Linda and I have been living at our current residence for three years now and one of the cute things about the place is the number of squirrels on the property. After awhile, you tend to ignore them; I can sit in the living room, look outside, and see them doing what squirrels do – rip and run all over the place, burying and digging up acorns, of which they have no shortage of given the number of oak trees around here.
They also drive our cat, Zane, bananas when they come up on the patio and sit there, as if they know that the cat who is now in full attack mode can’t get to them. As I said, after a while, you tend to ignore them… until one of those rat bastards decided to build a nest on top of our truck’s distributor… and utterly and completely destroyed the fuel injector connector!
I’m going to the store, hop in the truck, turn the key… and the engine sounds like shit and the “Service Engine Soon” light comes on – what the fuck? I was able to get to the store and back – didn’t have to go far and I drove kinda slow but now, shit, I don’t know what’s going on and more so since I’d driven it the day before, it was fine.
I let Linda know and told her we need to have the OBDII codes checked; a call to the guy who works on our truck was in order and he has an OBDII scanner. The plan is simple: Get the error codes, find out what they mean, and then figure out how to fix it. He shows the next day and we plug in the scanner and get the codes, both of which refers to intermittent misfiring and possible coil issue and we’re both like, duh, we can hear that. Time to look under the hood!
I pop the hood and we both look at the coil and the wife to the distributor – perhaps it somehow got unseated… then we see why the engine is misfiring: As mentioned, the fuel injector connector, which sits in front of the distributor is totally and completely destroyed and the rat bastard has all kinds of leaves, paper, and other shit on top of the distributor! The motherfucker chewed one of the hoses to the heater core, nibbled on the wires for the wiper motor, and even gnawed on the coil wire and I’m thinking – and saying, “Oh, no…”
Obviously, it has to be replaced and, at first, we’re thinking the whole damned wiring harness will have to be replaced… and those things aren’t cheap and I’m pretty sure they’re not easy to replace – the rat bastard chewed some of the wires right down to the harness. It took me two and a half hours just to find out that (a) the damaged part was the fuel injector connector and the only way I learned that because in a car repair forum, a guy with the same truck we had reported the exact same problem. I wound up having to order the part, grateful that it was 30% off the $96 price when ordered online… but I’m looking at a picture of the new part and immediately notice another problem.
The new part’s wiring is all white… and the destroyed connector is all color coded. I spent another headache increasing hour trying to find a wiring diagram – but I found one. Two days later, my part comes in but I can’t pick it up until the next day… and there’s bad weather coming and it was gonna be very cold and windy. I let the mechanic know the part is ready for pickup and he’ll give me a ride to get it but when I suggested he wait until it warmed up a bit, he said, nah, I can do it now – ain’t no big deal.
My friends, we were out there fucking with the repair and it’s 14 degrees and with a wind chill factor that made it feel like 8 degrees; I’ve got my cold weather gear on and the mechanic… doesn’t even have a jacket on. I never like being cold and since my stroke made me sensitive to temperature, I really hate being cold! I wanted to haul ass inside… but I needed to make sure he did the job right and I wound up having to read the diagram; he could read it but it would have taken him longer by having to stop and read the diagram.
An hour and a half later, the new connector is in place and I’m miserably cold; I was thinking that had this been summer, we would have been done in twenty minutes or so but anyone who has ever worked on a car in cold weather knows that, after a while, your hands want to stop working. I had my thermal gloves on… but he wasn’t wearing anything on his hands; even mechanic’s gloves would have given him some protection from the cold.
I start the truck… and it fires up and purrs, proof that the repair was done properly and, after a quick test drive, we both needed to thaw out (and him more than me). The plan now is to peek under the hood to make sure that bastard doesn’t come back and rebuild its nest and for two days, it was all good…
Until I went to check under the hood… and found the connector ripped up again, albeit not as bad as the first time. I had started the truck to make sure it would start because it’s been bitterly cold and you know how that’ll kill a battery. I turn the key, the engine turns over… and it’s misfiring. The connector can be salvaged but, shit, the distributor is covered with leaves and shit, which had to pull out. Now we’re wondering what the hell we can do to stop this fucker from doing this; we tried pouring cayenne pepper in there (as recommended by web searches)f the asshole came back and while it didn’t do any more damage, there was yet another nest; we tried bleach but that didn’t stop it from building even bigger nest!
I reported this to the complex’s management and asked that the site exterminator be called in to catch this furry fucker and because we think they ain’t gonna do shit, well, we’re gonna poison that motherfucker but until we can get some, we did two things: One, we had some old license plates and I covered the distributor and connector with them – then we sprayed the plates wit ammonia (another alleged squirrel deterrent).
And don’t you know the asswipe climbed back in there and attempted to build another nest? Ah, but between the plates removing all that space and the ammonia soaking the plates, that seems to have done the trick and we’ve been going out to check and spray more ammonia until the mechanic is free to reconnect the connector.
We are still gonna poison that motherfucker because those connectors aren’t cheap and while the mechanic doesn’t charge me a lot, it still costs money. What is amazing is that there are maybe thirty other cars parked in the area we park in- but those cars haven’t been attacked by squirrels – just our truck. Normally, I’m not of a mind to murder animals… but this bushy tailed rat has earned his demise…