HELLO, YOU'RE ON CAR TALK

hey guys, lindsay calling in from los angeles...
  1. i have a 2009 honda civic named jerry. a few months ago he started doing this thing: when i was idling in traffic or at a red light, he'd just shut down. i'd turn him off and on and he'd be fine.
  2. i went to a mechanic but he couldn't say what was causing jerry to shut down without seeing it in action. so i kept driving it.
  3. a few weeks later, the oil and battery lights went on and i took jerry to honda and rented a ford focus while they worked on him.
  4. in the middle of the night someone swiped the side view mirror on the focus. and no, of course i didn't spring for the rental company's insurance.
  5. after forking over my deductible to enterprise, i returned to honda. they reset jerry's crank sensor (whatever that is) and said that i should be good to go. and i was. for a couple weeks...
  6. when he started shutting down again, this time the oil, battery and engine lights went on. i made it back to honda and they straight up replaced the crank sensor.
  7. jerry was finally feeling better when i got a parking ticket. two actually -- one for not reading the sign right and one for not having my registration properly displayed. but i paid to renew my registration...
  8. i went to the dmv. after an hour of waiting, i was told i needed a smog check before my registration could be renewed.
  9. so i went to a smog check place. after checking jerry out, the guy asked if i had work done on my car recently. "why yes, i had the crank censor replaced." he nodded, "well you didn't pass the smog check." what? that happens? he recommended i drive a lot so the car's internal computer resets.
  10. so i drove. and drove some more. which is when i noticed the exclamation point light had gone on on my dash -- low tire pressure. in all that driving i'd gotten a nail in one of my tires.
  11. two hours at discount tire center without a book and they were able to patch my tire. and on my way home, i got pulled over for -- you guessed it -- not having my registration properly displayed!
  12. if i can't be on the road with expired registration, how am i supposed to drive my car enough to reset it, past the smog check and renew my registration? i threw in a few tears which made the feel cop bad. so bad that he had his partner issue me the ticket so he didn't have to face me again.
  13. the next morning, as i walked out to my car, i thought back on the memories jerry and i had made together: basking in his air conditioning... our trip to big sur... the time i had sex in his front seat. then halfway to work my oil light went on and i burst into tears.
  14. so i guess my question is, "how much longer is mercury in retrograde?