Monday, September 11

I love my car, I hate my car. I love my car, I hate my car. I love....

All this just to be able to drive a nifty SUV for a few days? (Picture here)

And, my new best friend is How [Auto] Stuff Works.

As some of you know, my check engine light came on a couple weeks ago. This is a major event in my life (not really, well sort of. Actually, no). I hoped it was just the gas cap not being on quite tight enough. While hoping that was the case yet starting to realize it was probably something else considering I've had 17 drives after tightening the cap (and the manual says the light will clear after 3 if it's the cap), my car got my attention by Not Starting on Friday night. I arrived home from working out and was going to leave again to shoot some photos of the nice evening light. Turn key. Nothing. No [insert sound of car trying to start]. Just the radio. Turn key again. Same. An hour later, I was back home after I eventually got the car started (well, I didn't do anything was all the car) and my friend Joanne (hi Joanne!) met me at Honda so I could leave my car for repair over the weekend and get back home.

Honda calls today. Not the actual Honda, mind you, but a man from Honda, and we'll just call him "Honda" (very original, I know). Honda says the check engine light went on because my catalytic converter and O2 sensor need to be replaced. Uh-huh. That means nothing to me right now. What are those things again? I have heard of that particular item before.The PRICE however, means much, much, much more to me. O.n.e.cough.t.h.o.u.s.a.n.d.
cough.d.o.l.l.a.r.s. Yes, sir.

Now, I, being a 1) woman and 2) mostly uneducated in the realm of cars, immediately jump, in my mind, to paying for it. And if I should put that much money into my car or put a brick on the gas pedal at the edge of a cliff (sorry car), believing the guy (mostly) that it's a life or death repair. Of course I wouldn't go to that extreme, but you get the point. Now, men, tell me, do you first think, in reponse to Honda, "Well,what about this and that and this, and I know this and that and this, and you are a this and that and this, and I'm not going to be taken in by this and that and this and so on"? You see, this is mostly the only time I don't particularly like being a woman because I know so little about cars, I don't like sounding dumb, and I don't like being dependent on someone else's knowledge with whom I have no prior relationship, when it has to do with my money and possessions. I told him that I would wait on the repairs, thankyouverymuch. Now what? I certainly don't want to contribute to global warming with poor emissions (rolling eyes).

Well, I learned more about these two parts, thanks to another mechanic, two co-workers and my new best friend (per above). I talked to Honda again, and the O2 sensor is bad and the catalytic converter is cracked. It is not clogged (worse to be clogged). It's not an urgent repair (though looming in my superb). I would rather not go too long though with it like this, because according to my new best friend, "When the oxygen sensor fails, the computer can no longer sense the air/fuel ratio, so it ends up guessing. Your car performs poorly and uses more fuel than it needs to."

At least, despite the handicaps I mentioned above with regard to cars and me, I didn't believe the non-starting issue had anything to do with the emissions issues. As a result, I asked Honda to test for other problems, nothing is coming up for that...the car has to be in a state of Not Working in order for it to show up on the diagnostic test.

So, the moral of this story is a question and not a lesson: How do you handle car repairs? (and what would you do in my situation)

One last very final thing: After arriving back home on Friday night, I noticed my cute little flash card still in the card reader by my computer. I wouldn't have been able to take any pictures anyway, had I made it to my destination! I had a good chuckle at that one. The Lord is always good to His people.

and yes, a new photo quiz will be coming this week.


Stacey said...

Sorry to hear about your car, hope it all turns out alright. What a great website, very informative!

Doctor X said...

If the catalytic converter were clogged that would keep the car from starting.

If the exhaust doesn’t leave the engine and exit out the tail pipe it just builds up. Thus there is no oxygen for combustion to take place inside the engine. As long as it is not completely clogged the car will still run. If it is somewhat clogged you’ll loose power.

I would have the O2 sensor replaced. It’s a rather common repair and shouldn’t cost that much. If that doesn’t fix it I’d look at the c.c.

I’ll have to blog about my car repairs. My headlights stopped working which cause me to take my steering wheel and column apart!