Thursday, June 19, 2008

Your engine might be exploding, or not

I really don't like the "check engine" light. It worries me. I mean, the engine is the heart of the car; without it, you're pretty much screwed mobility-wise. Plus it glows that unnatural yellow-orange color that just speaks of toxic waste and doom. I really don't like it. When it goes on in my car or one of the work vehicles it makes my heart palpitate. But what bothers me above all else about the "check engine" light is that it is so non-specific. It could be your O2 sensor. It could be your gas cap. It could be your transmission. It could be dust on the computer chip. There is no way to know WHAT the light means without going to the dealer to get it checked. Last Friday, on the way to the gym, the "check engine" light came on. After my trainer thoroughly beat me for an hour or so i stopped at the Hyundai dealership and had them check it. Gas cap. Yep, gas cap. Apparently i was venting gas fumes. That seemed odd, but i reasoned that since i wasn't the last one to put on my gas cap (Matt got gas on the way back from Philly) I didn't actually know that it was on tight enough. The nice guy from the service office reset the sensor and sent me on my way. Today, on the way to the gym, the "check engine" light came on. AGAIN??? Unamused, people, unamused. [for a brief instant i thought perhaps it was a sign not to go to the gym] I stopped at the dealership, again. Gas cap, again. WHY is it the same dumb light for my gas cap as for my ENGINE ABOUT TO EXPLODE??? I am thoroughly unamused. The nice folks at the dealership assured me that if it was LIFE-THREATENING (their words) the "check engine" light would be blinking. Thanks. That's reassuring. HEY CAR MANUFACTURERS : don't put the gas cap sensor on the same dummy light as the car exploding, okay? Anyhoo, turns out that my o-ring was out of alignment or something. The only thing that makes this whole ridiculous mess a good story instead of a complete rant is that the service people at my dealership are mega-cool. A service representative went and got the computer diagnostic thingee himself while another one inspected my gas cap - now these are the people that work in the office, not technicians; they were just being helpful. After we saw that it was the same code as last week (he remembered me from last week) he suggested either a new o-ring or a new gas cap. I asked if i had to make an appointment to get it replaced or was that the sort of thing i bought at a parts store and did myself. He said definitely do it myself (looking to save me money) and as he started to show me how to pop the cap out of the leash he said, "go into the parts shop next door, buy it now and i'll replace it for you." Man, i love the service. Turns out that it was a good thing that we were doing it there cause the replacement cap didn't fit the leash, which we just ended up removing and tossing (it always annoyed me anyway). So i got a new gas cap and didn't pay to replace it or pay for the diagnostic. If you have a Hyundai, totally take it to the service center at Antwerpen on Rt 40. They're cool. (unlike the idiot engineer who designed the "check Engine" light; a pox on him/her)

1 comment:

Kaaren said...

Same thing happens in my Jeep. First time it happened and I called them, they said "Have you put gas in recently?"

Sad thing is, it comes on now and I don't care. What if it IS gonna blow up and I'm all "La di da. Gas cap"??