Friday, December 22, 2006

Insufficient EGR lift...huh?

Picked up the Zoemobile yesterday afternoon, all fixed with no "check engine" light, and $270 lighter. Turns out the Zoemobile had insufficient EGR lift. EGR would be exhaust gas recirculation. I'm sure that clears things right up for you. Apparently EGR allows the exhaust to re-burn through the engine before being expelled, which makes for cleaner emissions. Some valve had to be replaced, plus my intake manifold had to be cleaned of excess carbon build-up. I hate it when my intake manifold has excess carbon, so I'm much relieved to have been cleaned.

Turns out that since I'm over 100,000 miles on the Zoemobile, there's a whole check-list of important maintenance that should be done, like replacing the timing chain and such. So, on January 4, the Zoemobile goes to the car spa for an overhaul. (Mark that on your calendars...that's the day Amy spazzes out again because she doesn't have her car.) Talked to one of the young service writers at the dealer and he does detailing on the side. Gave me a quote of $125 to clean/condition all the leather and detail the inside, plus take care of a bunch of the exterior dings, chips and scratches mentioned in my previous post. Haven't run that past M yet, but I figure the Zoemobile deserves some TLC after 8 years and 105,000+ miles of faithful servitude. Plus, it's just looking kinda cruddy overall, what with being a virtual home on wheels for the three of us.

While I was waiting for them to finish up the car, I wandered up through the showroom. Always like to check out the new merchandise. First up: the Honda Odyssey, their mini-van. For about a nanosecond I looked at it and wondered if it would be easier with Zozo and all the stuff we haul around. I walked over and peered inside...nice interior. Then I looked down the side of the thing, and even though it's not big as far as vans go, it is WAY bigger than my little sedan. Alarm bells went off in my head. "No way! NO WAY! Do NOT succumb to the 'you can haul your entire house in here' enchantment of the mini-van!" I pictured myself driving it, shuddered, and headed toward the sleek new black Accord parked across from it. No offense to mini-van just ain't my bag, baby.

Climbed into the new Accord and thought, "Oh yeah, this is way more my speed." Interior is great, but I didn't see a port for the iPod. Big negative. If I'm gonna shell out $27,000 for a car, I want to be able to easily listen to my tunes. I don't know if you can get one, but I was looking at the top-of-the-line model, the V6EX, and it wasn't there. I did get a little high off the new-car-new-leather smell, though. I was just sinking into the whole, "I could get used to this" reverie, remembering that at one point my car did indeed smell just like this, when I heard my name, or a variation of it anyway, paged over the intercom, and I was forced to head back to the service bay to get my non-new-smelling car.

I suppose at this point I shouldn't gripe about the fact that my car doesn't smell like new leather any more, and just be thankful that it doesn't smell bad. I left a banana peel in there for about a day too long once, and that was pretty rank, but it eventually dissipated and since then I've been relatively stink-free.

Went to Target last night with M and Zozo to pick up a few things and a nice lady named Vanessa gave us two little mesh bags with rubber duckies and froggies for Zozo. She had purchased them for her boyfriend to give his nephews, but then he dumped her so she decided to give them to our adorable child instead.

Things like this make me believe in the spirit of Christmas again. (Not the dumping part, mind you, but rather the generosity of Vanessa to give a little gift to a child she doesn't know.) Merry Christmas Vanessa, and good luck finding a better guy!


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