side of the road

You know how, when you're on a trip and you see some poor soul standing by the side of the road peering hopelessly at the inner workings of his non-functional automobile with one hand holding up the hood and you think, "I'm glad that's not me"?

Well today it was me. I'm home now, but earlier today at the exact moment I crossed into Pennsylvania from Ohio, as if by magic, my check engine light came on. I hate car problems. If there is something less than perfect about the way my car is running, I get nervous. I have even bitten my nails at such times. I bit my nails today. The check engine light stayed on for a couple of hours. As I was in the passing lane driving up a huge hill near Donegal, PA while surrounded by, I don't know, eighteen million trucks, the car started to hesitate, and then to buck or lug (whichever you prefer). It never did stall but I pulled across three lanes of tires that were half as big as my whole car to get to the shoulder.

I stood there for a minute in the aforementioned posture of desperate automotive ignorance before proclaiming, "Screw the engine. Let's go!" So I drove over the top of the hill, bucking all the way, and coasted down the other side to the Donegal exit of the PA turnpike. After a brief meeting with the epitome of unhelpfulness at his so called repair shop, I drove another eleven miles in my VW Bucking Bronc convertible to Somerset.

In Somerset, the folks at D&B Auto Sales were infinitely more helpful than Mr. Pleasant back in Donegal. They actually fixed my problem, temporarily. The found the diagnostic codes and cleaned the plugs and intoned some weird sounding chant over my car while dancing around it in black robes and smacking their foreheads with wooden planks.

Okay, they just cleaned the plugs and took it for a test drive. It worked fine...

...Until I crossed Sideling Hill just east of Breezewood. The "check engine" light came on. "I'm not even thinkin' about stopping, you..." I said to the engine light in my most insistent and paternalistic voice.

It stayed on the whole rest of the way but no rodeo riding was needed. I'm home now and planning on bringing the bugger in to my favorite mechanic tomorrow.


Posted to: things_I_know_nothing_about

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