HELLO, YOU'RE ON CAR TALK
hey guys, lindsay calling in from los angeles...
- •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.
- •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.
- •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.
- •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.
- •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...
- •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.
- •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...
- •i went to the dmv. after an hour of waiting, i was told i needed a smog check before my registration could be renewed.
- •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.
- •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.
- •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!
- •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.
- •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.
- •so i guess my question is, "how much longer is mercury in retrograde?