So I’m cruising around in Old Green and at one stop I get back in the car and the starter motor goes “click” (ok, so it’s not ‘boom’, but I just used a little poetic license). Now hopefully you all know it’s not supposed to just go ‘click’. Many different starter motors make many different kinds of whirring noises, but ‘click’ ain’t right. Especially if it is not immediately followed by the starting of the car. You see, a starter motor’s job is to start the motor, if it doesn’t start the motor, it’s not doing it’s job.
Anyway, I was in Holladay and, I thought, pretty close to my older brother’s house, so I started walking over to see if he was home. I was halfway there before I realized I was a lot further away that I had originally figured. Dilemma. Continue my way there and risk finding the house empty or walk the same distance the other way to the Sev and call my younger brother. Oh, did I mention that I had left my phone at home so even when I did get to a pay phone the only person I could call is my little brother? He is the only person, other than myself, who has had the same number since before the proliferation of cell phones, hence his is the only number I have memorized.
So I decide to continue on my original trek and go to my older brother’s house. I’ll give you 10 to 1 odds you can’t guess who was home when I got there. No? No takers? OK, I’ll tell ya then (all bets are off). Nobody, not a single soul. It was a ghost town, tumbleweeds blowing across the front yard. Crap, crud and a few other words that I won’t type here.
Ok, let’s just head right back, veer off a little bit and go to the Sev. Get a drink (‘cause I’m damn thirsty by now) and a buck’s worth of quarters for the pay phone. (Yes folks, pay phones still exist, even in Holladay). I call my little brother and get the voicemail for someone named Dirk. Ok, maybe I don’t remember his number that well, but I was pretty sure it was right except for one of two last digits. Used the other two quarters to try my second option, and got my brother.
He said he would meet me at the car, and while waiting for him I should try banging on the starter motor, since sometimes that will loosen things up and temporarily revive it. So I walked another 5 blocks to the car, tried starting it, banged on the starter motor (which was hard to see since it was getting dark by now) and tried starting it again. Click. Click. Click. No luck. The entire Gearheads family shows up, my brother climbs under the car and bangs on the starter motor, I try to start it and all we get is the same old ‘click’. So he crawls out from under the car, tells me to try it again and despite the same old ‘click’ he says he knows what the problem was.
When I turned the ignition he saw a big spark shoot out of the solenoid, which indicated that the power cable from it to the started was just a little bit loose. Or a lot bit loose more like it. So he hand tightens the cable and has me try again. "Vrooommmm” Gearhead to the rescue.
So the good news is that I’m not going to have to replace the starter motor, and all it cost me is half the tread on my shoes, three hours of my life and one more thing I owe my brother for. Ahhh, but he’s not keeping track so it’s just the shoes and three hours. And Gearheads – thank you!