I noticed a slightly rough idle this morning while waiting to drop my kids off at school, and sure enough the check engine light followed. It runs fine at any speed above 1,000 RPM but for sure it won’t idle smoothly.

I don’t have my scan tool in the car with me but I’m sure it’s a misfire that tripped the light.

Here’s the thing: I’m at work now; after work I’m picking up the kids, then going home to make birthday dinner for my wife. I’m not going to say to her, on her birthday, after dinner, “ok honey I’m going outside to work on my car now.” Tomorrow I’m helping my parents after work, then they’re coming over for dinner after that. If I don’t get to it tomorrow, Saturday looks rainy and cold so I won’t be able to work on it outside (no garage). Then Sunday we have a whole series of things planned and I won’t have any free time then either. Soon, it will be Monday again.

I JUST WANT 10 MINUTES TO SEE WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY CAR. Like, plug in the scan tool, swap a coil and/or spark plug around, then maybe even just hit the auto parts store and solve the whole thing in less than an hour. Is that too much to ask?


Yes, yes it is. There are some days where ‘what I want to do’ comes absolutely dead last. Today is one of those days. Even if I skip lunch, I’m going out to grab one more thing for my wife’s birthday, NOT running home to tinker with the car.

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My wife works VERY hard and makes the real money in our household, so it’s the least I can do to pick up the slack at home with kid time, dinner prep, and all that. It’s her job that actually allows me to have more time with my kids, which is something that everyone says you can never have enough of.

So I take a step back. I realize that I could park my car and drive the Volvo for a day, a week, a month... it doesn’t matter how long. Because again, we are able to afford a third car and this isn’t an issue that’s worth getting upset about. Not to mention, my car actually runs fine so long as you’re not idling. And anyway it’s already scheduled to go to the shop next week for something else.

There, see? I talked myself off the ledge through my keyboard. Thanks for listening.

I played this song for the kids in the car this morning, they love it. We listened to it three times in a row.