Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Where's the NEED SMARTER DRIVER light?

I have spent an inordinate amount of time in my life being sneered at by auto mechanics.

'Cause as I've mentioned before, I know absolutely nothing about cars. And I'm also somewhat lax about getting problems checked when they arise -- not to due to laziness (not completely), but because usually I'm broke and can't afford to fix it, no matter what it is. So I ignore it and hope it goes away on its own. Of course, it doesn't, and eventually the car breaks down and I have to pull off some miracle (read: borrow money from friends) to repair it. And so it goes. And so it goes.

Today, I got my oil changed. I was a little overdue, according to the little sticker in the corner of my windshield. Not by much -- just three months. Or nine thousand miles. Depending on which benchmark you're looking at. But I had some free time and money this afternoon, so I got it done. Because the oil light had started to flash sporadically over the weekend. Time to get it fixed!

Now, here's my biggest problem with cars: that fucking CHECK ENGINE SOON light. I don't know what this light means. A lot of the time, those warning lights on the dashboard are self-explanatory. When the FUEL light comes on, put in fuel. When the BRAKE light comes on, put in brake fluid. When the OIL light comes on, put in oil. This is pretty simple, even for me.

But CHECK ENGINE SOON? How soon? Check it for what? That it's still there? Yeah, it's there, it's running, it's running fine, what could be wrong with it? The car certainly knows, that's why the light came on. But it's not telling me. Fucking arrogant car. "Oh, you mean I have to tell you everything? You can't figure it out yourself? How typical. And I thought you understood me!"

Perhaps I should see a mental health professional about my tendency to anthropomorphize inanimate objects.

But anyway. When the guy changed the oil today, he gave me that Auto Mechanic look, the one I've been getting all my life. The one that says, "My god, you know nothing about cars, do you?"

I was somewhat low on oil. Actually, I was really low. So I got a sneer. As always.

At least it wasn't as bad as the time I rode my brakes with no brake fluid for so long the brake pads dissolved and the metal parts of the brakes crumbled to dust. That was embarrassing.

Can we invent transporters already?

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