St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Check Engine

For two months, the check engine light has been on continuously on the 99 Hyundai Accent, my round-around car that I use most of the time as it gets 35 miles per gallon consistently.  

I put in new plugs, changed the oil and filter, cleaned the air filter, and removed the cardboards in front of the radiator (that assist a weak thermostat in the winter).  That did nothing.  

Looking at the online info, found that my leaking muffler could trigger it, so a month ago had the flex joint replaced, expecting the check engine light to go off.  It didn't.  However, it starts fine, drives fine and has no noticeable problems.  I don't like to spend $50 getting a computer hooked up to see what it was complaining about, so figured if something really was wrong, I would notice it soon.  

Driving with the check light on is in many ways comforting.   It reminds me that the engine computer is working--sending me a message that it is there monitoring things for me.  A little like the call brother Marv made to Mom each morning to see how she was doing for the past few years.  When she didn't answer, he came up to find she had passed away while sleeping last October.  

This, my 67th year, marks the first year I haven't a mother to bring some flowers for Mother's day.  Mom died peacefully and at a good time as she was starting to have more physical difficulties getting around, but after all my life having her there to ask about the old days, to have Sunday dinner and to still tell me to put on my cap and eat more, it has been an adjustment.  Not a hard one, but one of those where I find myself planning to show Mom something, or see something at the store she might like, and then I remember that part of my life is over.  
Russ, Mom, Marv, Ev and Byron on the Farm
Yes, I did have brown hair at one time!  

Anyway, yesterday, heading to Grantsburg to pick up some lilies and spirea from my friend Walt, who was dividing his, the check engine light went off.  Didn't come on again.  

It has me worried.  Has the computer given up on me?  Does this signal the end is near?  It is like when I was a kid and my youngest brother Byron, 5 years younger, would pester me to do things he liked and I was too old to do.  It was annoying, but part of the duty of an older brother to respond and to teach him how to hammer or saw or whatever he wanted to do. 

So, if on the way to town tomorrow, the check engine light comes on, it will be fine with me. 

Trumpeter Swan  near the Grettum Flowage SW of Grantsburg

Transplanted peas started inside alternating with Winona Giant Strawberries.