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It’s 107 And My Air Conditioner Is Broken. . .But I Don’t Care

July 1, 2015

It’s gotten a little warm in Utah. This was the temperature when I got to my car today. Yesterday was worse at 108. It’s been like this for almost a week. Tomorrow it might cool down into the upper 90’s. The air conditioner in the car we now all call Iron Man is not working. But, I don’t care.


As some of you may remember, I spent a lot of time earlier in the Spring “fixing” this car. I did a partial engine rebuild. I swapped out various body parts. I replaced just about every pump in the entire contraption. It kept breaking. 

Yesterday, I spent 4 hours on a conference call. Mostly, I was listening to dead air. But, something broke on my call floor. It was a client issue, meaning my engineers couldn’t fix it, and I had to wait on the conference call until the client fixed it. That happens a lot. Way more than it should. 

Our systems at work are very complex computer networks. Our private network spans 4 states and is used by over 1,000 of my agents and countless more at other suppliers. A system that complex is going to break at times. When it breaks, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, that becomes my #1 priority. 

The systems in my car are not nearly as complex. But, it still felt like everytime I turned around something was breaking. Sometimes it was the stuff I’d just fixed. I was dreading the hot weather. In the past, my car has had coolant problems. In fact, after we did the partial engine rebuild, we nearly didn’t make it back from our test drive because the engine overheated. Turns out it was air bubbles in the coolant system. 

A picture of the coolant overflow.

Then, just a few weeks ago, the radiator started spitting fluid all over the inside of my engine compartment. A seal had burst and we had to put in a new radiator. 

The radiator is the long shiny black and silver thing at the bottom of the picture. 

As the weather heated up this week, I started getting more and more nervous to drive my car. I watch the gages like a hawk. I try to keep the RPMs below 3000. I baby it. 

I’m not sure I need to. So far, the car has handled the heat like it was made for it. I haven’t added a drop of radiator fluid in weeks; not since replacing the radiator. The engine is performing admirably. And that’s what scares me a little bit. Could it be that I actually “fixed it” once and for all? It’s possible that my coolant problems are over. If that’s true, it’s worth some inconvenience with the AC. 

I typically drive with the sunroof open and my windows down, even on the freeway. But, the heat has driven me to change my approach. Now, I leave the sunroof slightly cracked and the windows rolled up, and the air conditioning on. When you turn on the AC do you notice that your car revs its engine just a little bit? That’s by design. The AC puts a strain on the engine. The car is supposed to be smart enough to compensate for the AC. Somewhere along the line, mine lost it’s mind. The AC works while the car is moving, but if I stop, the AC will kill the engine. 

It’s not a critical error, and when the temperature goes back down, so will my windows. And I’m just so happy that the cooling system for the engine works, that I don’t even care about the AC. . .much. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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  1. Hey Rodney, I’m Patrick. I came across your blog in a random search and that title caught my eye. I live in Florida and it’s amazing that our temperature doesn’t get that intense, especially being so south. I also drive an older Lexus, and I completely understand the frustration of owning such a sensitive car. Keep at it, they are great cars, when they work like they are supposed to. Good luck with that weather as well, not much to say about that. Check out my blog sometime, I post issues and fixes as well. Good luck!

    • Fortunately we don’t have the humidity that you get, other wise I’d be much worse off.

      I’ll check out your blog. YouTube has been my friend in this process of restoring my car. There are still some pieces not working right, but for the most part it does alright.

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