Thursday, October 30, 2008

A real-life blown gasket...

It all started with a shudder. I knew something wasn’t totally right when I started my car yesterday evening. I drove a few blocks through my neighborhood and then the tiny little light on the dashboard came on: “Service Engine Soon.” Not wanting to tempt fate, I promptly turned around and took my ailing vehicle home.

This morning I hoped to pop over to Nissan, get things diagnosed and fixed, and get myself back on the road. But this was not to be a “just add water and microwave” sort of day.

To start with…my car wouldn’t start! I deduced that it was my extra security feature gone wrong. (Hooray technology, right?) But after a brief phone conference, I figured out how to change out a relay on my car and be on my way. …Feeling very car-savvy I might add.

I got to the service center, checked in, and found a spot in the waiting room. And I waited….and waited… and realized that this was not going to be a quick fix day.

When my service advisor finally came around to talk with me, she opened by saying “I have some bad news.” LOL! Gotta love how they put you at ease right? And then she told me: I have a blown gasket. And though it’s the word she used, “blown” may be a little exaggerated. Nevertheless, the gasket isn’t working correctly. Coolant is leaking into the engine…blah blah blah…it needs to be fixed.

Such a tiny thing (relatively), but a very costly repair. You see, it’s not just the gasket that has to be addressed. They also have to reprogram the car’s computer after the repair – it’s called “Reset and Relearn.” But the silver lining is that the “Service Engine Soon” light probably saved my engine.

Either way, I’ve pretty much lost a day of work. I’m car-less until Tuesday. and I’m going to have an unexpected bill to pay. (Silver lining #2: I’ve been really aggressive about saving lately. So while it’s not the way I wanted to spend that money, I’ll still be able to cover the expense.)

As I sat in the lovely Nissan waiting room, my mind started mulling over the idea of blowing a gasket. Somewhere along the way, that phrase has come to be used for more than just car diagnostics. It’s also a word picture we use for someone who explodes in anger. And bottom line, whether we’re talking about car-land or life in general:

It’s always costly.

How’s your “engine” running? When heated or stressed moments happen, do you have a healthy way of cooling off? Can your self-control handle the pressure without blowing? Do you have things (or people) that act as warning lights? Do you pay attention to them? Are the relational bank accounts in your life deep enough to cover the expense following an outburst?

Just a few questions brought to you by my ailing car…

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (Proverbs 29:11)

For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife. (Proverbs 30:33)


  1. Another well written, well thought out, well expressed post! I think this is my favorite so far. I have been convicted ~ I believe I'm due for a tune-up!

    Sorry about your "blown gasket" - but all who read this will benefit because of it!

  2. Great thoughts from a not-so-great situation!