Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Either Nothing is Wrong, OR You Will Be Blown To Bits

Recently, I was startled to find that a light had come on in the dashboard of our Honda Element. This always makes me really nervous, because I don't know anything about cars, and every time I bring my car to the dealership for service, I get reamed.

Once, when I complained that I felt that the mechanics were totally scamming me, my mother said:

"Since we don't know anything about cars, we don't have any other choice but to get scammed by mechanics. If you face that fact in life, you'll feel better about this."

This is the advice I grew up with folks. Very similar to:

"I'm sorry that Stephanie Foster kicks you under the table at school, but next year in first grade, you might have differently-shaped tables - or she won't be sitting next to you - that's something to look forward to!"

My parents really never went to bat for me, except when I came home from school after my last day of second grade without any homework. My father, convinced that I was a complete liar, drove me right back to the school where Mrs. Adams (who actually hit me on the head with a book out of frustration because I hadn't learned how to read yet - and of course, when I told my parents, they did not feel that this was anything earth-shattering) explained that IN AMERICA there was no homework during summer vacation. My father insisted that she give me some sort of assignment, so she rummaged around and gave me two workbooks.

Anyway, back to the car story. I looked up what that light symbolized in the car manual and it said:

"If the indicator comes on while driving, it means one of the engine's emissions control systems may have a problem...Continued operation may cause serious damage."

Then, in the next paragraph, it said:

"...the indicator coming on could be due to a loose or missing fuel fill cap. Tighten the cap until it clicks at least three times. Tightening the cap will not turn the indicator off immediately. It takes at least three days of normal driving."

So what do I do? Keep driving three days? Or bring it in to prevent SERIOUS DAMAGE?

No comments: