Saturday, October 08, 2005

Another Ride That Wasn't

It had been my plan to do an organized ride this morning in West Columbia, about 60 miles to the south of here. But when I got home from work and popped the hood to add some windshield wiper fluid, I noticed a fine misting of droplets on one of my radiator hoses. I couldn't find an obvious source because the hose passed underneath the air intake duct and the last thing I wanted to do is start moving things around taking things apart in my cranky car when I wasn't entirely sure I knew what I was doing. I've had issues with random coolant alarms going off for several months now, so I decided that the best thing would be to forgo the 120 mile round trip drive to West Columbia and take the car to the mechanic in the morning instead.

As a quick aside, I was by no means irresponsible about the coolant buzzer. The engine never got hot, I have all new clamps and hoses, I checked for leakage regularly and the alarm would go off sometimes a mile from the house, then I wouldn't hear it for weeks, even with round trips to the airport and back. It showed symptoms of a sensor issue, not a genuine leak. When I've had coolant leaks, there is an actual pattern to when the alarms go off. With a leak, the buzzer doesn't go off in a parking lot, only to not beep at me again for weeks, no matter how much driving I do.

Anyway, the mechanic found nothing obviously wrong today, even after hooking the car up to the computer. But clearly something is up. So we're monitoring the situation and we'll probably get the system drained, run some sealant through, let it sit 24 hours and refill it. My mechanic says that should be sufficient to fix a problem so minor that in spite of all the times I went looking for it this summer, I could find nothing before this weekend. Heck, if the problem is so minor even the mechanic can't find it, it's got to be pretty small, right?

So this weekend was another fun ride that wasn't. This is really starting to get old, folks. But after today's run, I'm thinking I might have bigger fish to fry in the short term. Yes, you guessed it-- I might actually be able to run a Boston qualifying time this January!

More on that in a separate post.

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