A week ago, I left to visit my friends Eric and Cathy Raymond. First, I spent a couple of days with Mad Mike Williamson in Indianapolis, making things that go BLAM and learning a lot while helping him set up at a gun show. I left there last Friday and drove down to Chattanooga to help a Second Life friend move to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Got that done Saturday, continued on the short distance to Eric and Cathy's place, and have spent the time since gaming, hacking, and enjoying their fine company.
I was going to go back to Chattanooga today to spend a day or two with another friend. Unfortunately, my truck had other ideas. Last night, on the way back from seeing the preview of TRON: Legacy (about which I'll write in a bit), I stopped for gas - and the truck refused to start again.
Twisting the key with the transmission in either Park or Neutral produced no reaction at all. The lights didn't dim, the engine didn't crank, the starter solenoid didn't go "clunk". This points to a common problem on Blazers of that vintage: the ignition switch. I called a tow truck. When he arrived, he went through the diagnosis with me, and right as I said "Nope, tried it in Neutral, too, see?" and twisted the key, it cranked and started.
I'll take that. It got us back to Malvern. Now, all I need to do is get another ignition switch and replace it. It's a 2-hour job or so. I'll have to buy some tools, too, since mine are in Fairmont and Eric isn't the car mechanic type.
Dunno what that means in terms of money yet. Prices for the part are all over the place; AutoZone has it for $75, Pep Boys at $152, and NAPA at $240. Guess who I'm calling first? While I'm there, I'll replace the ignition lock cylinder too, since it's worn enough that I can remove the key in any position.