I Fix Car Problems By Turning Up The Radio

I’m a ‘stick my head in the sand’ kind of person.

I am not good at dealing with problems, nearly all of them. I don’t trust my decision making skills and find that sticking my fingers in my ears and going FA LA LA LA makes most problems go away. At least for a little bit.

Randy does this thing in the car, two things actually, that make my brain all swollen and itchy. He either suddenly lets go of the steering wheel and hovers his hands over it and says. “Do you feel that? The car is drifting to the left. Or the right. I wouldn’t know anyway as I have a form of dyslexia that makes it impossible for me to tell the difference.

Fucking hell, if I am ever in a car with any of you and I’m driving and you are giving me directions…don’t fucking tell me to turn left or right, POINT. I can eventually figure it out (I look at my wedding ring). But sometimes when you’re driving, you don’t have the luxury of going through this thought process:MP900438719

Fuck. Is that left? No. That’s right. I’m positive.

Wait, that’s left. 

Look at your hands, dumbass. Wedding rings.

Wait. Which hand do we wear wedding rings? The left. It’s the left. 

It’s a good thing you love your husband. Do you remember how much more difficult this process was when you weren’t married?

But I digress.

When he let’s go of the steering wheel and feels it drifting, then I assume the worst and am ready for all the tires to spontaneously explode.

The other thing he does, is he will randomly turn the radio down and say “Do you hear that”?

never hear what he is talking about. But I am always sure that’s it bad.

Nothing stresses me out more than car repairs.

That’s a lie. A lot of things stress me out more than car repairs, but they are fucking stressful. 

So, I fix the problem the same way, every time. I turn the radio up and say “Problem solved”.

I can tell by the twitchy look on his face, that this annoys him. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t annoy him any more than his phantom drifts and noises annoy me.

I guess I should be grateful that he doesn’t deal with life with a ‘stick your head in the sand’ approach, like I do. Sometimes that approach ends badly.

By sometimes, I mean often.

Now, can someone tell me the best way to ignore that pesky ‘check engine’ light? Especially when it starts blinking. I’m thinking a little duct tape should cover it up nicely.

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  1. HAHAHAHA! And, yes. I recently took my car in because it needed new tires. Turns out it also needed a new suspension. The guy asked me, “Didn’t you feel it when you were driving? That must have been a bumpy ride.” I thought it was just the shitty roads.
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  2. Car repairs also give me major anxiety. Because unless you actually know something about cars, then you never know what is really needed. I hyperventilate at state inspection time (and I really need to move where there aren’t yearly inspections).

    I can’t take directions like “turn left after the next light”. No, tell me when to turn left, because I don’t know if you mean the light coming up or the one after it is “next”.

    And don’t touch my radio, please and thank you.
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  3. Kristine says:

    I may be the minority here… I take my car in regularly, always notice when it is pulling and I know my right from my left. Should I check to see if my estrogen is dropping?
    Do I redeem myself when I tell you that my car is a pigsty or make it worse?
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  4. I’m so bad about car repairs. I had a brother that took care of all of that and now my husband does it. I can, however change a tire and check my oil. But thank God I don’t have to anymore. Watch, I’ll type that and end up with a flat tire today. La La La…I didn’t say it! 😉
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    • Michelle says:

      Hahah..I’ve never changed a tire or oil in my life. I should probably learn…but then again..I have a husband and children to do those things..

      They never clean toilets. It’s a fair trade.

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  5. eva says:

    Well it seems like we may have attended the same “Non-Mechanics School” – I personally identify cars only by color. Hummvee or VW Bug – if they are both white then it’s a white car. I’m using the duck tape trick – nice one.

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  6. HAHAH that is so funny! And totally stressful. So my favorite car ever was an old jeep. I had it for 11 years and it started making a noise…and then the engine light came on…and well I finally had to get the engine replaced. So I picked it up from the shop, drove to work, and it caught on fire. True story about why fixing your car is sometimes a really bad idea.
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    • Michelle says:

      Oh man…THAT IS HORRIBLE!! And quite the case against ever getting any car repairs done. Best to just throw it away and get a new one.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy?

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  7. yobo says:

    as someone who’s check engine light has been on 3 weeks now, and drove 150mi last week? i am dreading my poor car’s repair bill.
    i need to take it in. but… rent is due.

    feck.

