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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

4 day weekends -- a blessing or a curse

So the Army gives 4 day weekends for all federal holidays. Seems nice right? Turns out in order to enjoy your four day weekend all POV's (Personally Owned Vehicles) have to be inspected for saftey. All vehicles that the service member is registered to drive have to have lights, emergency brake, spare tire, license, registration, etc. checked to make sure we aren't going to get ourselves in trouble over the long weekend. For us, this includes both my car and my wife's Audi. Now, if a vehicle fails, my CO (commanding officer) will lock the vehicle in the motorpool and take the keys away until after the weekend. The fun began right away today, see Michigan doesn't really check ANYTHING on a car. All you have to do is show ownership to register it. Too easy. In the Army life is not so easy. My VW Scirocco got checked first. On the list of things I have to have fixed by THURSDAY!!! are a cracked windshield, a burnt out front turn signal, an inoperable emergency brake, and a reverse light sending unit that doesn't work anymore. Let's just pause right there to clarify the gravity of those repairs. Parts for 1984 VW Scirocco's don't just grow on trees. Back home, no problem, I had half a dozen people I could call and get what I needed. Here in El Paso, not so much. The cables and the switch for the reverse lights have to be ordered. Autozone tells me they can have them for me tomorrow around 2ish. Let's hope they come through. The worst part is the windshield. The prices down here are nice but they need 2 weeks just to get the glass in stock. So, I'm hoping that if I just get a work order for the glass they'll forgive the glass.

On to the Audi. 2 seemingly little problems here, the emergency brake handle won't lift and the brights don't work. This time Autozone can't even order the cables, gotta make some more calls. Turns out 1993 was a split model year for the 100s. Diana is making the calls for me and I have the car. Now a day is waisted, won't get the cables until sometime Thursday, this one is going to be close. I decide to tackle the brights after work, it should be simple. The fuses aren't blown and a quick check of one of the lights finds a burnt out fillament. To Autozone!!! $38 later I install a pair of Silvania's SilverStar headlights. I've used these before and the light they put out is stunning. Unfortunately this is NOT the problem. The low beams do look fantastic but nothing from the brights. Now I'll have to dig deeping into the electronics of a car I know nothing about. Doing so this past weekend nearly deadlined the vehicle, I pulled the wrong fuse and limited the car to just 2nd gear when Drive was selected. Not fun, situation corrected, nevertheless I'm leering of poking about where I don't belong. Anyone out there awesome with Audi's and just happens to be in the El Paso area (why oh why would you be here) I'd love the help. I'll get it if I'm supposed to, I just like to be more sure of what I'm doing.

23 comments:

Mom Jones said...

Whew. Sorry about the car thing -- that's tough stuff. I guess Michigan is pretty lacking in car standards? I will pray all of this gets quickly resolved for you guys!

Aunt Bree said...

I know all to well about MI car testing! My Kia a year old failed the first time I took it to be inspected for Texas registration tests. A year old! I hope this all works out for you quickly. If not, I hope that you can still have a fun weekend while stuck on base? Anything going on or does everybody take off for the long weekend?

Anonymous said...

I'm in the marine corps where we also do these inspections and all i have to say is ... if you had all these problems before you should have gotten them fixed. Lets say your other brakes failed due to instability and you crashed and died how would you feel. If you could see your future and in it you died you wouldn't hesitate getting these discrepancies fixed. im not saying this will ever happen. im just thinking outside the box ... and no im not some high ranking officer or enlisted that thinks he knows everything im just a 21 year old recently married and a father just saying stop complaining and be ready to have fun for the next 96. Be safe. - Alvarado

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