I like to think of myself as a Renaissance woman. I know how to make doughnuts, I can install drywall, je parle un petit peu du francais. But there are a few things in life that leave me stumped. How to knit, for instance. How to dive without belly-flopping. And CARS. I know how to drive. I can parallel park, I know where the gas goes. I can check my oil and if truly hard-pressed I might be able to change a tire. But when it comes to the inner workings of an automobile, forget it.
It doesn’t help that cars nowadays are computers. I can’t fix my computer either, but I married an IT guy who sure can. My husband also can build and fix cars — but of the VW 70s variety, not these newfangled shiny whatsits you have to hook up to electronics to diagnose. Don’t get me wrong, my husband can fix A LOT of what goes wrong with our vehicles. But I think we’ve reached a point with Lil Blackie where professional resuscitation is in order.
My car has been taking up a lot of my psychological time the past week b/c my car’s ‘Check Engine’ light has come on. Although it passed inspection last year, it’s been leaking oil – as evidenced by the pretty rainbow in our driveway – and when I last drove it it smelled downright BAD.
Two days ago I forgot about the ‘Check Engine’ light being on. I got in and started it up, I made my way down the street to the store (I had to buy a shallot) but I realized about 2 blocks from the house something was amiss. The light, for one was alerting me, as was the heavyish white smoke billowing out the tailpipe. I turned right around and came home & the car’s been parked ever since.
I forget the technical term for what’s wrong, my husband said it’s got a leak from the oil to the something and it’s bad. Like in the thousands to repair, bad. Part of me wants to just say SCREW IT and keep driving Lil Blackie till he won’t drive no more. Part of me knows how foolish this is; the car could break down and have to be towed – which will cost additional $$$ AND leave me stranded somewhere – but I am a rebel. For the time being, I am leaving the car parked. If I need to get somewhere I can hoof it. But what worries me is the longer term.
What to do about this car?? We can’t afford big bucks to get it fixed. No one’s gonna want to BUY IT w/a major malfunction. And as generous as I am or pretend to be, that’s a mighty big donation for a single-income family to make.
The only good news? We have another car, so my husband will be able to get to work. Don’t laugh – I am serious. Before we bought this house we only had Lil Blackie, and if we were still in that position we’d be seriously sh!t outta luck. As I am home full time I can make do w/out a car, we’re okay for the time being. But my husband is starting to poke fun of the ‘leaky tanker’ out in the driveway and I worry that it’s not environmentally sound. Next comment I will simply retort that it could be up on cinder blocks rusting in the side yard. Hmmm… Perhaps a solution has been found.