Thursday 12 February 2015

The Night Jenny Almost Died.

So there I was, it was a cold evening, but not too cold, as I stood in the back of my truck, staring at Jenny in disbelief as the sun began to set. It was after work and I had moved to my, now usual, evening parking spot, that quiet spot down the block.  

The tonneau cover on the back of Treabilla was rolled back and I had just tried to start Jenny. This was something that I have done for a while now and just a part of my routine: flip a switch, turn the fuel on, set the choke and pull the cord. So far, Jenny has only failed to start once, and then yesterday.

I was puzzled as to why she wouldn’t start, or rather would sputter a bit and stop. It was a failed start, fire a few times but not start running. She was used to this temperature and has been running for at least two hours a day for the past few months. This shouldn’t be happening, yet was.

I decided, on a whim to check a few things, the first thing I checked was the oil; it was low but not out. In fact she was just down to that “low” mark. So I got out the special funnel and my fancy oil and proceeded to fill Jenny’s crankcase up with oil. 

As I watched the oil slowly gurgle down the funnel, I kicked myself for not doing something so basic. At least once a week I should have checked Jenny’s oil level. Some say check it just before each time you run the generator, I say that you should find your own schedule, but checking it regularly is good. 

As you might have guessed, oil doesn’t flow quickly at -10C, it moves slowly, more like molasses in February . . . so I had some time to give myself heck. It might be a wise thing to buy some 5W30 oil, as it is lighter and will move better in the colder temperatures. As it stands the weather does not look to get too cold in the near future, so I will stick to the oil I already have.

Eventually though Jenny’s crankcase was filled with oil and ready for me to try to start her again. Like a trooper, she didn’t let me down and started on the first pull. She purred for the two hours I kept her running last night. It was a good thing I bought the fancy oil, the kind that claims to stick to metal parts to keep lubricating, or I might have killed Jenny.

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