I have marked this down as a karma thing.
Here’s what happened.
My truck was randomly “not” starting. I attributed it initially to bad batteries.
Nope. Bad starter.
So I checked out my car repair manual. It looked like an easy repair. So I ordered a new starter from NAPA and decided to go ahead last Saturday and replace it myself even though I had the flu and a fever.
And yes, I’m an idiot.
Three hours later, I finally tossed aside my 10mm box end wrench and muttered f*&k it.
As it turned out, replacing the starter wasn’t as easy as my repair manual had led me to believe. There was one bolt in particular that refused to loosen. It was located on the top of the starter; I was having trouble getting a tool on it, and enough leverage to break it free. I’d tried every option I could think, and then some, but no luck.
I hate to admit failure, but sometimes its time to quit bashing yourself in the face with a hammer. So, I tightened up the bolts I had managed to loosen, put away my tools, and backed the truck out of the driveway. That’s when I noticed the wet patch on the pavement. My first thought was water, but upon closer inspection, I realized it was diesel. Good grief. Not only had I failed to replace my starter, I’d knocked something loose. I locked up the truck, closed the garage door, and went to bed.
On Monday, though still feeling like crap from the flu, I called the local car repair place and they agreed to do the fix, using the starter I’d purchased, and also fix my broken fuel line. I dropped the truck off the next day (courtesy a tow from my friend Tony). A few days later, they called up and said it was ready.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
Before I got a chance to object to price of the repair, the mechanic says, “Oh, yeah, we couldn’t use your starter.”
“It was the wrong one.”
“I got it from NAPA,” I said. “5.9 Cummins turbo diesel….”
The mechanic shook his head. “Nope. They gave you a starter for a VW van.”
A starter for a VW van instead of a starter for a 2004 Dodge 2500 pickup truck with a 5.9 liter 24 valve turbo diesel? Wow. That wasn’t just wrong, but “way” wrong. Thanks to a reluctant bolt, however, I had only wasted 3 hours on the job. I mean, what if I’d managed to get my old starter off? And what if they bolts for the VW starter had actually fit my truck, and I’d ended up installing that? I could have easily spent a day or more futzing around on this before giving up.
So, unlike most things in life. This all actually sorta kinda worked out.
I’ll go with that.