Friday, October 26, 2012

It's Not Paradise By The Dashboard Lights

Every time something weird happens with my car, I think it's going to explode.  Really.  When the light came on that indicates low tire pressure, I immediately thought my car was going to blow up.  The only solace came from the fact that the light that indicates low tire pressure looks like a butt.  I'm serious.  Here, it looks like this:


Come on.  Tell me that doesn't look like a butt.

Anyway, on a high from winning a bike, I galloped down the stairs and jumped in my car to head to line dancing.  When I turned on the car, the dash lit up as it always does.  Then two lights remained on.

The car was obviously about to burst into flames.

Then I recognized that one of the lights looks exactly like a button that's right next to the gear shift.  It's the tire slipping button (also known as traction).  I thought, oh silly me I must have pressed it by accident.  So I pressed the button.  Nothing happened.  I pressed it again.  The light was still on.

Now I was sure--the car was going to explode.

Plus the other light was still on.  I called Eddie to come downstairs to look at the lights.  As he did so, I looked up both lights.  The first was indeed the tire slippage one.  The second one was under the heading Bring Your Car In For An Inspection Because... and the reason listed next to the symbol was Possible Electrical System Malfunction.  The manual doesn't have a translate column, but it should because that obviously translates to Your Car Is Going To Blow To Bits In Five Minutes.

I wound up taking Eddie's car and made a plan to take my car into the shop before work the next day.  On the way to dancing, S tried to console me by pointing out I had a brand new bike that I could ride while my car was in the shop.  I could also sell the bike and pay for the car repairs.  The bill would surely be enormous since putting back together an exploded car is no easy task.

After a round of idiocy with the folks over at the Toyota dealership (when asked if there would be a charge to bring it in since it's a lease, the girl answered, I don't know, and then expected that to be a good answer), Eddie and I took it to our good friend, Roland.  We actually don't know him well at all, but he's inspected both our cars and did the oil changes and he's so honest that when Eddie didn't have small bills and wanted to pay with a credit card, Roland was like, Naw you can just bring me the cash tomorrow since it's only ten bucks.  (later on, when I called to tell him I'd pay with a credit card over the phone since the shop was closing before I was leaving work, he was like, or you can pick up your car later and just pay me tomorrow--whatever you want sweetheart--and he said sweetheart in a genuine kind of way, not in a condescending kind of way, which makes me really appreciate him).

Panicked ensued on my part for the duration of the morning since I was sure Roland would be injured when the car blew to pieces.  Eddie eased my panic when he dropped me off at work, telling me Roland would fix it.  Then my mind was completely at peace when Eddie called at lunch and not only was Roland alive, but he'd found what was wrong with my car (which had not exploded, btw).

He said that Roland was incredibly apologetic actually and didn't want to charge us for such a silly thing but he had to charge us since he'd run a diagnostic on the machine.  What was wrong?  The code on the machine told Roland to check the gas tank cap.  So Roland checked it.  He then twisted it to make it tighter.  Then my car was fixed.

Yeah, that's right.  The cap for the gas tank was loose.

The best part of the day was reading my bill for the services.  Under recommendations, it read: Fully tighten gas cap after fueling up.  It implied, tighten the gas cap, you idiot.

Technically, my car could have exploded.  A loose cap could lead to a leak that could cause a fire that could cause an explosion.  Technically.

So I tell you that story not just to show my neurotics about dashboard indicator lights, but also to tell you this one:

The next day, my dad asked me what the problem was.  I told him about the gas cap.  He said I should take it to places that have more reliable people who close the cap right.  I just nodded in agreement.  When my dad saw Eddie later on and told Eddie the same thing, Eddie readily raised his own hand and said, I'm the guy who filled up the tank.   (See? see how I wasn't the one who ratted him out?)

So my dad puts his hands in Eddie's face and gives him one of those index finger shame shame shame movements and then tells him that he owes me money for getting the car fixed.  Ha!I think we're even now anyway.

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