Friday, April 01, 2011

Multiple Eyes

This week Mt. Pleasant Public Schools (MI) are one spring break.  For some time Anna had been planning a trip so that we might show Serge, our German exchange student, some of the America. 
On Saturday of last week I was running around town and noticed that our van was due for an oil change, a good thing to have done before one sets out for a trip.  Along with changing the engine oil, we had the transmission oil changed.
Upon returning to the house I thought, maybe I should put our converter in the van and see how it works.  Before Christmas I had bought a DC to AC converter so I could put lights on my tractor for the Lighted Christmas Parade in Mt. Pleasant.  I changed wires on the converter, put it in the van and turned it on.  It worked. 
A couple of moments later I would be frantic.  I could not get the van to start.  Nor in my prodding could I find the problem. I checked the fuse boxes, I checked other wires. 
The next day after church, on the day of planned departure, with the kids all packed and panting wondering when we're going to leave, some guys from the church came over.
Brian brought his son Greg and a jack.  Stan came with a lot of knowledge about vehicles.  Bert and Dan stopped by with a hearty helping of laughter.
One question they all asked me was, did you check the fuses.  I replied a couple of times, yes.
After checking the starter, the battery and the kill wire from the transmission, it was time to check the fuses again and the switches that reside in the fuse box.  To do that you need a mulit-meter.  This is another tool I don't have.  Brian has one but we soon discovered that it wasn't working.  At that moment Roy drove in.  Roy is a man with many talents and a specialty is electrical stuff.  Roy had his multi-meter in tow and began poling around.  Before long he found the problem - a blow fuse.  The converter had blown a 10 Amp fuse that disabled charge from going to the starter.
With that fixed our help loaded up and went on their way and we did too. 
I told Anna, I thought I had checked all the fuses.  I pulled every one. But I missed the blown fuse.  Maybe it was the dimness of the light when I pulled them, or the tool I was using blocked my vision, or my eyes were tired, or the thought of something going wrong clouded my vision.  Whatever it was we were parked without a charge until we had more eyes than mine alone.  The multiplicity of eyes saw things I missed. 
I am thankful for those guys who brought their eyes to see and think and solve a problem. 
Soon we were on our way to see other things in the opening week of spring.

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