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  8. There’s nothing worse than car repairs and it seems we have the same problem solving skills: zip, nada. I love the radio idea, I just stay home and refuse to go anywhere! I did once put a piece of black electrical tape over my check engine light because it was driving me crazy! I actually call my brother! Hubby and I either one know how to work on cars…well he can do some things but if he can’t do it then little brother will!
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  9. Twindaddy says:

    Put a picture of your kids over the check engine light. That should take care of it.
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  10. Cheryl Porter says:

    I told my mechanic once that my truck was making a squeaky noise when I went over bumps and he told me there’s a button for that. He then looked at me until I realized he was talking about the stereo volume button.

    Did I mention my mechanic is also my big brother?

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  11. Karen says:

    Don’t ever tell me to go left. Or right. In fact, in our family (where my daughter and I share the inability to tell one hand from the other) the best way to direct a driver is to say, “Go your way” or “Go my way.” I.e., turn to the driver’s side or turn to the…oh, hell. Never mind. You’re probably better off just not driving with us.
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  12. Cassandra says:

    I have to say “watch hand” and “ring hand” to my daughter. Left and right have no meaning to her whatsoever. Amuses Momus to no end. So of course he says things to try to screw her up.

    He thinks this is much funnier than she does.
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  13. Kathy Radigan says:

    Now you have me thinking I better get my car checked!! Yes I can be a, stick my fingers in my ears and sing loudly kind of girl myself!!! xo

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  14. I only take my car in for maintenance when I’m going on a road trip and want to make sure it doesn’t spontaneously combust in zombie cannibal serial killer territory.
    I’m the opposite of you with directions, though. I need my lefts and rights. I once went on a three week road trip with someone who a) didn’t have a driver’s license – strike one right there, and b) would just point where he expected me to go, causing us to miss multiple turns and exits over the course of the trip, even after I asked him repeatedly to say left or right and let me know which exit numbers to watch for. He’s damn lucky we didn’t break down in zombie cannibal serial killer territory, because I would’ve handed him right over to them and went, “He’s all yours. Be my fucking guest.”
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  15. Considerer says:

    HA! Ohhhh dear a lot!

    I’m not good at checking my car. I can check oil if I need to, and replace the water for the windscreen wash thing. If I HAVE to. But I don’t know how to repair anything and frankly I don’t want to. I want a MAN TO DO IT FOR ME! (okay, or a woman who LIKES doing that kind of thing – let’s not undermine feminism here…)

    And if something is beyond Husby, I will happily pay a garage-man to do it for me.
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    • Michelle says:

      It’s ALL beyond me and Randy…we’re just not ‘car’people..although, he does seem to be able to speak fluent car even when I can’t hear a thing.

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  16. Doug in Oakland says:

    As a former motorcyclist, throttle hand is right, clutch hand is left. That’s how I always remembered them. I always hated working on cars. I could do it if I had to, but I never did it for fun, like my brother and some of my friends did.

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  17. And eventually, that damn light just kinda blends into the scenery and becomes a “it’s always on” kinda thing, so it’s easy to ignore that, too. I rarely drive with the radio off, so when it’s quiet in the car I’m ALWAYS convinced something is wrong. Keep turning up the tunes!
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  18. That ‘turn the radio’ up repair works on a whole BOATLOAD of things!
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  19. Me says:

    I so hear you on the left and right thing. A can tell me to turn left and I start to turn right so he says – no the other left – then I know I need to go the other way !!!!

    I’ve always had an issue with L and R – when I went to take my driving test (back in the day just after Noah landed) – I used a black koki and put a BIG L and R on my hands so if the tester said – Turn left – I at least could see, relatively easily, which way I had to turn. It turns out that I had the b*itch from hell of a tester who got me to drive her to the shops – wait in the car while she did her shopping – and then when we got back to the testing centre told me I had failed because I stopped at the shops. I was not impressed – even after she started laughing and told me I had passed and she was only joking !!! She then made me walk into each of the other driving inspectors offices and put my hands out – as you can imagine I was calling her all sorts of things by the time I got out of there with the piece of paper saying I had passed !!!!

    Have the best day Lovely Lady !
    Me xox
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  20. You’re a hoot! I often wonder which is worse, maintenance on my car, my aging body, or my in-law’s home?
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  21. Linda says:

    OK, we’ll start with – buy a new gas cap. That might solve your Check Engine light. It was the first thing I did when I bought my van over two years ago. Didn’t work. Light is still on. Van is still running. I think the light is overrated. And yes, duct tape will work fine. They even make it in designer colors and patterns now.

    Left and right have always alluded me as well. No, that’s wrong. They are both always there – it’s just like they are twins and I can’t tell them apart. I feel better after reading your post.

