Okay, Santa must be playing some horrid joke here: On Christmas day when I pulled into the car park at Tawn’s office, I had the window rolled down and could smell coolant fluid burning. Sure enough, when I parked and got out, there was a quickly-forming pool of coolant as it leaked out from the radiator.
Popping the hood – actually the first time in a year that I’ve looked under the hood of Tawn’s Nissan – I could see coolant coming from the top of the radiator, but not from the area around the cap.
So Tuesday morning, the second day of Christmas, I canceled my Thai lesson and drove the car back over to the Nissan dealership (second time in, what, a week?) on Sukhumvit Soi 71. Worst fears confirmed, foreshadowed by a statement the mechanic had made on my last visit that the radiator was nearing the end of its useful life, the radiator did need to be replaced.
Poof! (Sound as baht magically vanish from our bank account)
All I can say is, thank goodness we didn’t get the really expensive microwave/convection combo oven.
Questions, though: do cooling systems tend to wear out faster in cars that drive largely in stop-and-go (or in Khrungthep, stop-and-stay-stopped) traffic? His car is about eleven years old and only has about 88,000 km (52,000 miles) so it has definitely seen a lot of city driving. It makes sense to me that the cooling system would wear out faster because at highway speeds you get some help with the cooling just by the increased airflow.
A tiny, paranoid part of my mind has to wonder in amazement that the radiator needed to be repaired just after we took it in for a visit to the mechanic and he told us that the radiator might need to be repaired soon. Surely those tiny cracks were there already, right? I mean, he wouldn’t…
Nah, perish the thought.
Thank you to the well-wishers who have expressed their thoughts for my grandfather’s speedy recovery. He underwent a five-hour surgery on Christmas morning to repair the damage to his right elbow, requiring thirteen screws to be inserted along with a pair of metal plates. The doctor is optimistic that he will recover well, but is at best expecting about 50% mobility in the right elbow.
The two to three month recovery will be impeded by the healing of his broken right hip, or more precisely the bone that hip joint rests in. (Maybe am not getting the explanation right – is there a doctor in the house?) Normally, the recovery from that would involve physical therapy with the use of a walker but with the arm injury, a walker won’t be as useful.
My grandmother, a retired nurse, is expecting a very long few months of some very painful physical therapy. But I think my grandfather has a great deal of fortitude and will find the strength to get through it. I do wish I was there to be able to help around the house, though. One of the problems of living far away from your family.