DIY Savings – I Fixed my car, well I fixed what I broke

When we were in Brisbane last year I bought a vehicle for the family. It was nothing flash, just something to get us around. I didn’t really make sure that it was all running smooth. I was not sure how long we were going to be in Brisbane and I wanted to get something quickly. When driving it I noticed that it idled rough when in drive and stationary, it shook big time. I hoped it wasn’t something major and hadn’t bought a lemon (I had a few of those). I did a quick Google search and thought I had found the issue.

There was a youtube video that showed me the suspected issue, a dirty idle control valve. It is a valve that controls the um…idle. I decided to do what the video prescribed. So, I headed down to the local automotive supplier and bought a can of carb cleaner. I sprayed the area as it showed in the video and gave the idle control valve an extra dose of cleaning. When I put it all back together I was dreaming of how it was going to be great that we would have a vehicle that doesn’t shake. And I was patting myself on the back (figuratively) that I actually fixed something.

When I went to start the vehicle it just died. I was starting to get worried. I tried it again and got the same result. I went to google again and found that I killed the precious idle control valve. I should have known that when you mix fluids and electrics you don’t get greater performance, but death. When I looked for replacement parts I got a shock. It was around $300! Oh man! That was more than the vehicle was worth (not really, but probably not far off at this moment). Even the wreckers were expensive.

Then I saw that there were cheaper ones from China. It would take over two weeks to get there. The price was less than $20. For me, it was a no-brainer and I went with the cheaper option. I found that I could drive the car if I kept my foot on the accelerator. I would also have to use my other foot close to the brake at all times. It was very difficult to drive the thing and there was no way I would let my wife drive it (I don’t like her driving as it is). When turning around corners the vehicle would often stall the engine and the power steering went. I would have to turn on the key put my foot on the accelerator and pray that there were no other vehicles around. It was a bit dangerous, but fun. In the end, I am not sure it was the best option in terms of risk, but it seemed like the best option now.

When I finally got the part I was somewhat becoming used to my new driving style. I out the part in and it worked. Wow, I was able to drive the car normally as before. The only issue was, it still had the shakes. Arrghhhh!!!!

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