That's too many times.
Some people, when their CEL comes to visit, ignore it for as long as they can. "The only sign that it's time to take the car into the shop is smoke pouring out from under the hood," these folks might reason. I don't subscribe to that particular theory. I'm a mechanic's wet dream. As soon as that light comes on, I'm on the phone with Soly, my sixty-nine-year-old Israeli mechanic. I've been taking cars to him since I was sixteen years old. Eleven different cars. Everything from a 1989 Volvo 240-DL to a 2001 Volkswagen New Beetle done up as Herbie the Love Bug. I'll never forget the first day I drove into his shop behind the wheel of Herbie. He stared at it, suspiciously eyeballing the 53 on the hood and he looked at me.
"I don't understand it," he said, shrugging indifferently.
Now I drive a 2002 Volvo S-40, and the Check Engine Light just keeps coming back-- like a dog to its own vomit, or... herpes. It's pugnacious, and I admire it in a way. Every time Soly runs the diagnostic to see what the fault code is, it's always the same:
That's just a portion of what the fault code says. The whole thing reads "CAMSHAFT POSITION TIMING OVER RETARDED BANK ONE".
I didn't know something could be over-retarded. I thought that was the whole point of being retarded, that that particular situation is more under... than over.
But what do I know? I don't even know what a camshaft is, nor do I care what its position is. It was pointed out to me by Jack, Soly's Chinese assistant, that I have twin camshafts in my car, just like I have twin babies downstairs in my pack'n'play, but, more than that, I don't understand.
We say, "hang up" still, but these phones we use these days don't have receivers and cradles anymore. Funny.