Mark was hot. Miles was hot. I was hot. So it was safe to assume my car was hot - at least that's what I did when I saw a little light pop up on my dashboard.
When it came on again this morning, I figured that I should look in my manual and see what the dern thing meant.
Note to Mazda: Please just tell me what things mean instead of giving me a little drawing. If I can drive a car, I should be able to read.
Lo and behold that squibble means "Check Engine."
Shit, shit, shit.
I called the dealership from my driveway and arranged to drop off my car after taking Miles to daycare. Upon arrival, I found out that it would take several hours to run the diagnostic test and find out why the light came on. Not what I wanted to hear. Especially not what I wanted to hear on a Monday morning.
Thank goodness there were snacks and drinks available.
Oh, and Wi-Fi.
Mostly, though, I was grateful for the coffee.
I snagged a cup of decaf before hopping the shuttle to work (another thing to be grateful for in such a predicament) and waited nervously for the call back. The service manager said that 99 percent of the time the problem is covered by the warranty but there is that 1 percent.
And that 1 percent happens to be.
As it turns out, the tabs on the air filter box were broken during an oil change and too much air was getting into the engine. The service manager at the dealership said the place where I had the oil changed should be responsible for the repair and I already talked to Mr. Jiffy Lube Boss Dude. He was apologetic, saying he took over the store three weeks ago and isn't that surprised about what happened. He's going to make sure it's taken care of.
Good thing, too, because not fixing the problem could result in long term engine damage. And to think I almost didn't take Blue Bird in.
I have a long history of ignoring car repairs (among other things), the tendency rooted in behavior from my other life. Example: My previous car, a 2001 red Grand Am, had myriad problems, all of which I were swept aside. I pretended that it was OK that it shook when I stopped at a traffic light, that the lights throbbed when braking and using the A/C meant the turn signals would not work.
My choice to ignore my car problems wasn't because I didn't have the money or time to fix things. It was because I didn't take pride in myself or the things I had. I turned a blind eye to every problem - cars, financial, health. My car road rough, my credit sucked and I was morbidly obese - and I have no doubt that they were intertwined. You might think it's a bit far-fetched, that thinking, but studies have linked obesity and debt. When one area of your life spirals out of control, it's likely that other areas will as well.
It wasn't until I started to take responsibility for my health, though, that things
began to change in other areas. I took big steps to improve my credit, paying bills instead of going shopping. I stopped leaving dirty clothes in the living room. My car got regular oil changes and washes though I do admit are sometimes executed by Mark.
In sum: I started acting like a grownup (which, by the way, can be completely overrated).