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Car Trouble

Xy found the car wouldn’t start this morning. Or rather, it would start sometimes and run for as long as thirty seconds and then die. Other times it wouldn’t really start at all. We called a cab but she ended up getting a ride with the neighbor across the street. I got Trep’s to come tow the car to their service station. Of course, it started right up for them, and stayed running. But their tests showed low fuel pressure and they found oil in the coolant. Could be a blown head gasket — or a cracked block. Or who knows. They couldn’t handle it at Trep’s so I took it to Angelo’s in Gentilly. Hope to hear something tomorrow.

This Saturn is nine years old. Fred (who gave me a ride) says it’s time to buy another vehicle.

I hate car trouble. I hate cars, actually, because they’re nothing but trouble.

On a related tangent, a co-worker (who I recently learned is royalty) just begged me for help with her computer, a Mac with a display that was inexplicably black and white and very strange looking. She said it started when someone leaned on the keyboard with her arm. Her son had already Googled the problem and called tech support to no avail. I noticed the display was not only monochromatic but inverted with regard to luminance. In other words, everything was negative. Google’s homepage was black. So we Googled “mac display black and white inverted” and instantly found the answer. Seems there’s a keyboard shortcut that does this trick: Ctl-Opt-Cmd-8. If you’ve got a Mac, try it. Or better yet, do it to a friend’s Mac when they’re not looking.

Update: Angelo’s called back and said the leakage is so bad the engine would probably have to be replaced, and said we are probably better off getting a new car.

Oh, and rcs posted a screenshot of his inverted screen of this very post!

RSS Inverted

Published inMiscellaneous


  1. If you think cars are trouble, you should try to depend on public transportation. Ancient filthy buses that other cities don’t want anymore, reduced routes and schedules, and drivers that can’t adhere to the schedule make the hassle of a car seem not so bad. I really wish I could bike where I need to go on a daily basis.

  2. That’s a crazy Mac trick. I can’t imagine why it exists. What really cool is that the inverted screen grab you posted becomes non-inverted when I hit the magic keys.

  3. Sucks to hear about your vehicle. I hate cars too. Really hate having to take them to be repaired, never know if you are getting screwed or not.
    The biggest thing I miss so far about Chicago, is being able to get anywhere via bicycle or public transportation.

  4. Lee Lee

    That’s a kewl mac trick, wish I had one.

    About the car trouble, sorry about that. From what you have posted thus far, it does sound like a bad head gasket. But the place telling you that the leakage is so bad that the engine needs replaced is somewhat puzzling. Most places now-a-days take the “replace instead of repair” routine, which I hate.

    Did the car produce a maple syrup smell? If so it’s a head gasket for sure.

    The only reason the engine should need replaced due to a blown head gasket it if the engine was ran or used for long periods of time, and overheated the engine. Any reputable mechanic will tell you that!

    I know it might cost you a little, but get a second opinion!

    If you’d rather not get another car, get some estimates for engine replacement (if it’s not a head gasket). It might cost you less than another car, and be warranteed.

    If you get any more info, let me know and I might be able to de-mystify some things for u B. It’s always better to keep a vehicle you have a history with, than purchase a new one that might have bugs of it’s own that you’ll soon learn about.

  5. Puddinhead Puddinhead

    Angelo’s usually pretty accurate in his assessments, if it was actually him that checked the car out. I don’t know if he has all of his same mechanics from before the storm or if he has any new guys working, so I don’t want to go too far with a blanket endorsement. Remember that it doesn’t take a “long period of time” overheating to screw up an engine block, particularly the lightweight aluminum ones now. I once had a water pump blow it’s seal halfway down the Paris Road bridge and immediately pulled off and killed the engine at the base of the bridge; the engine could only have been overheated for a matter of a couple of minutes. I had to have it towed in…where a day or two later the mechanic called me in to actually see the cracks in the engine block.

  6. Joe Joe

    We run a kiosk browser on a bunch of eMacs. It will let you run the keyboard shortcut to turn that inverse mode on… but you can’t get to the System Preferences to turn it back off! Fun fun fun…

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