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Baby, You Can Drive My Car

I dropped the car off at the dealership yesterday morning so they could do a state inspection and also investigate why the "service engine soon" and driver's side headlight indicators were intermittently cycling on and off. Despite having scheduled the appointment last week, they weren't even able to start on it yesterday. No big deal.

Shortly before lunch today, I got a call from my service rep. The SES light was not the emissions problem that's I'd hoped for; the camshaft sensor needs replacing. That's $100 for the part and 2 hours ($200) of labor. Sigh. But oh well.

The kicker was the headlight. I figured it was just a loose connection, as the headlight was still working most of the time when the indicator light was on. Turns out, the entire control unit is bad. And the light finally burnt out. It's $590 for the new control unit, plus 2.5 hours ($250) labor to install it. Ack! It's not like I can really opt to let that slide, especially since it's there for an inspection. Hopefully, they'll throw in the new headlight for free. Those xenon bulbs are about twelve bucks apiece.

What I've decided: I need to learn to work on my own car. I'm not talking about tearing the engine apart, but I could sure change a headlight control unit if I knew where it was located and I didn't have to remove half the stuff under the hood to get to it. I see this as an excellent bonding opportunity for me and my brother. Plus, he's got alot of automotive tools (and an engine hoist, if it really came down to that).

And, he'll owe me for hooking him up with the info, gear and a place to crash when he takes the MSF course in a couple of weeks. Because he's jealous. ;)



The Inimitable Miss M

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October 2009


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