One week ago today at 5.50am, I was driving down the Carrollton Ave exit off I-10 when I felt a weird sensation from the brake pedal. . .sort of like a pause in the braking-grip.
Just as I was noticing this weirdness, the Check Engine light on my dash lit up.
After suppressing a spike of panic, I waited for the engine to erupt in flames, or to simply fall out of the bottom of the car and leave me pedaling the Toyota a la Fred Flintstone. . .
No explosion. No wrenching crash of metal.
When I got to my office, there was an email waiting for me from the place where I get a three-month oil change. Ah, I thought, The Car is in cahoots with the Oil Man. Easy fix. Regardless, I spent the rest of that day dreading the drive back to the priory.
Being a good postmodern-sort, I googled, "Check Engine light" and discovered that this phenomenon could indicate anything from a sticky fan belt to a diseased transmission.
Great. My history with car repair is a long, sad tale, involving thousands of dollars, weeks of anxiety, and lots of begging for rides.
Saturday: got the oil changed. "Check Engine" still shined brightly from the dash.
Monday: off to see Mr. Ray at Fleur de Lis Auto Care.
I spent the morning in my room dreading the call from Mr. Ray.
In my head, the news went like this: "Father, your transmission is attached to the engine with a bent paper-clip and the axles are held together with chop-sticks and duct tape."
Me: "Great. I'll bring over a new box of paper-clips and a roll of duct tape!"
When the call came. . .I jumped.
Mr. Ray: "Father, we put the scanner on your car. . .[thundering drum roll]. . .the gas cap was loose."
So. All it cost me was a little humiliation and a lesson in Gas Cap Tightening Procedures.__________________
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