Friday, March 2, 2012

In Need of Gadgets

That pesky little check engine light came on again a few weeks ago...and then yesterday it was gone.  I'm not sure why and for now I'll continue to not worry about it, but even so, I must admit that I have been noticing other cars lately.  A few weeks ago I heard about the return of the VW Microbus and spent the next few days picturing myself driving one around town. 

I love my car.'s getting to the point where I know if I want any sort of trade-in I might need to go car shopping sooner not later.  It runs just fine and other than the check engine light that illuminates and darkens for no apparent reason there's not much else to complain about.

Except maybe the headlight thing.  The newer cars have a handy little gadget that turns the headlights off automatically.  Daytime running lights were big a few years ago and so it seems many cars were built with the ability to shut off the headlights when the driver forgot.  My 2003 Honda doesn't have that fine feature.  Lately I wish it did.  In the last year I've ended up with two or three dead batteries because of my own failure to turn off the lights.  That being said, I've been on a pretty good run lately.  Until today.  (Isn't that always the way?  I mean otherwise why would I be writing this?)

I left work after a long day and made my way across the parking lot to my car.  With a steady rain falling and a chill in the air I was clutching my keys with thumb on the remote to unlock the doors.  I pressed unlock over and over again and noted that the lights were not blinking to signal the doors were unlocked.  It didn't take too long to realize I was stuck on a rainy afternoon with a dead battery. 

Fortunately, there were still a few people left at work so I started to scan the cars in the parking lot to see who I might hit up for a jump.  I saw two good options and headed toward the front door. 

It turns out I wouldn't make it past that door.  It was there I ran into the PE teacher who was on her way out.

"Hey," I called, "Can I use your car to get a jump? I mean it's nasty rain and all so you won't even need to get out I just want use of your battery."

"Actually, I have a thing in my trunk you can use to jump the car.  I've used it myself in this very parking lot."

She was right.  Within three minutes the Black and Decker jump starter had done the trick and we were both in our cars and on the way home.

I'll keep imaging myself in other cars, including my very cool and dreamy red Microbus, but I'll also look into the purchase of one of those nifty jump starter things.


  1. This sounds so familiar to me like an experience echo. My check engine light was on in my 2003 Toyota Camry.It has daylight running lights that automatically turn off but that didn't stop me from needing a jump when I sat with the key in the ignition gabbing on the cell phone while the battery died. TWICE. Nothing was really wrong with my beloved Camry but like you I was thinking about age and trade in value. Next something happened that still perplexes me! Not a VW Microbus but a VW Jetta Sportswagen with a panoramic sunroof now sits in the parking space right next to the Camry. Beware! :) :) :)

  2. We drive our cars until they die! We recently got a new car and while I love all the bells and whistles, I sure HATE the payment.

  3. hmmm...I'm liking the idea of that handy little gadget! Thanks for sharing this--I loved it!
    And maybe, just maybe, there will be a slice someday about that dreamy red Microbus!