Gentlemen, start your engines…

Posted: June 3, 2010 in Batteries Not Included
Tags: , ,

About an hour into our trip down to LA, while passing through Gilroy, the Check Engine light on the Odyssey comes on.  Everyone else in the car was sleeping, so I didn’t mention it, and then forgot about it.  We made it all the way down the LA (with a stop at Kettleman City and the Water Museum at Vista del Lago) without incident, spent a few days in LA eating too much, and then headed back to the Bay Area.

And all this time, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.  That is, until we get off the freeway in San Jose, and come to a stop at the light.  When the light turned green, and I applied the gas pedal, the engine revved briefly as if it was in neutral, then engaged briefly, causing the car to jerk forward, then disengaged again, causing the engine to rev like crazy.  Once we got into second or third gear, though, things were ok… until the next traffic light.  By then, A was significantly alarmed, but the kids were still happily cheering our arrival back in San Jose.

Of course, with the engine/transmission having problems, we were making jerky progress down the street, and the lady in her large SUV behind me was starting to get upset, making friendly(?) hand gestures at us.  I get a bit unnerved and put on the emergency blinkers, hoping she’ll understand that our car is having problems, but no… she continues to wave at me in a less-than-loving manner.  So I pulled over and slowed down to let her pass – which was a mistake, because the car jerked like crazy when I tried to get back up to speed.

When we made the final turn onto our street, the engine revved like it’s never revved before, then engaged – causing the car to burn rubber and squeal on the turn.  By now the kids are alarmed, wondering why Daddy was driving like a maniac.  We made it into the driveway, very thankful to God that none of this happened until we were off the freeway.

The next morning, I took my car to F.A. Honda to get the car checked out.  Before I got on the road, I prayed, and prayed, and prayed – I was really worried that I wouldn’t make it all the way to the shop.  Well, God heard my prayers – I made it all the way to F.A. Honda without incident.  But God gave me a bonus – the whole time the car was at F.A. Honda, they couldn’t reproduce the problem.  It was like the car never had any problems at all, save for the check engine light.

I do understand that the car is getting old, and that the transmission is probably starting to fail. But I am so thankful to God for this extension of the car’s useful life, that for now, the problem seems to have been fixed. I know many would call it coincidence, or luck, but I know what I prayed for, and I won’t be so ungrateful as to not acknowledge God when he answers my prayers.

But I think praying that I could trade in the Odyssey for an Accord Crosstour without having to pay out of pocket would be pushing it a bit, don’t you think?

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