Sunday, September 28, 2008

How To Be A Class Idiot

It’s a relatively cooler day so far today, thanks to an early morning rain. But it won’t last for too much longer. Even as I write, the sun is managing to make its presence felt through the still overcast sky, and things are starting to heat up. Which is normal, but rather unfortunate for us at the moment. Why? Because the A/C is no longer working properly in our truck, making it difficult to drive anywhere without major discomfort. And not just because of the heat. Driving with the windows open anywhere here in the city is a personal health hazard!

At all hours of the day, in addition to the dust and dirt kicked up by the traffic, even on the paved roads, the air is thick with exhaust fumes from thousands of oil-burning, blue-smoking, two-cycle moto and moped engines. Add to that the exhaust from hundreds of old and/or poorly maintained cars, trucks, and tractor-trailers, and you have a sure recipe for respiratory illness! There’s nothing quite like having a thick, blue cloud of exhaust blow in through your window at an intersection as you pass a big truck roaring through its lower gears in an effort to get moving through the light!

And why isn’t our A/C working right now? Well, I hate to admit it, but… it’s because I’m an idiot! The A/C was still functioning, but after several years, it was no longer at the top of its form, especially when it was really hot outside. However, rather than taking it to the dealer, I engaged a local yokel like we used to do during our last terms in the country.

I should have clued in when I saw him trying to attach a recharge fitting that wouldn’t connect properly. He was just fixing to hold it on manually while his apprentice began opening the freon tank when I called a halt and told him to go and get a proper fitting.

My second clue was when he came back with a working fitting, but attached it to my A/C system without first hooking it up to the hose from the freon tank! Liquid freon shot out and turned to billowing clouds of vapour while the guy, instead of removing the fitting, tried to now attach the hose in the face of a high pressure jet of liquid gas! I didn’t try to stop him because I was frantically trying to back up out of reach of the ever-expanding cloud of yellow gas that was now swirling around the truck. No way I’m breathing that stuff!

Finally, everything was connected and the recharging began. After 15-20 minutes of filling (at least that’s what I assume he was doing!), the air coming from my vents felt no cooler than before. Then it began to noticeably warm up! The refrigeration guy said that it was because the truck wasn’t moving. It would work properly once I started driving.

After he’d gone, Kathy & I drove over to our house to see how things were going there. Warm air blew from the vents. The A/C compressor sounded funny and began kicking in and out. I decided to shut the A/C off until I could make my way to a real Nissan dealer to get it looked at. I sure hope the compressor’s not shot! I always say that you have to pay for your education. For letting this guy work on our truck, I probably won't only be paying for my education. I should fail the class and be sent back to Grade 1!

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