    I do all the driving so I am the one saying “Did you hear that? Do you feel that?” – while my brother is the one looking at me like I am crazy and reaching for the radio.

    I actually know quite a bit about cars – enough to not get screwed by a mechanic anyway. (unless you count my ex-husband) But knowing what is probably wrong and fixing it are too very different things and I BY CHOICE do not know how to change my oil or fix a flat. I did, however, once help change out a transmission when I was 17. And when I was 20 I kitted a carburetor. The car caught fire a couple days later . . . probably why I went into accounting.

    Money is currently very tight and fixing things that are not completely broken will just have to wait. Because of that, I have a tendency to hope for the best, say a little prayer, and yes, you guessed it – TURN UP THE RADIO.

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  22. Mary-Anne says:

    O. M. G. Are you my doppleganger? Is your husband, my husband? We have had a truck for five years and he is still trying to get me to hear this ‘noise’ that he hears and I don’t that he is sure is a dire warning.

    And the check engine light – on our trip to the Yukon last year it plagued us and yes duct tape was definitely considered.

    AND…..I joked that the only reason I have stayed married for 38 years is because the wedding band confirms which left is left.

    Really, you and I should have a dna test. I think you are my twin.

    LA LA LA
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  23. Karen says:

    There’s this old 80s tune called Turn Up the Radio by Autograph- with perfect luck it will be playing at some point when you say, “Problem solved”!
    The check engine light is the devil. Mine came on when I was on a rare road trip hours from home- I did the logical thing and dumped a few quarts of oil in and kept driving. The mobil mechanic that rescued me and my black-smoke-from-too-much-oil-pouring-out-and-engine-light-still-on on the interstate did not laugh at me or call me an idiot (much to his credit). Suffice it to say I no longer drive farther than 20 miles by myself. Duct tape that thing! Karen 🙂
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  24. Gabby says:

    Hold up the thumb and pointer finger of each hand. The one that makes the “L” is the left hand. I do that more often than I probably should admit.

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  25. AlienCG says:

    I don’t tend to ignore car trouble. I just take my car to my mechanic and say, “Find out what’s wrong with it and call me.” Then I walk home and wait for the horrible news that the crankcase pin is gyrating and causing the oil pan to conflate, or something like that. I’ve never been good with cars (I’ve been told to hand in my “Man Card”). I do know how to deal with the “Check Engine” light…Post-It Notes.
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  26. clark says:

    …makes sense to me.

    (I’m a huge fan of the, ‘just don’t look’ approach to pre-problem solving), in fact I carry this philosophy into the visual, like at a medical situation, while fortunately rare, I have been known to request a small towel. When they provide it, I will take it and drape it over my head and then the procedure may…. proceed</em

    This is one of the all too few advantages of not being young.
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  27. Know what’s really hard for lef-right-challenged people like us? A yoga class.

    Yoga and ignorance — bliss (pass the duct tape).
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  28. This blog is my favorite discovery this week. And if you, like I do, have trouble figuring out east, west, north and south from any given point we will be friends forever.
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  29. Lorien says:

    My car pisses me off… No, WAIT! – I love you, CAR!! But seriously sometimes I wish I still lived in the city and could just walk or take the bus/train/cab everywhere. So I guess that really means the SUBURBS piss me off… You’re good, Car. You cost me a fortune, but you’re good.
    Flashing lights and funny noises that only I can hear freak me out and have me dialing the mechanic often. Which pisses HIM off since I go to him for the diagnostic and the quote; THEN, get a better price at hubby’s mechanic & use them instead. I guess I’m brewing bad car-karma…
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  30. I think we all play the “wait until somebody else notices” game in the house. And really, nobody wins that game.

    But yes, car repairs are SUPER stressful. Even if it’s just to do with tires (which are SUPER expensive). Like, “can they just patch it? Do they have a replacement of the same one, if they can’t patch it? Do I have to buy ALL NEW TIRES so it doesn’t fuck my four wheel drive now? Wait, what’s that light? What ELSE is wrong?”
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    • Michelle says:

      I know..and my kid needs a tire..I HAVE GOT to get that taken care of this weekend. Of course it’s the low profile tires, so they’re expensive. fucking cars.

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  31. Sarah Jane says:

    Hah! I don’t do this with all problems, but with car issues most definitely. It revs when it’s not supposed or slightly stalls on a turn. Radio volume goes up and I stare out the windshield praying that it will just keep driving.
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