Friday, January 07, 2005

A Blog Poll

About a year ago, my engine light turned on. You know, the yellow one that has a little line-drawing of the most important working part of the car. Used to be, when it lit up, I was never sure if the car was telling me, "Um, something's up, but it can wait until the next time you get to the shop, which I realize might be never" or "STOP THE CAR! COMPLETE ENGINE FAILURE CULMINATING IN VEHICULAR EXPLOSION IMMINENT!"

Part of this comes from not having a new car until later in life, as well as reluctance to come to terms with the fact that car makers set up cars to fail in such a way that it can't be diagnosed without hooking it up to a laptop to ask it what's wrong.

I realize now that my engine light usually means something along the lines of, "Something's up with my fuel/oxygen ratio, and while I'm running just fine, I'm not at peak performance, sorry." Which isn't quite accurate, since my MPG is always higher when the light is on.

The engine light turned off a few weeks ago. I'm wondering if the light bulb blew, if the problem solved itself, or if the car just got fed up with my negligence and gave up. What would you do?

(Matt, if you're reading, I know I need to take my car in for the recalls. I KNOW.)


  1. I drive around with the check-engine light on all the time. I tell myself its a short in the dash :D

  2. Anonymous2:21 PM

    My 'program fuel injection' light comes on whenever I drive more than about 15 miles, except when it doesn't. The car has 200k on it and was doing it well before I acquired it (at around 150k), so I tend to assume it doesn't mean anything. The honda dealership themselves said to not bother worrying about it, that it's probably a bad oxygen sensor somewhere in the bowels of the exhaust system and that if it were something more serious the car would be obviously running badly. The part you'll like it that 'one day the sensor will fail altogether and the light won't come on anymore; you'll have the same non-problem you've always had, but no light.'

    -Ms Helios