Better Van News

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After a routine oil change resulted in a laundry list of supposedly needed repairs that were going to cost upwards of $2,000, the Lady of the House gave me the name and number of a mechanic her family (and her friend’s family) have used in the past. The Lady thinks the guy does good work and believes him to be very honest. I called him before the weekend and made arrangements to bring the van in to his shop early on Wednesday morning.

Our phone conversation was very enlightening. He seemed surprised by how high many of the prices given by the first garage were. He asked me how long the “check engine” light had been on. When I said it wasn’t on, he wondered how the first garage knew about a certain problem if it wasn’t because of the “check engine light.” He asked how much oil was ending up on the ground; when I told him I didn’t see any oil on the ground, he wondered why the first garage would recommend one of the repairs if hardly any oil was leaking. Before he even looked at the van, I felt reassured that maybe the van wasn’t in as bad a state as I had been led to believe.

I arrived at the garage bright and early on Wednesday morning. The mechanic remembered me and our phone conversation. He took the van into one of the bays to look it over. I didn’t wait long before he came back.

He said that yes, there were small oil and coolant leaks. However, the leaks were so small that no fluid was hitting the ground. He said he wouldn’t even worry about these leaks unless they got worse. He said to be sure to check the fluids regularly. I told him that the guy at the other garage said I should check the oil and coolant every other day. The second opinion mechanic said I should check the fluid once a month, or if I wanted to be super cautious, every two weeks.

Obviously those other guys were trying to scare me into having work done that isn’t even currently necessary.

The second opinion mechanic did say I need some front end work. The thing is, when you start taking things apart up there, it’s better to change as many parts as possible because you only want to pay labor once. So to get the front end tiptop, it will cost about $700, which I’ll be able to do once I get my first paycheck from the soon to start temp job.

I feel better about the van.

In tooth news, I called the my dentist’s office and explained to the office manager what happened at the endodontist’s office. The office manager said that the endodontist had not sent the report, but that she would call his office and ask for it, show it to the dentist, and call me back. She never called back. I guess I have to add that to my list of things to do.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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