Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ugh, I've been putting this off....

I've been having some problems with my car for a couple of months now.
Initially I'd put off taking it in to the shop because I was busy dealing with my moms angioplasty and then traveling up to Portland when my grandmother died.
Putting it off hasn't been too much of a hassle because my car still runs, its just that accelerating to above 50 mph can be tricky, the "overdrive off" light is constantly flashing and the "check engine" light comes on sporadically.
I'd been putting it off because when I initially called my car guy and talked to a couple of coworkers who are more mechanically adept than I am they all said it could be one of two things...

1 - The O2 sensor (whatever that is. its been explained to me but it left my brain as immediately as it was told to me) needs to be replaced - a quick, easy, and cheap fix. I like cheap. My mechanic estimates it could be as cheap as $50. I really like that initial price estimate.
2 - The whole transmission could need to be replaced. Again, my mechanic called around and the best price he could find on a rebuilt transmission for my car is $1,600. I do not like this initial price estimate. What makes it worse is that he said a rebuilt transmission comes with no guarantee. It could last for 5 years or 5 weeks. No guarantee. His suggestion in the event that I need a new transmission is to take that $1,500 and use it as the downpayment on a new car.

So, I've been putting it off and putting it off. Then I got my paperwork to renew my car this month. I have to smog my car this year and since my "check engine" light comes on, thats an automatic fail.
I'll be taking it in to the shop next week and as nice as a new(er) car would be, I'd like to put off buying one for a while longer. Ideally, I'd like to have a huge downpayment - about 1/2 of the sale price - and it will take a while longer for me to save that up. So (I use "So..." too much), please, everyone keep their fingers crossed that its just that pesky O2 sensor.

On a sidenote, I think I'm coming down with a cold. I'm stuffy, sore throat, tired, etc. I'd just like to crawl into bed and stay there for a couple of days. I have my dads birthday party this Saturday. Its his 50th, I'd like to be feeling like my normal self by then. I've told his girlfriend that I'll bring my Asian Noodle Salad, recipe below....

1 lb spaghetti (I've also used angel hair or vermicelli)
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (1 tsp if you don't want it as spicy)
1/4 cup corn oil (I've also used vegetable or canola)
1/2 cup sesame oil (be sure to use the dark sesame oil - it makes all the difference)
6 tbsp honey
5 tbsp soy sauce (if you're concerned about sodium, opt for the low sodium soy sauce from Trader Joes)
1 tsp salt (again, you can skip this if you're concerned about sodium)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I love cilantro so I always put extra in)
3/4 cup chopped peanuts, unsalted (I generally use cashews instead of peanuts, but only because of personal preference)
1/2 cup chopped green onion (again I put in extra because I like it)
2 tbsp sesame seeds (again, I put in extra because I like it)

Cook spaghetti al dente and drain.

In a saucepan stir in red pepper flakes and oils for 2 minutes. Add honey, soy sauce, salt and garlic powder.

Stir and mix well with cooked spaghetti. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I try to mix the pasta and sauce together the night before because the longer it sits the better).

When ready to serve, add cilantro, green onion and nuts to pasta, toss.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Also, when making for a party or pot luck of any type I'll double the recipe because it goes fast and if I'm taking it to a party the host usually doesn't allow me to take home any leftovers, ITS THAT GOOD.

On the quitting smoking... I've had a few hiccups. I went to a party Saturday night and smoked there and have had a few cigarettes each day since. Nowhere near the pack a day I was smoking before, but not smoke free like I'd like to be. I'm starting to wonder if I need to try that Welbutrin or whatever its called to help me wean myself off of smoking.


Jesse Harris said...

The O2 sensor, by the way, figures out how much oxygen is in the air and adjusts the air intake accordingly. When it malfunctions, you can get either too much or too little air and the engine either floods with fuel or runs out. Needless to say, it's somewhat important (and usually pricey).

Vanessa said...

Thankfully my mechanic has been a friend of my familys for longer than I've been alive and as a benefit of that friendship all of my repairs are done at cost, no mark up on price and generally no labor - unless its something that would really be labor intensive and then its minimal.
Also, if I do end up having to go with a new car I can get wholesale price at the dealership he works for.

kimananda said...

I have my finger crossed about your car...but I'll have to uncross them at some point soon to make that pasta dish. I'll be trying it with rice noodles, and my mouth is watering in anticipation already!

carrie said...

i'll also cross my fingers about your car. and don't feel too bad about the hiccups -- you have cut your smoking down and that's a start. maybe you should talk to a doctor about welbutrin?