be warned that most of it will look like gibberish, but that’s OK. You can learn as you go. Also ask them if there’s a handheld diagnostics meter for your make/model. We didn’t know our Ranger had one until one of the silver-haired guys asked if we had one yet. That is what the auto shops “plug in” to see what sorts of problems your onboard computer is registering. Having one of those will help you cut to the chase of what’s wrong.

You can sort this out. It will take time, patience, wading through a lot of “nope, that’s not quite it” answers on your way to finding “wow, that’s EXACTLY IT” information. If you don’t have the time or patience to mess with that, it might be easier to go ahead and take it in so you’re not setting yourself up for a lot of frustrations. Acknowledge that you’re taking on a new hobby – auto fixing – and it’s going to take time and effort and practice to get good at it. You can get good at it, but you’ll be busy awhile learning the ropes to do so.

The importance of an emergency fund

I swear we can’t catch a break. We can an emergency fund set up and then bamm, right away he have to use it. My van is acting strange. It’s idoling weird, almost pulsating. I told it was weird. Just got home from driving it and and one point the battery icon lite up. It’s very brief, like a flicker. We just bought a new battery for it 6 1/2 month ago so it can’t be that.

Do we have anyone who works on car in this group that could give me ideas as to what’s going on? It’s a 2003 ford winstar. I have a love hate relationship with the van. Sometimes for NO reason the interior lights will come on. I wish we had money to get something else.

UGH. I am so stress right now.

Outside the eggs are falling, the nests are building and the birds are singing

It’s suppose to be near 70 again today. Oh and we move the clocks forward this coming Sunday. Hmmm, must be spring—at least in Oklahoma, today. It’s still March, I predict at least one more snow and ice event before winter is over here.
What I mean about the eggs are falling is yesterday dh went out to feed and release and found a goose egg in the pen. It’s nothing for us to get one in February, so the girls are a little late. Generally we’ll get one or two in Feb, then nothing until late March or early April. So I was surprised when I went out to burn trash yesterday and Her, yes that’s her name—she just appeared here one day along with Who Him and we have no idea where they came from, anyway Her was standing away from the flock a bit with a bewildered look on her little goose face. Just below her rump was a freshly laid HUGE white goose egg.
That had to hurt, she is a tiny brown Chinese goose and this was a big old Toulouse size egg. It was really quite comical, but of course by the time we got the camera she’d wandered off in a dazed state.
This morning I woke up to our little house wrens building their first 2016 nest on the back deck. This couple, or their offspring, has been nesting there for as long as we can remember. Each year they raise 2-3 clutches of wee babes and we have a ring side seat from the bedroom. I think they build there because of all the times we’ve saved their eggs and young from the rat snakes that will literally climb the pole to get to them. We’ve rehomed more rat snakes than I care to tell you over those little wren chicks. LOL!
Onto financial news. As I reported early in the week we got a large surprise check, well Saturday we got another check from another source much smaller but a blessing indeed with April 15 coming on swiftly.
Saturday we finally got around to taking the printer in for replacement. Office Depot was very co-operative and we got the next model up for free due to the extended warranty on the 15 month old dead one. This was the second of that model we’ve collected warranty on, so we decided to not get the same model again and they agreed that we shouldn’t have too. The next model was on sale for the amount we’d paid for the previous one—part of the reason we had waited, so they agreed to an even swap. Because of our luck with printers we did go ahead and take the extended warranty out again since it was the same brand.
Sunday dh spent setting all the electronics up to work with that printer and the printer itself. He was in hog heaven. That man does love electronics.
Late in the evening he did the basic cut outs for my first set of can rotators, but then it got late and it was bed time, so the pantry is still scattered here there and everywhere. Very frustrating for me, but that too will pass.
Oh and I did some minor work on the March budget this last week too.


That’s horrible about that bank shop! That is definitely not enough! I don’t think it would even be enough if you could group with other shops considering how long you need to be in the bank!