Saturday, July 10, 2010

It Comes, It Goes

Mostly it goes. (photo is Tucker (now deceased) holding down his favorite paper product)

Money. What a tease. Just when it seems that after the bills there might be enough left over for, say, buying a book or a burger or, well, anything under twenty bucks that might provide a few moments of enjoyment, it is swiftly taken away.

All because of a teeny warning light that reads CHECK ENGINE. I'm beginning to hate those two words (unless, of course, 'check' means more money to me - as in "in the mail"). They were first noticed as I was driving 'A' home from work on Friday night. Just fantastic, a long holiday weekend. I was nice to the truck, driving it as little as possible until I could get it to my mechanic on Tuesday. Nothing seemed to be dangerously wrong. No big puddles (or little drips), engine sounded just the same, no billowing smoke, just the two words lit up brilliantly on the dashboard reminding me that something was indeed amiss.

I dropped the truck off at my mechanic on Tuesday morning. They hooked it up to their computer, reset the CHECK ENGINE light, declared it safe to drive for the moment, and sent me on my way with, "If the warning light comes back on, bring it right in, we'll hook the computer up again and see if the code is confirmed (or something equivalent).

Well, just as my mind sort of put those lurking two words aside, they came back. Drat. Off to the mechanic. I left the truck with them and got a ride home from my mom. The mechanic called. Bad news. The catalytic converter. Worse news. California emissions system. Toughest standards in the US meant the darn truck has a double converter. Mega bucks considering the limited funds I possess. Thankfully, I have a super intelligent friend who immediately got to thinking about solutions for me. He gave me two different words and I latched on to them.


I am forever indebted (and very happily so).

I called my mechanic who said, "Yeah, maybe, it's certainly worth a call to the dealership." I called the dealership where the manager said, "No, you're not covered. You didn't buy extended coverage." I checked online where I found indications of federally mandated emissions coverages. I called the toll free number the dealership manager had given me and it was a number to be accessed by dealers only. I got mad and called the dealer back for a usable number. Got one and called and Stacey at the company said, "Of course you are covered! But...the work has to be done at the dealership."

So, to finish up here...I've got my truck and I've been driving it. I've got a Monday noontime appointment at the dealership. I'll just bet that they'll find a way to make it something that is not covered by the emissions warranty. But I guarantee that it won't amount to as much money as I first thought it could be. There are always those fine print kind of items with vague descriptions. I can be kind of insistent and difficult when those types try to push me around that way.

I'll be glad when it's done with.

(A private message: Okay, so I didn't make it through the weekend without thinking about it)


scribbs. master mechanic said...

Bah. Warning lights are meaningless unless accompanied by grinding or clattering noises, pools of oil under the car or strange burning smells.

Otherwise, they are a conspiracy by mechanics and car makers to keep drivers in a constant state of fear.

I still think there should be three lights: "check engine," which is meaningless, "better check that engine pretty quick" which warns of impending serious problems and "you should checked the engine, fool," which is accompanied by a call to the towing service.

Cat-fan scribbs said...

P.S. Great-looking kitteh!

deb said...

They need a light that says, "you need someone with more intelligence and savvy to deal with this one."