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View Full Version : Lady Bugs Lunch & the Check Engine Light



JCY
May 26th, 2018, 03:49 PM
Yest. was our monthly Lady Bugs potluck lunch in a nearby town (30 mi.) Several of us carpooled. I drove & took 3 ladies with me. (One is in her 90's, one had mobility problems.) It was gearing up to be a very hot day. We had a wonderful lunch & good conversation. Our program was a clown. She's one of our group; she volunteers at the local hosp. in the clown program. She entertained us with her jokes & bag of tricks. After she finished, I shared several of my quilts--both finished ones & pieced tops. It was almost 2:30 before we left to head home. Just after we left, I noticed the Check Engine light was on. Well, I didn't think I should drive 30 mi. home on such a beastly hot day (in the 90's) without getting it checked out, so I turned around & found a local auto repair shop. The service repairman (the owner) interrupted his other job to do the diagnostics on my car, which is a 1996 Mercury Grand Marquise. We ladies waited in their waiting room for an hour or so to get the report. Of course, I called DH right after we got to the shop. He already was anxious about my going out of town & hadn't wanted me to go, so he was not a happy camper to learn about the car problem.

The problem part was the Air Flow Meter/Sensor which adjusts/balances the ratio of fuel to air. He cleaned around the part, did a test drive, & the check engine light stayed off. We would have had to wait another 1.5 hrs. or more for them to obtain the part & install it. He said it was safe to drive home, but we'll need that part replaced soon. So I paid the $115. for the diagnostics & we headed home. About half way home, there was a strong gas odor, which persisted till I got home. The car will remain in the garage, not driven, until next week when I can get it in to our regular mechanic. In the mean time, I'll drive DH's car. He's already making a list of other things to have checked while the car is in the shop. It's time for an oil change, etc. Maybe they can re-set the air bag light which remains on all the time. I think that rear-end collision last year messed up something.

So -- I was much relieved to make it back home yest. afternoon at 5:20. I guess when one has a car that is 22 y.o. problems are bound to crop up. The estimate for the part & labor to replace the Air Flow Meter/Sensor is $300. With the other work DH wants done, it certainly will cost us more than that.

GuitarGramma
May 26th, 2018, 04:36 PM
Glad you made it home safely!

grammaterry
May 26th, 2018, 05:14 PM
$300 sounds like a bargain after my fiasco with the brakes these past few months. I'm into those brakes more than $2000 as of now. I hope that is the end of my problem and yours too Joy.

Bubby
May 26th, 2018, 07:00 PM
Glad you and your friends got home safely.

KarenC
May 26th, 2018, 07:06 PM
Joy, I think that's pretty good for a 1996 vehicle.
Terry, Oh my, those newer cars do cost us a bit more when something goes wrong. I try to take mine in every 5K miles, and hopefully that helps with major repairs, but when something's wrong, we basically have no choice but to fix it.

KPH
May 26th, 2018, 07:10 PM
I'm glad you and your lady birds made it home safe and sound. DH always said- there's always something with a car.

jjkaiser
May 26th, 2018, 09:36 PM
Joy I am glad you made it home without incident. Whew! I wish I lived near you. It would be so much fun to have a friend who is a real actual clown!! And I always smile reading your posts about your monthly get togethers and that adorable name you have, the Lady Bugs. I would join just so I could brag to people I am a Lady Bug! Maybe you should buy a VW Beetle LOL!!!

JCY
May 26th, 2018, 11:31 PM
Funny you should mention the VW Beetle. The widow lady who started the Lady Bugs group several years ago, & still coordinates it, will be 95 in July. She always wanted a yellow VW beetle & finally bought one quite a few years ago. She has it decorated with various lady bug items. Over the years people have given her lady bug gifts -- purses, necklaces, pins, earrings, dishware, tee shirts, etc. This past year she gave many things away b/c she sold her home & moved into a retirement apt. I think she's like the energizer bunny; she just keeps going & going. She's a volunteer at the hosp., goes to the therapy pool twice a week, visits shut-ins in their homes, & still teaches a Sunday School class at church. She's very hard of hearing, even with her hearing aids in. She frequently asks, "What did you say?" But we all love her. She's planning a reception at church to celebrate her birthday. She started Lady Bugs as a way to encourage single women (mostly widows) to socialize & get out at least once a mo. I think we have a couple women who are divorced. I'm one of the few married ones; I was invited into the group when my DH was in very poor health (I wondered if he would die). As a caregiver, I appreciate getting out once a mo. with the ladies.

