They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
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Melting

Truck Work

The 1996 Blazer got dropped off at Chevy on the Fourth -- and on the Fifth it got fixed. With the high heat, overheating a bit is not good. Worse, was the loss of some power. Oh, sure, I could still drive at 70mph on the freeways, but getting there took a little time. What it reminded me of, though, was the feeling I'd gotten with the 1982 Cavalier wagon and the 1985 T-10 Blazer when their catalytic converters melted.

In those earlier cases, I could do barely more than idle. But when the '85 Blazer had its problem, it was a brutally hot summer day and as it drove worse and worse, I almost made it to Chevy, but eventually had to get it towed.

I did not want to let things get that bad.

But before I did my diagnosis, there were a lot of possibilities and I hate going to a mechanic with nothing more than "it ain't runnin' right." In this case I was spot on. I thought maybe I'd need some more exhaust work, because there was this rattling, ringing sound I thought was a loose or broken heat shield, but apparently it was the lump of platinum catalyst rattling inside its metal shell.

I hate shelling out money, though it did come in under estimate by nearly $50, but once again the timing couldn't have been better. Not teaching, and with the temp jumping from the 90s to the 100s, I really didn't have to be on the road to the office if I didn't want to be.

Okay, So It's Hot

Look, just as 0°F is just a number, so is 100°F. It's not that much hotter than 98°F, for example. And even 103°F, which Kalamazoo hit today, isn't the hottest temperature in the nation. And we have a ways to go to get to the all-time recorded high for Grand Rapids MI, at 108°F.

As far as hitting the century mark, there's 100°F and there's 100°F. The Bravada has an exterior temp readout, and given the heat buildup on pavement, 100°F isn't impossible to see in the summer. Officially GR hasn't been to 100°F since 1988. Unofficially, I know that our thermometers here in Allendale hit 100°F on Friday 30 July 1999 -- I made some memorial wallpaper for the computer. (grin) And I know I trotted that wallpaper out on another occasion a couple of years later.

Now I'm not complaining about global warming -- remember that weather and climate are different. What I'm grousing about it somewhat of the same thing as weather obsessions with single digit temps and wind chills in the winter. Historically, it's been 100+ before and sometimes in blocks of three or four days.

Of course, I'm happily living in air conditioning. No wonder it's not so bad. (evil grin)

Dr. Phil
Tags: heat, maintenance, summer, vehicles, weather, west michigan
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