All cars now come equiped with a computer system which sends alerts via the dashboard when something needs attention. It's amazing how many different light up icons there are behind that seemingly benign dashboard. A year ago I was driving along 55/70 when all of a sudden up comes "check tire pressure now!" it scared the heck out of me and all I could think of was a tire blowing out on the interstate. I got off at 203 thinking I could find a service station to check the tires but no. I ended up crawling to Collinsville along the back roads til I got to our mechanic who has worked on our cars since the mid 80's, Larry at Collinsville Automotive (Collinsville Tire and Auto). Great people there.
All it was that time was a Fall cold snap which lowered the air pressure in the tires. A few bursts of air and things were fine. Sometimes the message will be "Change oil now!" It's always a message which seems to scream an order.
Yesterday while driving over to Collinsville for the Italian Fest the check engine light came on. This showed up on the dash as a line drawing of an engine. Now that scared me too. I had no idea what it could be. I googled 'check engine' and found it could have been anything from a loose gas cap (nope) to anything in the air circulation system. I didn't want to be driving between St. Louis and Collinsville all weekend not knowing if I would break down so back to Larry's this morning. One of his really nice mechanics plugged in a hand held computer thing into a slot under the left corner of the dash and determined I need a new thermostat because the computer showed things were running cooler than it should. It should be fixed by 9:30.
My weekly lesson in learning something new.