PermaLink Still behind06/21/2006 06:18 PM

Things are still breaking left and right, and I am way behind on my cleaning jihad.
Of course, my use of "jihad" in this post will probably get me on some list somewhere, so I will enjoy it while I can.

The Volkswagen has decided to join the list of Pieces Of Mechanical Shit That Complain About Their Very Existence.  The other day a rather loud, urgent STOP message showed up in the display in the middle of the dash.  It was complaining about oil pressure, so I pulled over and had a look at the oil level.  It was fine, but I added a little just in case... I had been driving rather fast and VWs are not known for having large oil pans in them.  The light went away.  A couple of days later, it came on again, and adding oil shut it up again.

Well, today, nothing will shut the thing up.  As soon as I spin the motor up from idle, the STOP warning comes on and doesn't go away.  I flushed it out and took it to Jiffy Lube (along with a genuine VW filter) and they drained it and refilled it with new oil.  I got half a block away, and the STOP message came on again.

The car is lying to me.  I hate having to ignore warning indicators, but it appears that the high-oil-pressure sensor is farked up.  What's more, I noticed that the dipstick tube -- a marvelous orange plastic piece of crap -- had broken near the upper end.  Not leaking, but it was annoying anyway.  And I also spotted a minor leak in a small vacuum hose.  Monday it's going over to the dealer to get looked at.  Poking around on the net I found all sorts of strange oil-related stories about Passats suddenly killing themselves without warning, but if this one wants to eat itself it's going to have to fight me.

My house is winning the fight.  I've been cleaning busily away, but I still have a ways to go before it'll be what I consider presentable.  Thanks to the tractors deciding to ignore their tasks, the grass probably won't get cut in time.  The stuff on the porch will have to magically vanish into the basement.  The stuff in the living room will have to magically vanish into the basement.  The stuff in the bedroom will have to magically vanish into the attic or the Purple Room.  And Suzanne will simply not be allowed to see the basement, the attic, or the Purple Room.

I have to do something about the bathroom.  Cleaning is one thing, but being as the walls are bare plaster now (I removed most of the ancient wallpaper) it looks like the inside of same ancient Irish cottage or something.  Girls are particular about bathrooms, and this bathroom is particularly obnoxious right now.  That, and I should get all my tools and construction crap out of there.  To the attic, or the basement, or somewhere.  A new shower curtain probably won't hurt, or maybe I can launder the ones I have, since they're basically OK.

If the Volkswagen eats itself on the way home tonight, all bets are off.  My backup vehicle in that situation would be, of all things, my old 1969 Volvo, which I haven't driven in months.  It's extremely unpleasant to drive on hot days, since it lacks air conditioning, and tomorrow will be a pretty hot day.

I guess we'll see in a few minutes, when I drive home.

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