Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making a stopped Maruti 800 '94 start Part 3

So, here we go again...
After the last set of fixes, I take the car back to the mech, so that he can look inside and make sure there's nothing else lurking under the hood. He looks. He assures me all is well. I ask him if I need to consider replacing the wiring. He says no. I ask him again. He says no again. I ask him if he is sure. He gives me a withering look that seems to say "Yes! I'm sure. Now go AWAY!"
I comply and leave.

2 kilometers away from the mech's shop, 50 feet before I make a right turn onto NH-24 the car stops

  1. Car makes several sickening, scrunching noises
  2. Car stops
  3. Car won't start...not even when I say please
Action Log:
  1. I step out of car, curse twice
  2. I look at the long line of cars behind me also trying to turn right onto NH-24 and suggest with wave of the hand that they may want to treat my car as a rather large pothole and go around it. They honk. I grin sheepishly. They honk some more. I turn away.
  3. I open the hood
  4. Everything looks ok. The makeshift connections seem to be holding. I consider the odds of something having gone wrong under the insulation tape and discard that as too remote a possibility
  5. I wonder if the "gap" that the mech created (see part 1) has disappeared again. Too much proximity is clearly a bad thing, when the context is the insides of a distributor (a.k.a. dreadlock capped thingie)
  6. I open up the distributor and peer inside it like I know what I am doing.
  7. It looks no different from the last time I looked inside it
  8. I curse some more
  9. Then i realize that since I opened the hood up, the expressions of people passing by have changed from irritation to mild respect and sympathy. They are also not honking any more.  Clearly someone trying to fix a problem is better than someone not trying to fix a problem. Note to self: if you want to stand idly in the middle of the road, it's a good idea to have the hood open and peer knowledgeably inside...good tactic while waiting for the mech, if you're sensitive to loud noises.
  10. I call the mech. 
  11. I tell him the car wont start
  12. He tells me to try again
  13. I tell him I already tried thrice
  14. He tells me to check the connections and makeshift fixes
  15. I tell him I already did that
  16. He tells me to try again
  17. I hold the phone right over the engine and give the ignition 5 long twists.
  18. I hope the guy bust an eardrum
  19. Clearly he didnt, because when I ask him if he heard that he says yes.
  20. He tells me he is on his way.
  21. I remember note to self and keep peering inside the hood while I wait for him.
  22. He shows up 15 mins later
  23. He opens up the distributor (like I did)
  24. He pokes around inside it (like I did)
  25. He concludes that the "gap" is gone (like I did)
  26. I ask him where the gap should be
  27. He shows me two points between which there should be a gap
  28. Then he pulls the assembly out and peers at it
  29. Apparently its burnt, melted and shrunk as a result (See pic)
  30. I wonder if this is a good time to ask him why he didnt catch that when I asked him to check the car over...then I decide against's not the time to piss this guy off
  31. He creates a makeshift "gap" by hammering one side of the two point assembly so that it goes back a little. Welcome to the land of "jugaad"
  32. Then he tells me that the reliable way to make this work is to replace the part
  33. I jump up and down in joy at the word "reliable"
  34. Then he tells me that the parts shops are closed on Tuesday. I stop jumping up and down and put on my scowly face
  35. We drive back to his shop, where he thinks he may have a spare 
  36. He doesn't have a spare
  37. I leave the car at his shop and ask him to call me when its fixed.
  38. I take the metro to my original destination and arrive 2 hours late. The woman I'm meeting isn't amused. 
  39. Cut to next day...mech calls me and says that the car is ready. I ask him to drop it off.
  40. He shows up with the car 4 hours after he said he would. The car seems to be running.
  41. I ask him what he changed. He shows me the same part that he hammered out of shape and claims that a new version of it is at this very moment alive and well inside the hood of my car. 
  42. He also shows me two other components, which were apparently also burnt out. These apparently come from inside the silver canister on the top right (See pic in part 2)
  43. The current hypothesis (I say hypothesis because it aint proven till the fat lady sings and keeps singing for a while) is that all these three parts had outlived their natural lifespan and their degeneration was causing uneven current flow to the different parts of the car's electrical system, leading to the the stalls (See pics below)

    1. The car still seems to be running. I will conclude that it is fixed when it's run for a week without an electrical issue.