10:50 – The Trooper is back in the garage. Lynn at B&T Tire put it on the analyzer yesterday to find out why the check-engine light had come on. As he suspected, it was a problem with the EGR system, specifically an in-line vacuum valve. Lynn said the bad news was that that part was no longer available new and he doubted he’d be able to get even a used one from a junk yard. The good news is that the truck runs fine with the defective valve. If anything, it may actually be running better. I’ve been keeping track of gas mileage on our trips to Winston-Salem and back, and I’ve been getting 17.5 to 18.5 MPG, even running heavily loaded up and down the mountain. That’s better mileage than I used to get driving on Interstates down in the flatlands.
The real shocker was the bill for the check. In addition to running the analyzer, I had Lynn do a once-over of all the fluids, belts, tire pressures, etc. The bill totaled $58.43. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten away paying so little on any visit to a mechanic, other than for a simple oil change. One thing’s sure. When we need automotive service, I know where we’ll take the vehicle.
The bad news is that if something goes seriously wrong with the Trooper, we may have to have it towed off and junked because parts are almost impossible to come by, even from a junkyard. Isuzu didn’t sell all that many Troopers, and most of those long ago went to the crushers. So I think we’ll probably trade this Trooper while it still runs. I told Barbara last night that what I’d really like to have is a military-surplus HMMWV, but she said NFW was she driving a Humvee. I told her that some of the surplus Humvees come complete with machine-gun mounts and armored body panels, but that didn’t seem to sway her. She did finally agree that a pickup rather than an SUV would be acceptable, so I guess I’ll end up with a used 4X4 pickup, probably a Ford F150 or the Chevy equivalent.