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We all agree that chicken noodle soup is good for everything. It is the elixir for all that ails. It will stop a running nose. It will ease the agony of flu.

Now, I have discovered the ultimate: It is good for sick cars.

I stumbled upon this minor miracle in January after we fled the frigid Q-C for the balm of Florida. We had left my red PT Cruiser convertible last spring, parked outside our condo in Englewood. It was securely wrapped in canvas. I patted goodbye to my beloved car, confident that all was well and it would run like a top when we returned this year.

IT STARTED, rather to my surprise, but there was little else to ease my worries. All four tires had seen better days, and the scalding summer heat of Florida did them in. They were kaput and had to be replaced to the tune of $600. That was only the beginning. The little running lights, the tail lights and turn signals had developed the habit of going off and on without prompting. I would roll over in bed at night and see the turn signals blinking, and the running lights illuminating the bushes in front of our condo. This could not go on.

Yeah, something had gone haywire in the electrical system. It was discovered that if the turn signal lever were constantly held down, all the lighting problems would be corrected. But I could not spend my Florida days and nights holding down the turn signal. My wife suggested tying a strong string to the turn signal and attaching it to the brake pedal. That lasted for about 30 minutes while we called a garage for help.

“Oh, I know your problem,” a repair person said. “It’s big time. Hundreds of dollars.”

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FRUSTRATED, I tried other ways to solve the problem. A neighbor named Frank, who acted handy, said I must weigh down that lever. So we tied a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup to it. One was not heavy enough to hold it down. My wife hurried back to the kitchen for another can of Campbell's and more cord. Two cans of soup did the job. Amazing! Two cans of soup tied together held down the lever. All the lights went off and stayed off.

Late in the afternoon, we drove to the repair garage, cans still in place. We were impressed that it is operated by women, and they were stunned to see what two cans of soup could do for a car. They kept my Cruiser for a day. The repair bill was $279.56 to replace a multi-function switch.

So, here’s my hint for the Campbell Soup people in Camden, New Jersey. Your chicken noodle soup is m-m-m, m-m-m good for automotive needs. You have the possibility of opening a whole new market.

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Contact Bill Wundram at 563-383-2249 or bwundram @qctimes.com.

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