You picked a fine time to leave me, loose seal…

So on Friday morning, I was in a good mood, I had to run a few errands in the morning, the weekend looked great, and …

By Friday afternoon, my mood had changed completely.

Follow me on this.

It’s Friday morning, and I’m driving through Schenectady taking care of a few things.  And all of a sudden, the temperature gauge in my Chevrolet starts rising.  Rising.  Rising some more.

Then my onboard computer flashes a message at me – “Air Conditioner turned off, engine too hot.”

No, I’m not running the air conditioner in such cold weather…

I’d better get this car checked out.  Last thing I need is for the car to fail on Date Night.

Then, a few moments later, the car’s onboard computer says, “Engine off – overheating.”


I quickly pull over.  Turn off the car.

And a big plume of smoke and steam billows out of the hood.  There was so much smoke, I expected it to materialize as Barbara Eden in a harem outfit.

Great.  Just great.

Okay … time to call AAA.

And while I waited for the tow truck to arrive, I checked my phone for worst possible scenarios.  You know, Googling “overheating engine chevrolet cruze” and stuff.

Trust me, this was not the beset thing to do.  You know when you’re feeling sick, and you’re not sure what sickness you have, so you go on WebMD and it tells you you have cancer?  Yeah, I have this itch on my knee – you have cancer.  I think that’s WebMD’s default answer.

So I searched some automotive forums – and yep, Dracourage has cancer.

No … it was more like I’ve either got a loose seal on one of my coolant tubes, or something’s cracked, or maybe it’s a blown head gasket.  And if it’$ a broken ga$ket, it’$ co$ting me $ome $eriou$ ca$h in repair$.  Ugh.

A tow truck driver pulled up, eased Dracourage onto the flatbed, and we were off to DePaula Chevrolet, where I have a repair and vehicle service contract (my Chevy was purchased there as a “Certified Pre-Owned” vehicle, and I purchased a service contract with DePaula when I purchased Dracourage).

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control – a bad weather week and some boats floating down the Hudson River, which blocked off some bridges, which in turn blocked off some mechanics from getting to the shop – I had to leave Dracourage at the dealership for the weekend.

Oh well … at least this didn’t happen on Date Night.  Gives new meaning to the term, “Sorry, I ran out of gas on the side of the road, let’s neck and smooch until the tank miraculously fills up with gasoline.” 😀

On Saturday, DSePaula sent me – believe it or not – a service video, where a technician walked around my car, showing me my tires were good, my brakes were good, and then he used what I think was an endoscopy camera to show me that my thermostat housing had cracked, causing my car to leak and spray coolant.  It was no longer a tight seal.  It was a loose seal.

The repair shop replaced the thermostat coupling and the thermostat itself, I received a coolant flush, and since I was due for a fuel injection cleaning, I pad them take care of that as well.  It cost me – but not as much as a blown head gasket.  And since I purchased that vehicle service contract from the dealership and not from some wack telephone solicitor, the cost wasn’t as painful as I imagined.

I kept thinking … did I break something in the snowstorm?  Did I run over something and not know about it?

No,  I was told.  Parts fail.  My car’s undercarriage is well maintained, no leaks or scrapes or dents or corrosion.

So yeah… It wasn’t good.  But it could have been worse.

And “could have been worse” was a lot better than “yeah, it got worse.”

Better a “loose seal” – than a “loose wheel,” amirite?