Friday night I took this photo from the front seat of a tow truck which was lifting our car onto the truck’s bed. I had been waiting about an hour for it to arrive, putzing around the car-picking up trash, reading, making calls, eating left over lunch. When I opened the hood I saw that the coolant was bone dry. I knew it was the coolant because the heat indicator on the dash was in the red. And yes, there was some smoke.
The upshot was that the radiator was leaking and a few clamps were worn. We had the perennial discussion regarding whether it was worth it to put more money into the car or look for a new one. We finally decided to get it fixed but that we would look for a new car this month. We didn’t want to be rushed into buying something.
Saturday morning I called the mechanic to find out when our car would be ready. He said that all the work had been done but the technician was waiting for the car to burp. Shocked, I asked what that meant. “Well, all the fluids are in and once the burping occurs, you’ll be able to carry on.”
Leave it to a car guy to get the basics down. Yep. Get all the fluids in and then wait for the burp. I know that guys stereotypically love their cars (and their kids), but this seemed a bit much. I wonder if the technician lifted our ailing Toyota and gently patted the back of its hood to get that burp moving. I hope he had a rag on his shoulder.
Alright, I have since learned that the coolant needs to “burp” so that the engine won’t overheat if a huge air bubble is in the system. But I can’t get that image of the motherly and tender technician out of my head.