Wednesday, May 18, 2011

my perfect vehicle springs a leak...

so today . . . it rained.

IT RAINED!!! does anyone know that it is already the middle of may?!?!? we should not be having rain. we should be having lovely sunshin-y days, the kind of days that make you want to skip work and lay in the backyard under a tree with a book. that's may! not dashing from the house to the car, juggling bags and drinks and car keys and trying to find an umbrella...

of course if my car was in the garage where it belongs, this wouldn't be such an issue. but right now, my car is living out in the cold.

my car is living out in the cold, because the hot water heater is leaking. it is a small drip, but small drips add up! and since the hot water heater is in the garage, leaking creates issues. you may remember the last time there was water in the garage... my poor car paid the price! so the first thing i did when i noticed the leak was to move my car out of the garage and onto the driveway!

the second thing i did was to move all of the boxes of stuff that had the hot water heater surrounded, out into the main area of the garage to dry out.

and that's about as far as i got. i thought maybe i would just start my sorting and packing and getting rid of stuff with those boxes. but then i got busy... and so the boxes still sit in the garage where my car belongs, while my car languishes in the driveway...

...which might be ok, if we were having our normal weather. but it is RAINING!! which would still be ok, if the roof of my car didn't have a couple of tiny cracks in it.

oh yes, my most perfect car has two small cracks in the top. apparently there are two stress points on my convertible top. they have been reinforced, but i put the top up and down all the time. up and down and up and down. i noticed that it was showing some wear and tear, but i had no idea how bad it was, until a couple of months ago when i was sitting in the car while putting the top up, AND I SAW BLUE SKY THROUGH MY ROOF! it was just a teeny, tiny sliver of sky, but still, it was sky!

after the initial shock, i didn't worry about it too much. it rarely rains here and my car is in the garage most of the time. and then i realized that rain was not my real enemy (well, it might be my enemy, but it never rains in california...) my real enemy was the car wash. and when i realized that i couldn't take my car to the car wash with those two tiny little cracks in the roof, i decided i needed to get it fixed! i sure didn't want to drive around in a dirty car--black cars should be shiny and sleek.

so i called to see how much a new roof would cost. and then i decided i wouldn't be getting a new roof for a while. for quite a while.

my next move was the internet, because you can find a solution for anything on the internet, right? so i started searching for ways to repair a vinyl roof top. and i found some, but they all looked like they had the potential to go disasterously wrong! and it was going to take time, which is something in kind of short supply for me right now. i needed a quick solution, because my car was dirty and scattered rain showers were in the forecast. i thought maybe i could use that wide, clear packing tape short term, but i couldn't get it to stick to the roof! the vinyl on my roof has a pebbled texture, and that clear tape just wouldn't seal.

so i came up with another solution.

duct tape.

yes duct tape. it is strong, it is water resistant, and i already had some in the garage. i am of the opinion that you can fix just about anything with duct tape. so i got out my scissors and my roll of duct tape and headed for my car...

it was a pretty simple process to cut a piece of duct tape and cover the cracks in my roof. but as i surveyed my handiwork, i was not satisfied. my roof is black and the duct tape is silver. normally i like things that are silver, but this just looked tacky, tacky, tacky. this was not a perfect soution. i needed something else... something black... something like a black permanent marker...

did you know that if you want to color a piece of silver duct tape black, you have to move your black permanent marker slowly? because if you don't, it leaves little silver tracks...

well, it wasn't a perfect solution, but i thought at least it would keep the water out until i could decide what to do. it rained a little bit, and my car stayed dry inside, so i thought maybe this was going to work!

and then we had a sunny day. and another sunny day. and a hot sunny day. and then a whole week of hot sunny days. and that is when i learned that duct tape adhesive sort of melts in the heat, because it wasn't long before my customized duct tape had loosened enough to blow off my roof. so now, not only was my roof back to being at the mercy of any passing water, but as a bonus, there were big white rectangles of leftover duct tape adhesive on my roof!

i tried to get it off, but it was soooo sticky! and it had melted down into the spaces between the pebbled texture of the vinyl--not enough to seal the cracks of course, just enough to make a big ugly mess.

i gave up. it hardly ever rains anyway, and i decided i would just have to drive around with a dirty car until i could save up $2,500 for a new roof!!!

and then, a couple of weeks ago while i was at school, rollie somehow miraculously removed all that icky adhesive, washed the car, and temporarily repaired the cracks. with electrical tape. black electrical tape. black electrical tape that also eventually fell off the roof, but at least any adhesive residue is black. it was a brilliant solution.

so my car is once again waterproof. i hope. because while the rain is supposed to end today, i am thinking my baby needs a bath!

1 comment:

mom said...

Did you try putting the tape on the INSIDE of the roof???