Friday, April 25, 2008

My evil washing machine is now in cahoots with my car.

My check engine light comes on. I first noticed it in December when we went to Missouri. I figured it was just the change in altitude plus 30 hours of almost continuous driving. Sure enough, it turned off a few days later. Every time I go to Provo for work, it comes on again, but has always turned off a few days later. It has been on for about a week now. I took it to AutoZone and the fault code means my catalytic converter may be failing. I am seriously hoping it is just a CO2 sensor. However, I can’t even find a Haynes or Chilton manual for my model. First, it is lumped under the Corolla, because it uses the same base. (My insurance people believe it is a Corolla, because that is what the VIN pulls up.) Second, every Corolla manual from the right year says in big bold letters “excludes XRS”. I have an email in to Haynes to see if they have another manual or if I can use the regular manual for the basic stuff. After doing some research, my car is actually overdue for its cat to die. Most die around 80k miles. Mine is at 95k. So I am hoping and praying for a good turn out. I am contemplating doing what one owner suggested, which was basically clean a lot of stuff. “I changed air filter, spark plugs, clean MAF, throttle body and idle air control motor.” Hmm, I can change the air filter, but it is pretty new. Spark plugs? I don’t think they need changing, but maybe that would make her wake up easier in the morning. I don’t even know what an MAF is. Throttle body I can guess delivers gas. Isn’t the idle air control motor related to the carbeurator? Do manual transmissions even have carburators? Why can’t I spell carbuerator! (carburetor is correct.) So you can see that I am at a loss. I don’t even have the regular owners manual. It was on my list of things to get like an extra key made (I only have one) and a second clicker (again, only one) and new rims and tires (got the tires, rims too much!). Or it could just be nothing. I am very careful about the gas cap going on right, so I know it isn’t that. If it is the cat, it is $1k plus repair. If it is the sensor, my “special” model requires a special sensor, that costs twice what the regular one costs- $100 instead of $50. If we can figure out where the sensor is and pull it out, one of my coworkers has the means to test it to see if it is bad. Of course, that would mean having a manual to tell me where to look!So, if anyone knows a good mechanic in or near Kearns, let me know!
So other than the specter of an expensive car repair looming over my head, it has been a rather fruitful financial week. I just got my paycheck, with a bit of overtime. And I got a bonus for one of the projects I helped out with, which was entirely unexpected and much appreciated. It pays to always say yes when people ask for stuff. I guess. And I got my mileage reimbursements for those 2 trips to Provo, which is almost $100. (All my mileage checks are going into my car maintenance/ registration fund, so that I can pay for that without worrying too much about how to pay for it.) And a medical reimbursement check. So far so good. I just hope the car turns out ok.

No comments: