January 2, 2008

A New Year's Day exercise in automotive repair

LA MANZANILLA, Jalisco, Mexico - Son Dustin and his girlfriend Cami were headed back to Puerto Vallarta mid-day when we noticed that the driveway was filling with fluid as soon as he started the engine.

In the U.S., that becomes: Oh crap! Call AAA.

In Mexico, that becomes: Oh crap? Have any wrenches, Dad?

For about an hour, Dustin (with minor assistance from me) removed the radiator, found the leak and patched it with some two-part epoxy we got from a local everything repair shop, where the owner was rearranging huge piles of metal on his New Year's Day.

Two-part epoxy to fix a leaking radiator? Hey, come on, it's Mexico.

Radiator reinstalled, Dustin and Cami headed off happily and made it almost to Puerto Vallarta before the patch started leaking. But - preparedness being muy important down here - he had about 8 liters of water along, with which he was able to use to nurse his Trooper to his Nuevo Vallarta home.

Yes, there are three Troopers in the family: ours, Dustin's and Cami's.

While Dustin was pouring water into his car in the afternoon, we drove to the Manzanillo airport (45 minutes from our driveway) to pick up son, Dylan, who was coming in from San Francisco. The airport is very civilized, with an upstairs bar that overlooks the tarmac where all passengers walk in.

We sipped Indio beer while Dylan got off the plane and worked his way through customs.

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