Mimi_Howard
May 26th, 2018, 11:41 PM
Wow Terry, 2K for the brakes. When it comes to big car $$ repairs, I just have to tell myself... look at the bright side, cheaper than a new car. Oh and the question on the dumpster, kids moved out of the my house (one across street from dad's where I actually live) well they lived there 10 years and things have a way of piling up and time to rid of old things that are breaking and no longer working. My ultimate goal is to get all repairs and upgrades done and talk my dad into moving over there. Then fix his house and sell it. We shall see... Figure I have couple of years before I make decision to remain in Calif or retire elsewhere. We have some land in Tenn, but the hot summers and big skeeters!

jjkaiser
May 27th, 2018, 12:22 AM
Funny you should mention the VW Beetle. The widow lady who started the Lady Bugs group several years ago, & still coordinates it, will be 95 in July. She always wanted a yellow VW beetle & finally bought one quite a few years ago. She has it decorated with various lady bug items. Over the years people have given her lady bug gifts -- purses, necklaces, pins, earrings, dishware, tee shirts, etc. This past year she gave many things away b/c she sold her home & moved into a retirement apt. I think she's like the energizer bunny; she just keeps going & going. She's a volunteer at the hosp., goes to the therapy pool twice a week, visits shut-ins in their homes, & still teaches a Sunday School class at church. She's very hard of hearing, even with her hearing aids in. She frequently asks, "What did you say?" But we all love her. She's planning a reception at church to celebrate her birthday. She started Lady Bugs as a way to encourage single women (mostly widows) to socialize & get out at least once a mo. I think we have a couple women who are divorced. I'm one of the few married ones; I was invited into the group when my DH was in very poor health (I wondered if he would die). As a caregiver, I appreciate getting out once a mo. with the ladies.

Wow! What an amazing story!! She sounds like a real character that's for sure! I don't suppose you gave a photo of her little car? Now that would be something we would all love to see.

SuzanneOrleansOntario
May 27th, 2018, 11:15 AM
Oh I am glad you made it home ok, as I am certain the other ladies were also.

I had my Toyota Sienna for 17 years, and I could have poured a bit of money to keep it going. However, I like to take long trips and I was cutting back on road trips as I did not want to get stranded. I often go out of town to meet girlfriend s and DH would worry. So I bit the bullet and bought a RAV 4 last year. I didn't really need a 7 passenger van, when it's mostly just the two of us.

Amazing lady bug lady. I hope to be in such great shape at her age. Longevity is in my genes.

Claire Hallman
May 27th, 2018, 01:11 PM
Glad you got home OK.
My 13 yo car had the check engine light come on, it turned out to be the gas cap. Being old it was not sealing correctly and caused the light. When the gas cap was replaced for around $60 the light went off and stayed off. We did eventually replaced the car but never had any more problems in the months we still had it. I hope yours is a simple fix.

JCY
May 27th, 2018, 03:56 PM
One question the lady at the desk at the repair shop asked me was if I'd recently filled the car with gas. I tried removing the gas cap, putting it back on, but it made no difference. The diagnostics indicated the problem part & what needs to be done. I'll get the car in the shop this week.

bhaggerty
May 28th, 2018, 09:55 PM
Glad you made it home safely!!!

LLLinda
May 29th, 2018, 11:59 AM
I read your topic title and thought, is Joy recommending a new book or what? I had a huge old Mercury Marquis in the late 70s. While it was immensely comfortable it was like driving a battleship. It was really easy to drive but still...

JCY
May 29th, 2018, 06:23 PM
I love my Mercury. It's comfortable. I get comments from repairmen about what good shape it's in for its age. I called first thing this a.m. I can get it into the shop tomorrow at 8 a.m. We've always taken good care of our cars & things we own.