I live in Minneapolis.
Over the past few weeks, the temperatures have been mostly below average.
We had a few days in the past weeks when we didn't even get above zero.
I haven't had my car air conditioner on in probably 5 months.
My car has been running a little loud, lately - although the gas mileage has been quite nice ever since I got my struts and a few gaskets replaced last fall.
Today, after work, I was behind an SUV which seemed to be sending its fumes directly into my vent system.
The smell got worse, started to smell "hot," and got a lot stronger.
I drove past the offending SUV, but the smell didn't go away.
When I pulled over to the side of the street to check the coolant/anti-freeze level (it has been known to drop suddenly in the past), I'm pretty sure I saw smoke or steam coming from under the hood - but it might have been exhaust blowing from the rear of my car since it was chilly and windy.
During my freakout call to Christopher (we've discussed that car problems freak me out, right?), he suggested a way to drive home without the freeways, and I took that route, just in case something happened.
Along the way, the car started to run quieter.
The smell started to dissipate.
I took the car to the shop, anyway.
Turns out the tension rod and pulley that drive my air conditioner and - okay, yeah, also the overall fan for the air circulation inside the car - had worn and eventually locked up and... well... part of it actually full-on melted.
Let's see... 20 degrees out... haven't used the air conditioner in months... and melted something that runs the air conditioner.
Now, that's irony.
Well played, universal dictionary. Well played.