Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Check Engine

     I'd heard all of the warnings when I bought my Land Rover years ago, but it seemed hit or miss. I was hoping for a miss. I got a lemon. Dealing with that dealership is so painful I vowed, after being the victim of a very minor car accident years ago, and it took like six weeks for the door to arrive from England (not AR obv), never to use them again, and if I needed too, I would search for a new vehicle. I had to fight them for a replacement car to drive to work. And this was pre-pandemic! Ridiculous. 

    Also had an incident on Spring Break a few years ago that required us to rent a vehicle and have it transported to another city then towed back to AR. After a few weeks. Luckily it was still under warranty, so it didn't cost a thing but now the warranty is out. It's not just the big things. My satellite radio hasn't worked for over a year. The automatic wipers suck. Having said that, I love the fishbowl view of the highway and the look of the car but some things just aren't worth it.

    When my check engine light came on while running errands on Monday I was like OK. Here is my moment. Sink or swim. I went to get my oil changed yesterday morning at 7:30 am (so much fun to spend your precious time off dealing with cars - my forerunner never had any issues - I know, first world problems but still). The tire and service place I have used on Cantrell for years is going downhill. I prepared myself for an hour, even brought a book, but when they turned on ESPN loudly in the waiting room, and two other guys were there, I resigned myself to playing on my phone.

    Why, I thought, has this not been classified as audiotorture. The men are all yelling at each other and talking over each other and when, about an hour into it, Tom Brady announced his resignation on Instagram, it was like the whole studio went into a mad frenzy. A collective orgasm in reaction to the news. They were reading parts and bits of his apparently 6 page Insta rez and I LOL'd. Who writes six pages on that platform. I know, my brother and his wife were in Boston for years and went to some of the games, he's accomplished, but what athletic feat deserves this reveration? (I'm apparently making up words according to autocorrect, oh well.) That, I decided, was my ESPN exposure for the century. Next time I'll try to Uber home.

    When I finally tried to leave 2.5 hours after arriving (a record at that place for an oil change) they had left the hood popped accidentally and forgot to re-engage the safety air bags so I was getting lights and warnings not to drive over 20 miles an hour that added an extra half hour to the whole ordeal. The sixteen year old desk clerk told me that the engine light was on because I left the gas tank slightly ajar - um, I got gas five days ago but ok - so I wasn't surprised in the least when it came back on again on the way to my hair appointment with Maddy.

    I tried another car place after hair that ran an engine diagnostics I had requested done in the morning but didn't get a report on - I was so grateful to get away from the noise pollution I didn't care. They said it was two things - O2 something and catalytic not sure. I do bodies, not cars, so the terminology was lost on me. They wrote it down and I called my financial adviser's best friend - he gave me his cell months ago - who works on luxury vehicles without charging you an arm and a leg to open the hood. It could be nothing, he said, or something. Likely nothing. But call me again after the (maybe) storm and I'll fit you in.

    So I started car shopping. I drove my dad's Jeep last summer and it reminded me how much I like them. But I'm an adult, I thought, maybe check out a sedan or a coupe? I called my partner Michelle to ask how she liked her Audi. It's a Volvo, she said (LOL) but it's reliable, much more so than Darius' Range Rover. Give me the name of that guy you called. We will need him. Christy loves her BMW and their service but there are only six cars on the lot and they are all white (eww) and I don't want to wait.

    S said, and I agree, you will hate hoisting yourself out of a low car after all these years. Kind of like getting up off of a non-handicapped toilet, I thought. I'd rather jump down. Let's just table Fadi (the luxury car guru) and buy a car this weekend. The thought of car shopping sickens me - I'd rather have a nasty nauseous GI bug, but if I look online and go in on Saturday for the kill I can try to make it as painless as possible.

    Hopefully this storm will pass quickly and Saturday is still a shopping option. Of course I am going to work on Thursday and Friday (would have loved to have three days off to admire the ice but not in the cards) so I just packed for a hotel near Baptist. Arkansas weather. So unpredictable. Better safe than sorry, based on my history. Happy Wednesday, much love, Elizabeth

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