I drive far to work. Very far. I'm in the car for about three hours each day--130 miles round-trip. So imagine my reaction when I pull into work last Friday and my check engine light comes on. My first thought: Am I going to make it home this afternoon? I took my car to AutoZone and they ran a diagnostic which came back with four possible causes for the light coming on. None of them were a huge concern, so they turned off the light for me and I was on my way. Joey and I spent Saturday cleaning the mass air-flow sensor in my engine, what we thought was the source of the issue, and the light never came back on.
On my way home from work on Tuesday, the light came back on. Obviously, the MAF sensor was not the issue. So we decided I would drive the Jeep (brand new and completely reliable) this week while Joey arranged for a mechanic to take a closer look.
The first mechanic Joey took it to this morning also did a diagnostic, but never opened the hood to look at the engine. He just said, "Oh, it's probably an oxygen sensor. No big deal. I'll just turn off the light for you and you can come back and get it replaced whenever." Since we had already planned on spending a little bit of money, Joey decided to take it to this guy he knows at the local Toyota dealership because we knew we needed a transmission flush soon.
Uh, yeah. $527 later, we still don't have an answer for the check engine light issue. BUT my transmission fluid is no longer BLACK and there's no chance I'll break down on the middle of I-95 anytime soon. Apparently the other mechanic missed the belt that was cracking and the timing chain that was "off"--two things that would have left me stranded on the highway with no warning.
We need all of these problems like I need a kick in the face. I realize we needed to fix these things, but this is just $527 less we don't have in our baby-making fund. NOT our baby-savings fund, our baby-making fund. How do you cope with having to pay to make a baby? It's just not fair. Other couples get to save for their perfect nursery and their fashionable baby clothes. We don't even get to think about that yet.