Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Two Steps Forward, One Backward, But Overall, Okay

What a strange day. I spent lots and lots of hours, some cash, and some anxiety, trying to get my car to pass smog check today.

Started at 7 a.m. at my mechanic. Normally, the process with this old car (’01 Saturn) is that I go in, they fiddle with the computer and stuff and turn off my Service Engine Light (the ABS light is always on but that doesn’t affect the smog check), then I drive for 20 miles to re-set the computer, and then I get to the smog check, and I pass. Later that day, the Service Engine Soon light comes back on.

However, this time, I did the 20-mile drive and when I went through the smog check, it wouldn’t pass and I lost $14 on the failure. Back to the mechanic. More fiddling – and, before I did some more 20-mile driving, I realized I needed gas. After gassing up (could only afford $10 but it would be enough), I turned the car back on, and the Service Engine Soon light came back on. Back to the mechanic. More fiddling. Often, we have felt that it was a loose gas cap causing the sensor light to go on – this is a very common problem. We decided I should get a new gas cap for less than $20 and maybe fix the issue once and for all. Off I go to the GMC dealership (the gas cap isn’t a common one from a parts store), and $20 later, I’m at the mechanic. They attach it, do more fiddling and off I go for another 20-mile drive. 

This time I decide to make that drive worth the trip so I head to my eye doctor to pick up my new post-cataract surgery prescription freebie glasses. The optician was out today, not a normal happening. It took a while for them to find my glasses. When I got back in the car, the sensor light came back on. Back to the mechanic. More fiddling. We decide this time to just take a chance and head right to the smog check guy. Failed again. Another $14. 

At this point, I realize it is a deeper problem than what we have been dealing with the past few years and I will need my guy to really do a thorough job on it. So, I will be at our motor vehicles office before they open tomorrow morning so I can be one of the first in line to get my 10-day extension (tomorrow is my deadline). 

I made a quick stop at a supermarket for a friend who is having trouble now getting to a store. I had promised yesterday to pick something up for her today, the last day of a sale. I ran into that store and found it was out of stock. Luckily, it was something they were willing to give me a rain check for.

Then, Thursday, I will be at my mechanic’s when that place opens and try this again.

I pray with all my heart that it is an easy and inexpensive fix. 

Okay – so where does this leave me at the end of the day? Well, thankfully, the Lord got me through all of it with a sense of humor and lots of patience and great guys (my mechanic didn’t charge me anything). And, I have my new glasses. And, I have a rain check that’s good for a  month for my friend. And, I have a new gas cap. And, we now know what is NOT wrong with the car. Plus, I have some gas in it, and I will still be okay getting the extension tomorrow. So, all in all, I survived.

Father, thank you for all the patience and faith I needed today, every step of the very crooked way. Yes, I was running around from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with all of this, but in the end I am not that bad off and still have hope. Please stay with me and give me all the strength, faith and patience I need over the next few days. And bless those who helped me today.      

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