“An Unlikely Tool”

July 4, 2005

Linda was driving the MGA one day when the car suddenly died on her and had to be towed home. When I raised the hood and found nothing wrong I cranked the engine and it fired right up. We never did find out why it left her stranded… until one night not long after..

We were driving home from an Independence Day celebration which, by the way, seems funny to do in a British car. It was getting a bit cold and the top was down as it should be so I turned on the heater. Now any experienced MG owner knows where this one is going. The moment I turned on the heater the car completely died. I mean died like the spark plugs vanished from existence. I was seconds from entering a freeway so the timing was fortunate.

I opened the hood and on a hunch went straight for the distributor. Sure enough it was soaked. The heater valve, insanely located directly above the distributor cap, was leaking and when I turned the heater on it dumped coolant all over the place. This stuff wasn’t going to dry itself out on such a cool evening and I had nothing to clean it up with. So I used the only thing I could think of… my socks. The first sock got most of the coolant but not quite all so I used a second one. After snapping the cap back on I got in the car and it started like nothing had ever happened. Off we went never to have the same problem and I could feel good about repairing a road-side breakdown with only a pair of socks!