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J.R. Buchanan


The van won't start

One morning it was about 20 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. There was a TV service call to be made. No one wanted to take the service van because it had stranded us several times in the last few weeks. Not good at those temperatures.

So I went out with the shop owner's son, and we disconnected one of the primary wires from the ignition coil and hid it where it wouldn't be obviously missing.

Then we tried to start the van. Of course, it wouldn't start.

We came in and let the other employees in on it.

Some of them tried to start it, until the battery was dead as well.

The shop owner got mad and went out, jumpered it from his car, and also failed to start it.

Our plan was to go reconnect the wire after the temperature hopefully rose above zero later in the day, and then see if the van would really start after all that abuse.

We were shocked to discover that the shop owner didn't think that the reason the van wouldn't start was the temperature, and while we weren't looking, had it towed into a shop!

We were pretty worried that they'd tell him about the disconnected wire and we'd be in hot water.

To our surprise, when we picked up the van, neither the bill, nor the service technician, mentioned the disconnected wire. They had taken advantage of the situation to do a complete tune up and several other repairs. It was a pretty expensive bill.

It really worked out in the end though, the van stopped stranding people at the side of the road. They really had fixed some real problems.