Back to the new car! Part 2…
Just a few minutes after finalizing the transaction and on the way home, the first of a series of disappointments set in: the Check Engine light appears. This never happened at all during my test drive. Is this for real? The whole time I test drove it, not once did it light up. But now, now as I’m driving home, there it is, illuminated in all its glory, just mocking me. And then halfway home it disappeared. So maybe it is not such a big deal, right? But had this light come on during the test drive, I probably would have not purchased the car. The car ends up making it all the way home, success!
Over the next few days I inspect the front end damage and determine that it might cost around $300 – $500 to get it back in shape. Plus I’ll need some new tires, which will run around $300 at Costco. Throw in all the Oregon DMV title and registration and DEQ fees, that’s another $250. Okay, so worst case scenario, it will be around $1000 to get it back to perfection. I can live with that, about $2000 total…I think. But first it must pass DEQ.
I bought that car on a Saturday, and was eager to have it pass DEQ, as the current tags expire at the end of March 2017. However, DEQ is closed on Sunday. And Monday too. Tuesday couldn’t come fast enough! I drove the car to work, and immediately after work, I drove to DEQ. Unfortunately, it was February 28th, the very last day of the month when everyone is there. Sure enough, huge line. But I resolved to be patient and kept the faith that it would pass the emissions test. I waited in line, about seven cars ahead of me. I turned off my engine every now and then as I creeped up the line, and that’s when the check engine light returned. Fortunately for me, the car is old enough that DEQ won’t automatically disqualify my car. Newer than 1998 (I think), and they would have said no. But it’s a 1994, so they can’t deny me!
Finally it was my turn. The tech stuck the sensor into my tail pipe, and while in park I lay down the gas peddle until he asked me to stop. Total time was probably five minutes. Five really long minutes. I was hopeful, crossed my fingers, waited for the good news…
Fail. Didn’t pass. No go. Too much C02. It should be at a 1.0, but mine was over 3.0. The tech saw my check engine light and said that the engine is most likely the cause of my failed inspection. Sheesh. I was so sure that the car would pass! It seemed to drive just fine, well, except for the check engine light. But it was not to be. The car failed DEQ, which means this — the DMV will NOT allow me to register or title the vehicle until it passes. So I have to somehow figure out what is the issue. Which I can’t do, because I know diddly squat about cars. Time to get the mechanic…
Ever since Lisa and I went to the auto show in January, I have been thinking about a new car that is road trip Worthy and have enough space to carry all of our gear. So over the last few weeks I have been perusing the listings on Craigslist for car that might work, a cheap car that might be ugly but still work awesomely and be the road trip car for us.
So a few days ago I came across a listing for a 1994 Toyota Corolla wagon. The ad said that it was a friend’s grandmother’s car and the seller had no longer needed it as he recently purchased a new car. At a price of only $950, I was intrigued. So I set up the appointment to take a test drive, showed up the same day, and drove it around for half an hour before I decided that I would like to go ahead and buy the used car from this recent college graduate. Never mind that I did not do a mechanical inspection, I just had a good Feeling overall and the test drive went well. I would need to get new tires soon and probably an alignment. Additionally, with a little front end damage it was something that I could live with. It was super clean inside and definitely spacious enough for our needs. And since I already own a 1992 Corolla, I was pretty confident that this car would be mechanically sound and reliable, probably lasting another five or more years since the mileage was only 178000 miles. So I bought a new car! Well, newer car than my 1992!
Today I am starting a new “Adventure Calls You Challenge,” inspired from an article I read from my January/February issue of Men’s Journal. The article, “The Cold Cure,” extols the benefits of being cold. I’ve already experimented with taking cold showers, and now I am taking it a step further by purposely being cold at certain times during the day.
Our region has experienced a cold snap over the last week, with temperatures hovering around freezing. So today I took my first step into embracing the cold, but walking outside in my short-sleeve shirt to and from my students’ work experience. I was cold, but not as cold as I thought I would be. Two things helped me: 1) the mindset that this ‘cold’ was only temporary and 2) walking straight and upright to take the cold head on.
So for the next few weeks I will continue to embrace the cold, with my goal that this will be a regular thing that I will just adopt as part of my lifestyle. To help me get through this, I will follow the guidelines as provided by the suggestions of the article. Read on and join me!