Recently the air conditioner in the Perfect Tow Vehicle died.
I’m told the problem may be as simple as a blown fuse.
I buy an assortment of automotive fuses. They come in a little metal box the size of a matchbook. It has a sliding door on it. Cute. It even has a plastic puller so I can get out the old fuses. I’m all set!
I study the diagram of rows and rows of fuses.
I find an A/C fuse to pull out.
I look in the metal box for a fuse with the same amperage. Okay. So far so good.
I grasp the plastic puller to yank out the old fuse.
It doesn’t want to come out. I make several attempts until my neck hurts. As if aware my individual pain threshold has been crossed, the SOB finally comes out.
I drop the new fuse as I try to put it in the empty slot. It’s in a groove of the fuse box specifically designed for dropped fuses to become lost in. I know. That sentence ends with a preposition.
S0 sue me.
I grab a pencil and, after several tries, flip up the fuse where I can grab it. I try again to put it in the slot and — surprise, surprise — it won’t go in.
I compare the old fuse with the new fuse.
Well, my oh my, lookee here. The prongs are different widths. Of course! I bought the wrong kind!
Now I have to go get another little metal box with assorted fuses of the right kind. You know? This is why I hate attempting to do auto mechanics. There’s always some pesky detail to trip you up.
The fuse I took out looks fine so I put it back in.
I should pull out the other A/C fuse to see if it’s bad, but I’m not going to do that because I’m too annoyed and it’s getting hot and to heck with this. I’m going for a swim.
The next day the crew and I go EIGHTEEN MILES to Bozeman.
I buy another little box of assorted fuses of the right kind.
See, fuses come in two kinds: ATC and ATM. Don’t ask me what the letters stand for. It’s a special code that’s wired into the brains of auto mechanics as they form in the womb. That’s how they are born knowing what fuses to buy so they can charge the rest of us to replace them because we don’t know jack.
I’ll be damned if I’m going to ask The Helpful Hardware Man to decipher the code for me.
Oh well . . . (This is me still ruminating in the aisle at Ace Hardware) it’s good to have a little box of assorted fuses of the right kind anyway.
Hmm, there’s no puller in the box to match these fuses. Determined to have what I need once I drive ANOTHER EIGHTEEN MILES back to the campground, I plunk down almost twelve bucks for needle-nosed pliers.
See why I don’t like auto mechanickin’?
“Oh, do it yourself. Why pay someone else? It’s easy and you’ll save money.”
Yeah, right. I have an assortment of fuses which I bought on the other side of a mountain range and which I’ll never use ($3.15) plus another assortment of fuses which I may never need ($4.99) and a pair of brand-spanking-new, whoop-dee-do, needle-nosed pliers, a tool I’ve never owned in 65 years of living and have managed to function very well without ($11.49).
Not to mention the time stumbling around Ace Hardware or the time spent with my face wedged underneath the driver’s seat.
Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. There’s another fuse box under the hood. Great.
I haven’t tried putting in the new fuses yet. At this point I’d rather drive around with no air conditioning or, better yet, just stay home.