Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why I Can't be a Mechanic

I have been having some car troubles.  No, no, car runs great.  It's all zippy and fun and luxurious.

The problem is that it apparently pollutes the environment.

Stupid people want to breathe or something.

I just assumed that since I bought the car a year ago, it ran well, didn't smoke, didn't have any alarms, didn't smell funny, and drove great that I shouldn't have any problems.

So I put off taking the emissions test.

And didn't pass.

Apparently, my car is emitting NOx.

I have two weeks before my plates are more than a month expired. They were due in March, and I didn't get tested until April. I think the car maybe didn't pass because I procrastinated. If I'd done it early, there wouldn't have been any problems.

Another problem here is that I have an Audi so no one wants to work on it. Apparently they're complicated.

My thought was that somehow gremlins had gotten into my car and started wrecking havoc.

So I asked around.  Not one person mentioned gremlins.

"Your car is running too lean."  -- OK, we'll get the high calorie gas?  What does this even mean?

"Your car is running too hot." -- I tried shouting at my engine.  "Chill out, bitch!  You're running too hot!"  but she totally ignored me.  Then I felt bad and said, "I'm sorry, baby.  We'll work it out."

"You have a bad cat." -- Ummm... I know people were trying to be helpful, but don't dis my cat.  I don't even know which one you're talking about.  I have three cats.  And a dog.

"Stop sniffing the tail pipe, that's nitrogen oxide, not nitrous oxide." -- Apparently, both will make you high, but one is a deadly toxin and the other is what they call laughing gas.  I guess I should have paid attention in chemistry class.

Turns out, they were talking about catalytic converter.  Which is apparently a part on the car.  OOooooh.  I knew that.

Are you sure it's not gremlins?   I might have fed the car after midnight, after all...

Being both cheap and broke, I had a mechanic replace the oxygen sensor.  He said it was first thing to try.  

I went back in to the emissions place and it was worse than it was before.

Shit.

After having a complete mental breakdown, blubbering all over the poor emissions testers and bewailing the unfairness of the world, and screw Colorado air laws!  It's a big conspiracy to take away my money!  It's a tax on the poor!  DOWN WITH THE MAN!, I went to work.

Being really stressed out made me a little gassy, and I felt kinda bad for the guy in the next cubicle.  I am pretty sure that I personally would not pass any kind of "emissions" test.

A friend recommended another mechanic, this one in Boulder.  He wants to replace the catalytic converter with an OEM one ($900), and while he's at it, wants to take a look at the EGR valve (who knows?  Sounds important).  I go in Wednesday.

Meanwhile, I will give my car a wash, and treat her nice, and tell her I will always love her, and she should just do her best.  I promise not to leave you for that cute little Jeep CJ over there...

I am counting down until the end of the month when it will be no longer legal to drive my car.

Tic-toc-tic-toc-tic-toc-tic-toc...

7 comments:

Christopher Scheirer said...

Laura,

It sounds like you're a mechanic in the making by the end of the article. And I like the writing style and humor you've been bringing to your blog posts. Really nice.

Good luck with the car repairs. It doesn't sound like it will be too much trouble anymore, just a bit expensive.

Anonymous said...

exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is a nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions reduction technique used in most petrol/gasoline and diesel engines

If they just take it out and clean it it might pass or you will have to buy another one shop online for it it can be from 200.00-500.00
Sorry for your car troubles. Replacing the catalytic converter with an OEM one might be a good idea and yes it cost alot of $$$$ . thats the things about Audi when they get to high of miles on it everything goes wrong at the same time and its so much $$$ to fix..... Good luck

--- Leah

thoughtsappear said...

"You have a bad cat." ---What does that even mean related to cars?

Hope you can get everything fixed (and without dropping too much money)!

hoodyhoo said...

oh dear lordy, baby, you know I feel your pain! Do you think if you promised to put a Michael-Jackson style bird-flu mask over the exhaust pipe that would help? How about a Frito Bandito bandanna? Or if you started smoking, too, so it would be a theme? I'm tryin' here...

Leauxra said...

I have some hope today while the car is at the mechanic. The hope is that he knows what he's doing. I THINK it's a good sign that there were a bunch of older model Audis in the parking lot, so either he knows what he's doing or it's an Audi graveyard. Time will tell.

And hoodyhoo? If I don't pass, I am TOTALLY going for the Frito Bandito banana.

Leauxra said...

Um... that was bandanna, not banana. That was the awesomest typo, ever. Do you think I would pass if I put a banana in the tailpipe?

hoodyhoo said...

It depends, is your mechanic Eddie Murphy? 'Cause Eddie Murphy don't fall for no banana in the tailpipe!