Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fix it up Chappy

OH my gosh, you will never believe what I did yesterday!! The heater in my van has been blowing cold air for a while now. I was finally fed up with cold toes, so I decided to get it fixed. The problem was the thermostat was stuck open, never allowing the engine to heat up properly to warm the air. Rylan was at work, and I wanted to make an appointment so I called the auto place myself. The guy on the phone was rude, and when I didn't know the size of my engine off the top of my head he basically hung up on me. Come on, do you know how many liters your engine is? Anyway, now I know mine is 3.3L engine. That's beside the point. After this guy was so rude, I started thinking... I am an educated woman. I take care of sick people all the time. Sick people get too hot, too cold, have broken/worn out parts and clogged pipes at times. I know what to do to help fix them, how is an engine that different? So I googled how to heal my sick van. I read many different websites, my owners manual (was the least helpful resource), and consulted two fathers over the phone (thanks Ed and Dad, you were the most helpful resource). I purchased a new thermostat and extra coolant at the auto parts store with my two little girls in tow (Anisten tried to eat the car freshener trees at the checkout). I parked the van in the sun (how lucky) and worked on it for 2 and a half hours! I met resistance each step along the way, it is a miracle but I fixed it! It blows HOT air now!
I am so proud of myself and my confidence is through the roof. It turns out the auto shop could have fixed it in one hour for $90. Oh well, I'm glad I tried. Now if anyone has a broken thermostat, I'd be happy to help you fix it.
I took some photo's along the way. There isn't one of me under the van... because there was no one there to take one of me.

Drained the radiator of antifreeze

This is what the new thermostat looks like, $12 at the auto parts store

This is what the old thermostat looked like... clearly bustedI had to reach my hand in the engine and pull out all the parts. Hope I got them all out.

Happy girl with messy hair from getting under the van umpteen times.


  1. Layne! I am so impressed and very glad you blogged about it too! You are so awesome to do that!

  2. Way to go Layne! I love the pictures. Especially the one of the antifreeze dripping into the animal crackers bucket! Go girls!

  3. I'm not sure if I've commented before or not-hope it's okay I've found and read your blog :)
    Okay, so I'm super impressed!! I changed a tire a few weeks ago but changing a thermostat now that's really good. Good for you!

  4. cute hair Layner, miss you guys lots and lots!


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