September 10th, 2008

harp

Engine Check light

On Monday when driving to Wellington to catch the Orange line to the Red Sox game I noticed the Engine Check light was on - also the Cruise Control button was blinking. Later I read the manual in the dark (no, I wasn't driving at the time) and saw that sometimes it is caused by the gas tank cap being loose. We stopped to check that; it seemed OK and but I tightened it anyway but this made no difference. Yesterday I scored a while-you-wait appointment at the Subaru dealer and we stopped there on the way to the English Country Dance. They said it was the catalytic converter and it was in stock so they replaced it - the warantee still covered it - the car is a bit over 4 1/2 years old. When they were done they said it would have cost $3,000 - the catalytic converter has platinum in it! Just for a spare part.

My first used car - a '40 chevy in '54 cost $45. My first new car cost $2,100 - an MG-A bought on the way home from a job interview where I got a verbal offer. Yes, a .05 cent cup of coffee costs $2.50 or more these days - so that is even higher inflation, and the paper cup it is served in might cost a nickel, and a coffee filter (the equivalent of the catalytic converter is 5-10 cents.