That’s right….. You read it right… TODAY was the day my four year old daughter saved my ass.
And because of that, she’s my hero.
Let me back the story up a bit….
So some of you know I’ve been having car problems lately. Actually, my car has been acting like a fucking psycho. It has had a weird idling issue… But only when the AC is on and the car is warm…. I asked my mechanic and he thought he knew what the problem was but he wanted a lot of money I don’t have to fix it… So it kept getting put off, and put off, and put off…
And then finally enough was enough… It had to get fixed. I was tired of telling my daughter ‘I’m sorry dude, we can’t run the air conditioner in the city in our black car. .. . We have to wait till we’re on the highway. Sorry.’.
That’s just unacceptable in my mind… She’s four. She has few luxuries in life. She should be able to be picked up after a hot day at camp, where she spent all day outside, in a cool car.
She asks for nothing; doesn’t complain.
So I finally decided to pull on my big girl panties and do something about it.
Step one: Plugs. Easy peasy. Pick up some Champions off I go.
Oh balls, boots not wires. Google boot care. Done and done. Can of WD-40, four new Champion plugs, sockets borrowed from Rob, I’m off to the races.
It helped. A bit. Not enough.
Well maybe it’s the IACV. I know those. I’ve cleaned those. Pop the hood again…
Google. Came up with discrepancies… Did the 2009 Ford Focus 2.0 North American model even have an IACV? Ummmm…. Some sites said yes… Some sites said no. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it on two hours of sleep in forty-eight hours so I sent friends on a scavenger hunt… Turns out the answer is no.
Okay, well then what can the problem be? Rob found a site that suggested the throttle body… Do my reading… I can do that…
Pull on my big girl panties…
Pop the hood on the car AGAIN… The neighbours start watching the little girl working on the car again… They can’t decide if I know what I’m doing yet or if I’m gonna seriously just fuck it all up… So they’re watching…
It’s all going well. Airbox apart. Filter out… It’s all going so well… Disconnect everything from the throttle body. Take a look at the throttle body and cringe… It’s not supposed to be THAT colour. It shouldn’t be black at all… Ug.
One site I read offered ‘lazy man shortcut tips’. Just prop the flap open with a tool and clean it that way. I felt lazy for two seconds so I propped the flap with the six inch socket extension…
Then it went to shit.
I knocked the flap. The socket extension slid out of the throttle body and down into the engine.
From that moment on, it was like a total out of body experience.
I pulled off the throttle body and looked… OH BALLS.
“Mommy, what’s wrong?”
“Well it must be something, I’ve never heard you say fuck before and you can’t stop saying it.”
“Okay baby, never use that word okay?? Mommy accidentally knocked a tool into the engine and if I can’t get it out we don’t have a car till I can pay Kurt to fix it.”
“How can I help mommy?”
“I don’t know yet dude….”
I try to fit my hand in there. That was a no go. I borrow a magnet from Kelly to try to grab it that way but I couldn’t get the magnet down there; it kept sticking to something else metal. I tore up a pair of salad tongs praying I could use those to grab it…..
I wanted to die.
Then Wee came up again..
“How can I help mommy?”
And I saw her little arms…..
“Dude… How brave are you?”
“I’m the bravest.”
“If I asked you to put your arm somewhere to grab a tool, would you?”
“Only if you asked me and told me it was okay.”
“It’s okay dude… Will you try?”
Attempt one she knocked it. We both heard it rattle… Unfortunately she didn’t have her arm straight enough to fit it far enough in to grab the tool.
I tried other things again… Salad tongs… Magnet… I was damn well ready to Crisco up my damn arm and shove it in there….
“Baby, will you try one more time?”
“You promise I won’t get hurt?”
I picked her up and angled her so that her arm would go into the engine straight… She shoved her arm up to her shoulder… She looked at me….
“I got it mommy!!! I GOT IT!!”
And she did.. My daughter… She put on her brave face and jammed her arm up to her shoulder into a hole that was very snug even for her little arm…
And she saved my ass…. And our car.
I almost cried….
I almost threw up….
I hugged her so tight.
I finished cleaning the throttle body, I put it all back together, filter back in, filter box back together… Undid all of the electronic connectors….. Cleaned all of those… And then we went on a test drive.
And let me tell you… My little car now drives like a million bucks. Idle RPMs hang pretty steady around 650; RPMs when driving are lower than they were previously… And it sounds great.
We pulled back in the driveway… And I again hugged my Wee so tight… I told her again and again that she was my hero…
And she is…
And then we had a fabulous couple of hours with our neighbours…. It was amazing… The fire… The hanging out… The relaxing….
And that friends is how my four year old saved my bacon….
Thanks to those who participated in my Google scavenger hunt for possible solutions to my problem….
Thanks to Rob for loaning me your tools….
Thanks to my lovely neighbour and her amazing daughter for having us over tonight….
And thank you to my Wee for being so brave…. So very brave… And for doing what most four year old children would not be able to do… Jam your arm into a car engine…
Just because mommy asked you to.