Leigh's 2011 Adventure travel blog

Meagan and Gnorman discuss the finer points of auto servicing.

Meagan is about to open up Wandering Spirit's differential case.

Despite the worried look, all was well in the rear end.

The computer at Just Lubes knew everything about Wandering Spirit.

Gnorman chuckles at the name the locksmith's shop.

When I had my oil changed on Saturday, Just Lubes didn't have enough staff to do a full check on my differential, to see why its oil was dirty, so I went back first thing Monday morning. Meagan was there, along with some men, so I teased her that I had come in to have her check out my rear end. She grinned, drained it and tore the cover plate off.

The problem we were hoping not to see was that the differential gears were chewing each other up. However, they were in perfect condition, so the diagnosis was that old, dried-up fluid and gunk from the wheels had dissolved in the new fluid from Caroline, and diffused in, making it dirty. It is very unlikely that the differential had ever been serviced in its first 25 years of life. So Meagan cleaned it as well as possible, posed for a couple of pictures with Gnorman, and closed it up. The owner was apologetic about charging me when they hadn't found any problems, but I assured him that I was very happy with that outcome. I will have to come back one more time to be sure it isn't leaking or anything.

I still had to figure out what to do about the engine hum in my stereo, so contemplated it over a big plate of ham and eggs at the East End Variety. My Android smartphone let me locate some addresses and plan my day, while I sipped a second cup of coffee.

When I bought Wandering Spirit, she came with a single set of keys. As a bear of sometimes very little brain, I immediately tried to get duplicates made. Some of the keys were easy, such as the Ford cab door and ignition keys, some were a little harder, such as the coach entry door keys, and some were proving impossible. Someone suggested I try the locksmith in Barrie, who goes by the ingenious name of Sure Lock Homes. As an inveterate punster, I couldn't resist that at all.

The fellow at Sure Lock Homes (snicker!) was very helpful, and got me fixed up with everything but a spare key for the lock on my trunk. He pored through his books and catalogs, and finally gave up. He thought maybe it was an English size, and perhaps from Hong Kong. I was crestfallen, but then he excused himself to go in the back of the shop. After a few minutes, he came back with a lock similar to the one on the trunk, but with standard keys, saying it was the only one he had. I snapped it up, and left with a big smile.

From there I went to Tom's Car Audio, to see what advice I could get regarding my hum. The fellow there came out to look at Wandering Spirit, and suggested that all my problems could be due to a bad antenna, with a rusty connection to the vehicle. He sold me some bits of wire, and sent me to Ideal Supply for an antenna.

I came back to Jocelyn's house, watched a movie and ate nachos with Tim and Jocelyn's brother Calder, and took Tim with me to get a spot at the Oro Family Campground.


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