And now for something completely different:
January 31, 2017
The family pool vehicle is a 2008 Scion xB, purchased used from the Smiths Falls Honda dealership when we collectively decided that my mother’s beloved Honda CRV was too old for her to drive safely any more. Mom and I picked the car because it was the easiest thing on the lot to get into and exit because of its height-adjustable front seats. Very few cars for sale in North America have height-adjustable passenger seats.
The Florida-import posed a few difficulties for Mom in that the heater controls were counter-intuitive to an elderly person used to her Honda. Nonetheless, it was mechanically sound and she drove it until her eighty-eighth year.
Then the car became a pool vehicle, used primarily for ferrying Mom around, but also available when another family car was out of the country, broken down, or on loan to a friend. It had proven a favourite to leave in airport parking lots, for example.
Understandably, a machine this low on the depth chart would sit for considerable periods of time between uses. It’s always been pretty reliable. It needed ignition coils and plugs last year, but that’s been it.
But then it started to sputter when I was turning around after a visit to the Scott Island Ferry. Barely got home. Error codes blamed cylinder #3, then #2, Then 1, 2, 3 and 4, finally settling on 1 and 2. What the???
I went back to United Auto Parts in Smiths Falls where I had bought the coils and recounted my tale of woe to the guy in there who is both older and balder than me. I asked if there was some magic solution which would make the fuel injection system work, because I had no idea how to fix fuel injectors, and a new computer was too expensive.
“I use Sea Foam.” He walked over to a counter and handed me a can. “It’s very quick. Put it in and run the engine for ten minutes and see.”
I tried it and it worked. The Scion is restored to service again. I still don’t know what the problem was, but it was somewhere between fuel and injectors, and it’s better now. So I guess this is a testimonial to one of those products that line the shelves of parts stores which I have never noticed before.