Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Further Adventures With The Infernal Combusted Engine

If you are going to drive junkers you need to have several so that when one is down you have an alternative . I have five all together . All of them quite long in the tooth . Smart right ?  Yea right . . .
I have five as many chances of something breaking and five times as much crap to repair .
So on Monday noticed some fresh oil spots in the driveway where I normally park the Honda van . Upon further investigation it appeared to be dripping oil from under the radiator . Hmmmm? Definitely not engine oil . Perhaps a transmission cooler . Nope , Its not red and it don't smell like transmission fluid .
So I tore the plastic bumper cover and grill off the car today, and I am looking at a couple of long U shaped lines stacked on top of each other.
  Having found the culprit I removed the source of the leak .
 What ever it is , it has a hole in it that is not supposed to be there . Eighteen years of Maine road salt has taken its toll once again .
Further consulting with Mr Google proves it is not a transmission cooler  . . .
But a rather costly piece of quarter inch pipe they call a power steering oil cooler . Made from unobtanium and as expected not available at the local auto parts store .
The local NAPA provides an alternative for the more pedestrian sum of $24 .
Opening the box we find this . .  lemmmmesee . . . I think I can make this work
So I cut the ends of the old pipe off
And cut the three foot piece of hose that came in the kit in half and attach the pipe stubs with the hose clamps provided . 
Fit the other end of the pipe stubs back on to the rubber lines coming from the power steering pump and reservoir .
The little radiator from the kit plugs in to the other end of the hoses . . .
 . . . and gets zip-tied to the air conditioner condenser .

Refilled the reservoir with two bottles of Honda specific power steering fluid and it appears to be back in working order , and its not pissing power steering fluid on my driveway .
Another couple hours to reassemble the plastic bumper cover and we have a working car again .


  1. Chewing gum, Band Aid, and plastic padding. Never fails!

    1. Yes, I thought of going the JB-Weld epoxy route to plug the hole but given that the pipe was so rusty and knowing I'd never be able to clean all the oil off I figured it was best to replace it all together.

  2. This brings me no joy this morning as I'm about to check out another Craiglist vehicle in my quest for something that can tow the boat. Not looking forward to the repairs. By the way, how can someone list a vehicle as good or even excellent when it needs a transmission and has a cracked frame? Sigh. It's been time consuming shopping the cheap rides.

    1. Half the people don't have a clue, the other half are trying to unload a problem vehicle on the folks that don't have a clue. Anything ten years old in New England will have issues and one must be prepared to deal with them by getting your hands dirty. Paying someone to do the work is simply not an option for me when the car is worth less than 2K$ and the estimate for the job from the shop is half the value of the car. If you can get a vehicle from down south or out west your dollar will go a lot further and when you do have to wrench on it things will go a lot smoother.

  3. Good work as usual, M!

    My dad was a master mechanic and even though he could afford it, he drove beaters all his life too. When he got older he'd still buy used, but he started getting vehicles in better condition. My brother, who is a mechanical klutz (but won't admit it) - does the same. Unlike Pop he buys lemons and junkers and he can't keep them running.
    How disgusted they were with me... I don't want to futz with junkers so I buy them new. I keep great care of them and pamper them and drive them until the doors fall off... and then I buy another new one.

    1. I am probably more like your brother than your dad. I bumble through and have no choice but to make them work again. I've managed to learn a thing or two along the way, but most times I am puzzled by the problem and it takes me a while to figure it out. Its hard to convey the knot in your stomach feeling when you discover its broken and you don't have a clue what to do about it. But paying someone $800 for a repair on a car that's only worth about $1000 just don't add up.