Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Insidious Sand

Yesterday we had the worst sandstorm I have seen since we have been in Arizona The wind start blowing at about 9:00 am and it did not let up until after dark, most the of the time it was blowing at about 30 mph. This kicks up a hell of a lot of sand, visibility for most of the day was about 200 yards, being outside was like being in a weird stinging fog.

The worst part was what the sandstorm did to my wife's drive home. She got in her car and started heading home, she quickly noticed that she was progressively accelerating despite not pushing down on the accelerator. At first she though the wind might just be pushing her along, but she soon noticed that she was still slowly accelerating, even when going into the wind. As she went along it just got worse as she continued to gain speed, despite to having her foot on the accelerator, it finaly got to the point where she had to ride the break in order to keep the car from going out of control. As the tachometer approached the redline she had resort to putting the car in park in order to get it to stop at lights. Needless to say she was absolutely terrified by the situation, which was made worse by the lack of visibility. But she manged to make home safe.

When I got home I opened up the hood expecting to find something seriously wrong with her car. I nstead I found a half to a quarter of an inch of sand covering every horizontal surface in her engine compartment. She had parked facing into the wind, next to a field full of open and loose sand, and as result all day long sand was blown into the engine compartment. Closer inspection revealed that the little sleeve that the throttle cable is covered by had gotten sand in it. So when she steped on the accelerator that throttle cable would pullout but when she stepped off the the accelerator the sand prevented the cable from returning to its normal position, and as result constant open throttle and acceleration. Fortunately it was very easy to clean out with an air compressor and her car now works fine.

The current state of my pool is whole other separate tragedy. F'ing sandstorm.

No comments: