Nothing Like A Car

There is nothing like a car to make you feel dumb, helpless, and completely ineffectual. Really.

These past few days have shown me just how little I know about cars. The inner workings of the car are a mystery to me and when I look under the hood there are only a few things that I can identify and the rest is as mysterious as the aurora borealis.

This past Saturday, if you follow me on Twitter, you would’ve found out that it was time once again to swap children with my cousin for a week; an inexpensive way for the kids to feel like they had an experience over spring break. So off we went to meet up in Boston Bar.

When I got there I found out that I had a flat tire, a really flat tire. It was then that it was noticed that my rim was also bent. I knew I had hit a curb a few weeks back, but since this flat was a recent developement I didn’t think anything of the dent. I was more concerned that the tire had a hole in it and here I was in the middle of nowhere and had a 2 hour ride home before I could have the tire dealt with. 

As it turned out, when I got home and told my husband the issue, I should’ve been concerned about the rim. It was the fact that it was pulled back that caused the flat. OOPS!  Once the rim was hammered back into place all was well again.

Or so I thought.

Monday after work, I head off to join a friend for a lovely trail walk. I’ve got an audiobook playing in my ears, and the sun shining. All was well in my world, that is until I got off the highway.  My car started making a shugging kind of noise, so looked down at my dash and horror of horrors, I was red-lining in my temperature gauge. YIKES! As I headed towards a safe place to pull over, smoke started to billow. Even I know that’s NOT good.

I pulled into the nearest gas station and, like a good wife about to go postal, I phoned my husband, who, hero of all heroes, left work promptly to head to my aid and rescue. I tried looking under the hood myself while waiting for him, but not knowing what I was looking at hampered me exploration into what had gone wrong. 

When he arrived I received a small talking to about the importance of watching my gauges while driving and then he stuck his head under the hood and promptly diagnosed a bad heater hose.  Once we replaced that (and by we, I mean he, all I did was hold the bolts, screws and screwdrivers) all was well, except for the pesky little thing called an engine light. That was still shinging brightly, which made me kinda nervous. Had I ruined something else? What else could go wrong?

I determined that I would head to the garage in the morning as I nervously drove home from the gas station. One never knows what could happen with the engine light on, and after having all that coolant sprayed everywhere. Thankfully, after an entire morning spent hanging around the garage, I found out that nothing was wrong, the sensor just had to be reset. PHEW! And the bonus was that they had the time to squeeze in an oil change to boot. BONUS!

The upside to all of this? I learned where and what the heater hose is, which ups my knowledge of what’s under the hood and what flows through it. Yay me.  One day we’ll have it figured out.  Maybe I should look into some basic car mechanic type courses.

Just in case.


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