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"Murphy was an optimist!"

I am the gas fairy, goo goo g’joob January 9, 2011 11:09 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Cathy, Daily Life, Family, Transportation, Travel
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When I notice the van running low on petrol (gasoline), I attempt to secretly refill the tank so that Cathy is frequently surprised with a full tank of gas. Yesterday she found herself stranded at the mall because the van refused to start. She claims she was out in the cold for an hour and a half. I arrived and after some futzing with the van the engine roared albeit roughly and with a warning light. Eventually we found our way to Autozone whose computer reported that the MAF/MAP sensor was overloaded. Great, sensor replacement time. Wait a minute! Hadn’t seen this before? Oh… yes. I walked out the door to the van, removed the gas cap, and replaced the gas cap, the warning light faded away, and the engine ran smooth. See, in modern vehicles, the fuel system is often pressurized so if the gas cap is not sealed well, like it’s crooked, then the engine has problems getting fuel.

n.b. The gas fairy does indeed sound like a walrus.

Tl;dr The van wouldn’t start leaving Cathy was stuck in the cold for an hour and a half because I put the gas cap on crooked.

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Comments»

1. flyingboz - January 10, 2011

if issue recurs, it’s usually worth the 8 or so bucks for the maf sensor cleaning spray — almost every time it’s bought me months (or years) more life out of the sensor.

2. Doug McCaughan - January 10, 2011

That’s good to know! I haven’t looked to see where the sensor is. I presumed it would be rather inaccessible. In this case, within seconds of properly securing the gas cap, the van was running smoothly.

3. flyingboz - January 11, 2011

it’s a small filament that will be located somewhere in the air intake stream w/ a protective cover. Ensure that you do not touch this delicate sensor. Cleaning it could also help improve your gas mileage / performance. The sensor is easily damaged, and not cheap. IIRC, my lincoln town car’s was over $120.00! Made of some fancy material, and quite fragile.


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