Saturday, August 16, 2008

Adventures in Car Care

This morning my "check engine" light came on. UGH! Can't my dumb car stay fixed for, oh, I don't know, long enough for me to pay off what I spent on the last fix?? I took it over to Checker to find out what the code was, and it turns out it was my "camshaft position sensor" which Checker doesn't even sell. "You'll have to call Saturn about that, I guess" was all the girl at Checker could tell me.

Now, I've had this code come up before. About a year ago, actually. And I called Saturn, and all they told me was "Oh, uh yeah they didn't start making that part until the 2000 LS-series, so I don't know why you're getting that code. Sorry." Yeah, a lot of help. Well, I figured I might as well call them again to see if maybe someone there knew what it meant. This is what I found out:

"Yeah, they didn't make that part for your car, so it really means it's your coil pack, and that runs about $387 or so." HAHAHAHA! Like I am going to pay $400 plus labor to the DEALER! Right....I about had a heartattack right then and there. Mike looked up some info about it on the internet and found a much cheaper solution. On one of the Saturn forums, they give several suggestions as to what the problem could be, and what solutions there are. We started with the cheapest one.

I ran over to Checker and purchased new spark plugs, the gapping tool, new spark plug wires, and this really cool stuff called Marvelous Mystery Oil. According to the forums, if you add 1/4 cup of the Mystery Oil stuff to the spark plug holes (sans spark plugs of course) it cleans out all the crap in there. You can also add it to your gas tank and it will help your motor and engine and fuel economy and stuff. So, we decided to try it out. We went outside, in the dark, and took the wires off of the spark plugs. We started with cylinder 4, and what did we find? That the core to the wire, you know, the part that connects to the spark plug, had totally come out and was stuck on top of the spark plug!
Above, the 4 old spark plugs, and the core to the spark plug wire thingy. Below, the spark plug wire thingy (new one, not old one).
The Mystery Oil stuff has to sit in the car for 8-12 hours, so we might not make it to 9 AM church tomorrow. We'll see. Also, supposedly when you turn the car on smoke will just billow out of the car. That will really make our neighbors happy in the morning! We're pretty sure that this will fix the problem. YAY! So there Mr. Saturn guy! You can't sucker us into shelling out $400! . . . . yet.

1 comment:

Faith said...

Cars are so dang expensive!! Glad you figured out a way to beat the system.