Monday, July 06, 2009

The Check Engine Lights of Truckee

My drive is (hopefully) over. I went from DC to NYC to the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend to Chicago to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library to my bro's in Cedar Rapids to Rocky Mountain National Park to a friend's in Steamboat Springs to Dinosaur National Monument to Logan where I did a cool hike with a friend up Naomi Peak in the Bear River Range, and then after watching Roddick take Federer to a 30-game fifth set, I drove across Nevada with no air conditioning. Sorry if I passed close and didn't say hello.

Now the plan is to (1)smog the truck (AKA Tighty Whitey) (2)register the truck (3)mail myself a couple packages and (4)get to Reno and take the CREST bus down to Ridgecrest or Olancha and hitch up to Kennedy Meadows and start hiking, I hope I hope I hope by Thursday. Unfortunately, I am still on step 1, because the check engine light is on, and that means automatic smog failure. I replaced the differential pressure feedback EGR system (DPFE) sensor, because that's what the local smog dude said could be the cause of the rather general engine misfire alert the computer was giving him (and that makes sense based on what I read about common problems with the car on the Internet), but after putting in a new one (easy) you have to clear the computer codes and drive it for 30 miles before the smog computer will let you test it, and in that time, the light came back on. So now TW is sitting at the shop waiting for the dude to check other electrical whozywhatsits, and I am looking at maps and wishing hiking didn't require any planning and just now thinking that my bro-in-law said the engine light was previously due to the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve, and the Haynes manual makes replacing that seem easy, so I totally should've done that too, except I think mechanics prefer to actually be paid for services rather than basically being asked what's wrong and them checking/clearing the computer codes for me and then me going and replacing the parts myself. Moral of the story: buy a code reader.

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