My car is doing it again --- that thing where I start to reconsider whether this whole ``motor transportation'' thing is actually a good idea. In particular it's losing coolant. I noticed this when I figured I should check on just how much coolant it had and found there wasn't any in the reservoir. I refilled it, and on getting back home there was just a tiny bit left in the reservoir. I repeated this routine a few times and still haven't got any.
What I didn't have was any specific evidence of where it's been going. My suspicion was that since the reservoir lid was loose perhaps warmed coolant was vaporizing before I could do anything about it. I didn't understand the Jiffy Lube folks' complaint at first and had replaced my radiator cap which didn't do anything useful; but the large, roughly square plastic cover to the reservoir, the thing into which you pour more coolant, rattles around with one side coming off none too hard. And so I stopped in at an AutoZone to look for a replacement. This required some explanation that I was not looking for the radiator cap but rather the cover for the reservoir, which the clerk there was able to understand once she had pulled up the picture of a radiator cap and I explained no, that's not what I needed. I'm glad I'm not apparently overlooking the obviously correct term since she had to look up what it was. And it turns out they can't get it in stock. Maybe a dealer would. But on coming out of the AutoZone I found a puddle of greenish liquid dripping underneath my car, from around the radiator fan. Ah! Almost certainly there is a leak there.
Unfortunately this meant some of this evening was spent in convincing my father that there (a) was a problem, that I (b) correctly identified as coolant leaking out, even though by the time we were home there wasn't any current leak. I'm taking the car up to the place where I got it fixed a few weeks ago and ...w ell, I hope this isn't going to force me to use more of my personal days since I've got much better plans for them than sitting in the auto shop while they try to make me feel at home by insisting I pick something to watch on the TV.
Trivia: In February 1883 Ferdinand de Lessep's canal digging excavated 111,082 cubic meters of soil in Panama. Source: The Impossible Dream: The Building of the Panama Canal, Ian Cameron.
Currently Reading: 1939: The Lost World Of The Fair, David Gelernter.