Monday, September 30, 2013

Car Sick

It's either a blessing or a curse, and I'm not sure which. In my adult life illness and car trouble strikes exclusively on Saturday. Both rarely occur. But when they do it's always on the weekend. On the one hand, it's the best time for such things to happen. I almost never have to call in sick. The one time I did it was Monday and I was still recovering from Saturday's bug. Car trouble has yet to leave me stranded or scrabbling for a ride to get where I need to be. But on the other hand, both are a pain to deal with no matter what day they strike.

This Saturday it was the car, not illness, that struck. I was driving home Saturday afternoon when my check engine light began to flash.

I didn't believe it at first. I've never had a check engine light come on. I was half a mile or so from home. I had to slow down through a roundabout and things started feeling funny. I knew the check engine light was serious business. I started praying that I'd make it home. 

I did and set to work researching what to do next. My friend Google gave me some advice. And I phoned a real life friend who knows far more about these things than I do.  Once I had a plan of attack and I was reassured that my car wouldn't explode if I drove it somewhere, I headed to the auto parts store.

I survived the short trip and the car was diagnosed with some misfiring. I bought the new spark plugs and wires and headed home once more. The check engine light was no longer flashing. It was steadily lit up.

I had to wait for help to replace the parts. And it required one more trip to the hardware store for a tool I didn't happen to have. And another trip to the auto parts store because they sold me the wrong spark plugs. All in all, it took a couple of hours of work, but the ol' Camry was resuscitated. She's feeling much better now. As far as I can tell, she's in full recovery.

As for me, I learned how to give my car a tune up, something that was long overdue. Today, I am extra thankful for good friends. The kind that will bail you out when you're in trouble. Help you fix your car when she won't run. Or nurse you back to health when sickness strikes on a Saturday.


  1. You are definitely a very talented woman. In one week you have successfully completed a home improvement project and a car tune up! I am very impressed and as always very proud of you. I may call the next time I have car problems!

    1. I wouldn't rely on me if I were you. Knowing the steps to complete a task, is not the same as carrying it out. Let's just say it's a good thing there was a supervisor on this job. In the end, I was pretty useless.