August 02, 2006


Had one this morning that I enjoyed more than usual--we had a 7:30 subcommittee meeting at a jobsite, so it was a nice change of pace from a conference room. The venue made everyone not want to stand around jabbering about stupid stuff.

I suggest that all future meetings be held outside in the hot sun with no chairs.

Afterwards, I had to run over to the Ford dealership--seems that Lisa the Parts Guy (who works at Advance Auto Parts, by the way, NOT Autozone) didn't have a PCV valve for the Focus when I went by there on the way home last night. They seem to be as rare as conservative Democrats, at least judging by the number of them I found on eBay Motors last night. Which was exactly zero.

Anyway, after I found out they didn't have PCV valves, I bought some carb cleaner anyway just so I could buy something, and took it home and started looking for vacuum leaks. (While still wearing my white dress shirt--I am a moron, you know.)

Sprayed the PCV valve and hose--no change in idle.


The hose was off a bit, so I snugged it up, then sprayed some more. FINALLY found a hotspot, over behind the head, in a hose coming up off of the throttle body. I finally could hear the hissing it made when I got close to it, and jiggering with the hose made the whole car quiver and quake. THAT'S the part I need! Probably a new PCV couldn't hurt, but that hose had to be what was causing most of the problem.

SO, this morning, after my meeting, off to The Friendly Downtown Ford Dealer. I didn't have the car with me, though, which was a mistake.

"Well, here's the PCV hose assembly right here..." said the genial Bob Uecker lookalike.

"Uhmm, well, I really need the hose that comes up off of the throttle body, and loops down under the engine. It had a squeeze clamp on one end of it at the throttle."

"This has a plastic elbow on the end."

"Well, yes, but the hose I'm talking about doesn't."


He looked at another screen. "What about this?"

It was a diagram of the air intake system, back to the mass airflow sensor.

"Ummm, nuh-ooooo, it's not any of that, it's the hose that comes up off the top of the throttle body, about a half-inch inside diameter. About a foot long or so. Might have a formed end, but not a rigid elbow."

He had to go do something else for a minute for another customer.

I studied the picture and knew that if I could only get him to pull up a picture of the throttle body, I could point out the right hose. He came back with a box for another guy, and carrying the PCV hose and valve assembly (which might explain why it's so hard to find just the valve--it only comes as an assembly).

"Right here's your part for the PCV hose and all."


"Do you think you could show me a picture of the throttle body?"

"No--that last screen had the throttle body in it--see?"


He was pointing at the mass airflow meter--from the back of the air cleaner box, there's an elbow, then the meter, then a big accordian tube leading to the throttle body, which was cleverly not shown on the drawing. No use trying to make him believe he was looking at the wrong thing, however. He was, after all, The FACTORY Parts Guy.

"I think I'm going to have to bring in my car and let you look at it."

This pleased him greatly. "Yeah, I believe so--this has happened before, had a part on a car and it wasn't even listed in the catalog!"

How very comforting.

Anyway, that's for later--now to do some paying work.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2006 09:09 AM

About the meeting, wouldn't you think there's an inverse relationship between the length of a meeting and level of comfort in which it is held?

Probably one of Murphy's addendums.

Posted by: southtrek at August 2, 2006 09:37 AM

Oh, I know it's true! I just wish more people would realize it.

Then again, some people like to sit around a conference table and blabber all day.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2006 09:44 AM

worst thing the gum'int ever done was install air condtioning in the capitol building

Posted by: Dave Helton at August 2, 2006 10:02 AM

--and make us pay for it.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 2, 2006 10:45 AM