I have always believed that our vehicles know when we are talking about them. My blue van (a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan) is no exception to this. Yesterday this once again was proven to us. My van has decided to give up...sort of. This is not a surprise to us nor is this new behavior on the part of the blue van. I'll call it a "he" because it's being mischievous, like my boys sometimes are.
Tom generously offered to clean out the van yesterday. It was sunny outside and Max had a friend coming over for a sleep over. Tom tackled the van and after about two hours of tossing, moving, shaking, and vacuuming, the van looked fantastic. It was like an archaeological dig though - you could tell when the last time it was cleaned by the layers of stuff. Didn't really know that chicken nuggets, french fries, wrappers, and water bottles would be able to create layers of sediment, but they did. Needless to say it had been a while since the van was cleaned out, but it is spotless now. Actually looks nice.
Tom went to start the van so he could go grab a new light bulb to replace the one that had burnt out in the tail light set, and nothing happened. Not a click, nothing. Then the gauges in the dash started creeping, and the windshield wipers in front and back started creeping. Huh? Tom couldn't get it to turn over and he sat there and laughed. Now, this actually happens pretty often. About every two weeks the van decides that it doesn't want to start - but never the weird gauge and wiper stuff. I reminded Tom of this - and that there's been electrical problems since we bought the van, but he couldn't get it to even click when he turned the key. Then, it clicked a bunch and we knew we were sunk. The battery didn't look too good, but after a jump start it did indeed start up.
The best we can figure is that the battery was drained while Tom was cleaning the van out. He had the doors open (shock!) while doing this, and it drained the battery. How screwy is that?
I firmly believe in Karma, and I think that this time we're on the losing end. We were talking about how nice the van looked when it was cleaned out. It looked "so nice that we should go and trade it" nice. Yeah, and the van heard us. Yes, it decided to give up right then when it heard us talking about trading it in. We were kind of joking around, but that darn van didn't get the joke.
So, now it really has come to the end of it's time with the Phipps family. We are officially on the hunt for a new vehicle. Tom and I won't put up with a mouthy van, one who throws fits when it feels like it, and doesn't follow directions when told to do something (the passenger side window no longer rolls down - insolent van). But, for now it is up and running, and we're just starting to look, but I'm going to have a talk with the van tomorrow to make sure that we're good. I'd hate to have it take a total dump while I'm out and about. It needs to know that we still love it, but that at 7 years old, it's time to go to a new home. We don't generally kick 7 year olds out of the house, but car years are like animal years...