I Outsmarted My Car

Or, outsmarted by my car. Guess it just depends on how you look at it.

So last weekend Jon and I drove my car all day Saturday while we were running around. Then we took his car on Sunday and didn’t use mine at all. So imagine my surprise when I go to start my car Monday morning and my check engine light comes on.

I was less than thrilled. Obviously.

So I had Jon check the oil to make sure it wasn’t that. (My car is about due for its next service.) It wasn’t.

On Wednesday night I was going to give up and schedule an appointment for first thing Saturday morning to get it taken care of. Luckily I had problems with the dealership website and couldn’t because on Thursday morning while I was getting ready it occurred to me that I’ve had the light come on for stupid reasons before. Like not having my gas cap on all the way. Or the gas cap being cracked.

(Are you sensing the theme here? I apparently don’t get along with my gas cap. Probably because I hate pumping gas. I hate the smell, the grimy-ness of it, the fact that I have to get out of my car…. I sound like I should live in Jersey.)

But so I go out to my car and sure enough my gas cap isn’t on tight. So I tighten it and hope that’ll turn the light off. It doesn’t. I think I checked the cap 3 times that day to make sure it was on straight and tight.

That night I’m feeling a little less excited because it’s still on, and it occurred to me I don’t even know if that’ll fix the problem. What if it’s one of those lights that the dealer has to turn off and so once it’s triggered you have to take it in? So I do what anyone from my generation does when we have a question.

I Googled it.

Luckily Consumer Reports told me that it should turn off on its own if that is in fact the problem. But it might take a few trips to do so (which is fair since it took it two days to turn on in the first place).

So my less than brilliant plan is simply to keep driving on Friday (I had plans last night in Cleveland so I thought that would enough driving to trigger it) and if it didn’t go away to try to take it in this morning. I really didn’t want to wait another week to take it in. I tend to get paranoid and think things like that my car might explode.

Lucky for me, when I went to leave work on Friday my light didn’t come on. There may or may not have been a little celebration in the car. No comment.

The sad thing is that I truly felt a sense of accomplishment for outsmarting my car. Even though I was only in the situation because I’m apparently the idiot who still doesn’t do the gas cap right even after two other incidents with it.

But I don’t have to take my car in yet!

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