176: Snow and Car Trouble

Ifrane, on the top of the mountain, got half a METER of snow.

Impassable door

Impassable door

Azrou, at a lower elevation, only got about a foot or so. Still, for us Georgia (USA) natives, it was pretty spectacular. I know northerners are laughing right about now, but hey! It was new and unusual to ME!! Plus, we are in AFRICA. Nobody thinks of snow in Africa, and even Moroccan natives will flock to Ifrane this coming weekend, to frolic in the snow that they don’t see much of, either, and to take pictures.

I had car trouble, of course, in all this snow.

Piles of snow

Piles of snow

When I crawled home in second gear Friday night in all the snow, after school ended for the day, I did not notice the car overheating. We went Saturday morning to get firewood, and my husband did notice the car was trying to run hot, so we walked to the car parts store and bought anti-freeze to re-fill the radiator, and thought that fixed it. NOT. Monday morning on the way UP the mountain to Ifrane (where I and my four carpoolers all work) the car ran hot again. I know better than to try and keep going with a car that is trying to overheat, so I turned around and coasted back down the mountain, down to the grand taxi stand in Azrou, where I dropped off all my carpoolers, so they could get a taxi to Ifrane and go to work. *I* let the car cool off and took it to the mechanic. No work for me – are you crazy? With a ready-made excuse???

The mechanics quickly discovered that in all the piled-up snow, we had pushed in the front underside of the car JUST enough to shift the radiator so that it was stopping the coolant fan from turning. They had the fan freed by eleven o’clock. Fortunately, being the good mechanics that they are, they tested it, and it still ran hot.  So they changed out the thermostat, which controls turning on the coolant fan when the engine gets to the level that the thermostat switch flips and starts the now-freed-up fan. THAT fixed it.

Roasting rotisserie chickens

Roasting rotisserie chickens

My husband and I walked downtown and bought the mechanics a whole rotisserie chicken with all the trimmings: seasoned rice, french fries, olives and tomatoes, and three round loaves of bread. They all were delighted with the treat, and so were we: the total cost for repairs? 400 dirham (a little less than 50 bucks US), and the thermostat cost 220 dirham out of the 400 they charged us! I LOVE this country!!


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