2008 Cadillac CTS V6 DI: Short Fuses
January 07, 2009
Gather 'round kids. Let me tell y'all the legend of the mini mini fuse. You see, it all started this gray morn when I pushed the windshield washer button for my (largely) trusty steed. But did I receive a quenching squirt to clear my view of accumulated road-salt residue and your garden-variety dirt? I did not. Uh oh.
Out comes the owner's manual to look for the location of the fuse that I am now praying will be blown so that I can replace it and be on my way. Under some black plastic engine-compartment trim and beneath the fuse box cover with its three locks, is my culprit. Yep, the tiny little red blade-style fuse is blown. Great. Easy fix.
So I truck myself up to a major chain automotive parts store (visibility through the windshield is not yet bad enough to justify wiping it by hand). But I can't find as tiny a fuse as I need. They have regular and they have mini but not this one. "Hmmm," says the store clerk when I show him the fuse. "I think someone came in here before with one of those. I've heard of them. But we don't have them."
He directs me to a parts store across town that caters to guys who actually fix cars instead of to customers who only mount their own Yosemite Sam mud flaps and air fresheners. When I show the guy behind that counter he says, "Oh wow, can I show this to another of our guys?" I hear him say, "This is what I was talking about. I wasn't making it up." He tells me he's trying to get a supplier for this new mini-mini fuse. "I want to be the only one with them."
"You're going to have to go to the dealer. Bring your own lube," he adds, helpfully.
Fine. The increasingly opaque windshield is beginning to give me pause but I mosey on down to Massey Cadillac, an old-school Caddy dealer if ever there was one. "I need one of these," I say to the man at the parts counter, pulling the microscopic fuse out of that tiny pocket within the right front pocket of my jeans. "Hmmm, lemme check [tap, tap, tap, tap, tap...] yeah, we've got one. Seven dollars." Oh, come on...er, fine. I pass on the 22-inch Vogue chrome wheel and tire package they're selling for $2,700 and the varsity jacket with the Cadillac logo for $215. I wonder momentarily if I could manage to expense an Escalade chrome gas door ($145) and if I can fit it to the CTS before giving the car to Oldham next week.
The fuse is replaced and the washer pump kicks out the juice something fierce now. An increasing number of new cars will be using this new teeny, tiny fuse, I'm told. I'm now considering getting in to the fuse business.
Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit at 20,772 miles