Thursday, March 22, 2007

WAWA Subaru

I was out running some errands by car today. Normally I would be on my bike, but I had several stops and many things to carry today. Plus, Patience asked if I could take her and baby Isabella into La to pick up some fabric from a relative. Not a problem.

We got about two blocks from home, when the car sputtered and lost power. Luckily there was a wide shoulder without an open drain. I coasted to a stop and muttered, "WAWA."

"The car is spoiled?" as Patience put it.

West Africa Wins Again!

I suggested that Patience walk back to the house and stay cool, but she insisted on staying; suggesting armed robbers might ransack the car...two blocks from home in broad day light. She called her husband on my cell. Recall that he is the same man who helped me purchase my spare wheel. He rushed to the rescue on his moped with an assortment of tools and much more knowledge of engines than I.

Once under the hood he quickly traced the problem back to a blown 30A fuse. Battery and starter seemed to be cranking. Just not any fuel getting to the burners apparently.

Hmmmm....I think I've heard about this problem recently before. ARG! Bad fuel, perhaps, gunked up fuel filter (hopefully). I don't mind dropping a few bucks changing a fuel filter, but the possibility of a fried fuel pump has me concerned. Hopefully the fuel pump has not been over worked - just the blown fuse. SJD agreed via phone.

We swapped the ABS fuse to get the motor running. Derrick was backing the car up to take it for a test spin, and went right into an open gutter. DOUBLE ARG! I saw it coming a mile away but couldn't get his attention to stop. We got it out no problem and went on our way.

So, our final stop is really close to home. Try to start the car again. Crank, crank, crank...nothing. Now Patience, Isabella, my wilting lettuce and I are stuck again. We call Derrick again who rushes over again to swap a few fuses. Eventually the car is running, but he suggests I just give it a little extra gas all the way home. Easier said than done in Accra grid lock.

I've never seen anyone riding a moped stop traffic with such authority to allow the frazzled white guy to motor through without stopping. Only in Accra...nice job Derrick! Driving Ghanaian style ain't for sissies.

Back home safely, I'm now scouring the internet for quick-ship OEM parts. I mean Derrick was good and appreciated, but even he agrees that his home-made fuse is not very reliable. That, and I dread another trip to the Kaneshie auto market....


camps said...

Wow, what an education you're getting there.

Where are the alpine lakes in Ghana?

Brian said...

I'm a slow learner, so it is a good thing we'll be here a while longer. On a positive note, the car is no longer sick.

You must have been looking at a photo from Washington State. Nothing alpine here as far as we konw.

DEM from BP said...


Your dry wit and descriptive writing style keeps me laughing as if I am standing there in person watching. Your talent astounds me!

Hope things are good.