My Car is the Grinch

I spoke too soon about the check engine lights.

Last night, on the way home from daughter's Kung Fu class, the check engine light in my car came on. Again. I pulled into AutoZone, had them run the codes, and proceeded to buy an $80 mass airflow sensor. Early this morning, I drove said car and sensor to the mechanic's. They fixed it, cleared the codes and sent me on my way.

I made it about a mile before the check engine light came back on.

This time, the codes were reading bank 1&2 o2 sensors lean. I happen to know for a fact those sensors are good...which means the lean reading is probably from a faulty fuel pump.

(((This is me beating my head against the wall in time to Adam Sandler's "Ode to My Car".)))

The fuel pump costs $400. It is Christmas time. We be broke. The fuel pump is just gonna have to wait until January. For the foreseeable future, I am car-less.

To take my mind off of our car/money/holiday predicament, I decided to go home and cook. So for today's post, here is my recipe for Turkey (or Chicken) Noodle Soup.


1 Turkey (or chicken) carcass 
1 onion, quartered
3-4 carrots, peeled, cut in 2" pieces
1/4 celery seed or 2 stalks of celery, cut in 2" pieces
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 TBSP salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 gallon water

Combine all ingredients in large soup pot. Simmer for 1-2 hours until any meat falls off the bones. Cool.

Strain the broth. Separate meat from the bones. Discard bones and veggies. Add meat to broth and bring  back to a simmer. Add:

1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced

Cook until veggies are soft. Add:

1 bag egg noodles.

Cook until noodles are soft. 
Eat with crackers in front of a cheery fire and forget your (car) problems.


Gorges Smythe said...

I wish I had some way to help you, but all I can do is pray for you and hope that you manage to still have a blessed Christmas.

Catherine said...

Thank you, Gorges. Prayers are exactly what we need right now...knowing someone is praying for me encourages me not to swear at the cars so much. I'm beginning to think cars exist to teach us patience.

I hope you and yours are having a very enjoyable holiday season. Beau the Wonder Hound says, "Woof, woof, bark, whine" to the Mighty Dachshund.

J Bogan said...

Well, I have some info that maybe you can work with. I saw this on Gorges site, and since I am a nosy SOB, I thought I would look. You need to find someone with a scanner that can look at "data" which is displayed when the car is running.Since you just now put an airflow meter on (rebuilt no doubt), I would look for cracks in the hose between the meter and the engine itself, and for displaced vacuum hoses in the area where the work was done. I do not have a clue what kind of car you have, so I cannot be specific, but the airflow meter output is usually in "Grams per second" on the data.Sometimes just a voltage reading. Get that number, and get on line and see what is normal for the sort of car you have. It is possible that the rebuilt part is not so good. Sadly, I see that a lot. Also look at the "short term fuel trim", and "long term fuel trim" This tells you what the oxygen sensors are reading Double digits after the car warms up can indicate a vacuum leak, OR a disagreement with the mass meter. Hope this gets you pointed in a better direction, and as an old cranky mechanic, I can promise, swearing at the cars never hurts. Good luck.

Catherine said...

J Brogan--Thank you, thank you, thank you!! That gives me something to do beside trying to cook my troubles away. I'll see if my neighbor has a scanner or knows someone who does who can get me the info, preferably for cheap.

I have an '03 x-type 2.5. I know, I know, I fell for a pretty face. But it's a blast to drive...when it is running.

J Bogan said...

Wait... A Jaguar X type? Holy cow. I am a Jag mechanic, but work on older cars. I may have some info in the library that I could pass on to you. I will look tomorrow.

Catherine said...

That. Would be. AMAZING!!! There are no, repeat NO, jaguar mechanics in this area. The closest one I found is in Lexington (2 1/2 hrs away) and then you're paying the premium for the Jaguar name. The closest dealer is about 4 hours away in either direction (Charleston or Louisville). The guys who work on Fords won't touch it. My mechanic HATES my car.

I have the Haynes and some basic tools, but no diagnostic skills whatsoever and nowhere to work on it that doesn't involve gravel, mud, and sloping ground. So as long as I don't have to lay on the ground or chase tools down the hill, I'm golden.

Best example of prayers working I can think of. Thank you, all!!!

J Bogan said...

OK, I have the "Product Introduction" course book for the X type. This is what was presented to the dealer mechanics when the car came out. It is not as comprehensive as a service manual, but is full of useful info. I have to look thru my wiring diagram books to see if I have any for your car. That may take a little time, I have a TON of stuff for the big sedans...

Catherine said...

Jesse Bogan--I did a new post on the Jaguar today. Have you ever run into something like this before? Where the heater puts the car in limp mode?

J Bogan said...

I had an XK8 in here. Replaced an instrument light bulb, and the car would not run. I was getting a "engine fail safe " message... WTF is THAT??It turned out after a LOT of hand wringing and head scratching that one of the two switches that tell it that it was in park did not agree with the other one. I had bumped the shifter a little...I adjusted the shift cable and all was well. I hate new cars.