Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Check Engine

When presented with a car repair issue my first response is ignorance. Of course, that doesn't help with something like a flat tire or a dead battery--those issues need immediate response. If the car is unable to run then the problem must be solved. What I'm talking about is that strange noise one may hear, or that little light that is illuminated on the dashboard. I had one of those lights show itself on Saturday. It was the dreaded, "check engine" light.

The check engine light is the one that the car manual insists requires immediate, expensive attention. The manual states when that little rascal shows itself it's best to get it to the dealer right away.

I first noticed the light on Saturday. I noted it and mentioned it to a friend who was sitting in the passenger seat. She too knew her car manual rules.

"Everything I've heard says you need to take the car in as soon as possible."

"Yea," I smiled. "But look, if I put my hand right here on the steering wheel I can't even see it, so there's really no problem at all."

And so I ignored it. On Monday I filled up the tank, but decided to give the engine a little taste of the premium fuel. Maybe the more expensive fill up was the spinach my little engine needed.

Tonight I was driving home after dinner with friends. While waiting at a stoplight my hands fell off the steering wheel for a moment. I was happy to see the engine no longer needed checking. Problem solved.


  1. I read somewhere that sometimes the check engine light comes on if you don't tighten the gas cap enough, and now it's my favorite hypothesis.

  2. I find that if you turn the radio up, most engine noises stop immediately, too. It's basic car mechanics 101.