Tighten Up That Astro

It comes as no surprise that our super-fly Astro Van was anything but perfect when we bought it. The thing drove and, more importantly, we fit inside. Sort of. 

We ignored the van's ailments for almost two months, knowing that soon enough, Dear Sweet Winnie would again be home. But with gas prices on the rise ($4.35 a gallon!) and the fear that we may never be able to sell the damn thing, we thought it wise to give Miss Astro a little love. (Rather, I thought it wise for Pete to give the van a little love whilst I watch the Oscars and eat cioppino).


Our issues, besides all of our pesky electronic woes, include: a high idle, depressing gas consumption, an inability to decelerate while coasting (even uphill), and a "jerky" transmission. Yea, jerky. 

The goal was to perform maintenance that would be a decent improvement without breaking the bank. It's just not worth it to dump loads of cash into a disposable van we'll probably only need another month. We have one money pit (sorry Winnie!); We don't need another.


After a trip to the auto store, Pete got to work on our 193,965-mile maintenance. Jobs included:
  • A thorough cleaning of the EGR Valve and Idle Air Control Valve (the latter of which is a bit busted, but replacing it would have cost another $50, so we said "eh...")
  • A new distributor cap and rotor (which were sold separately, oddly...)
  • New spark plugs and wires
  • And maybe some other stuff that I'm too car-naive to know or understand

Pete rather enjoys working with his hands. They've gotten a little "soft" since we moved to California. Good thing there's always something to do on the Astro Van. And the Winnie, too, for that matter! He should be callused up in no time...



Pete finished his to-do list and was showered by the time I biked home from my Oscar viewing soiree. We were exhausted and immediately passed out, only to be awoken by the phantom, non-stop sounding of our dying car horn. Add that to our list of electrical woes...