The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 4, 2012

Mike Pound: Even his car tells him what to do

My car keeps telling me that there is something wrong with one of my tires.

Normally I would appreciate my car telling me that there is something wrong with one of my tires, but sadly there really isn’t anything wrong with my tire.

I’ll be driving down the road minding my own business when all of a sudden my car will scream, “OMG WATCH OUT THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR LEFT FRONT TIRE!!!! THE WORLD AS YOU KNOW IT IS OVER!!!! SARAH PALIN IS PRESIDENT!!!!RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!”

OK, my car doesn’t actually scream things at me. What happens is a  little ominous-looking symbol will pop up on the screen on my dashboard and then the words “Check left front tire pressure” will appear.

The first time that happened I immediately pulled off the road and checked my left front tire.

“Hmmmm, seems fine to me,” I said to myself and then I got back in my car and kept driving. Later though, just to be safe, I stopped and put some more air into my left front tire.

“There,” I said. “That ought to do it.”

By the way, when I said “Hmmm, seems find to me” and “There, that ought to do it,” I had no idea who I was talking to.

When I got back into  my car  and started the engine, I expected to see “Check left front tire pressure” message gone, but it wasn’t.

“(Very bad word),” I then said to no one in particular.

So I did what I always do when I am faced with something unpleasant: I ignored the whole thing.

What I did was push a little button that made the “Check left front tire pressure” message go away, leaving me with just the ominous-looking symbol that either means “Danger” or “HOLY &^^$,” and I kept driving.

A few weeks later, I took my car in to have the oil changed and asked  the guys at the oil change place to check the pressure on my tire. Later the oil change guys said my left front tire pressure was off by a very tiny amount. One oil change guy told me that some sort of sensor on my car is probably too sensitive. He told me that he had a similar problem with his car. I asked the guy what he did to fix the problem on his car.

“I unplugged it,” he said.

I was uneasy with that solution.

“What if one time the sensor is telling the truth?” I asked no one in particular. So I left the sensor plugged in. I should note that another reason for leaving the sensitive sensor plugged in is that I have no idea how you go about unplugging a sensor, but I’m sure it involves the use of an air compressor.

The good news was that, after the oil change guys adjusted my tire pressure, the warning light in my car went away and I was free to drive without worry.

Well, I was free to drive without worry for about a month and then the “Check left front tire pressure” warning came on again. I took my car to the oil change guys and once again they adjusted my tire pressure. But this time they said there really wasn’t anything at all wrong with my tire  pressure.

“It’s that sensor,” the guys told me.

But the warning message was gone, so I was happy.

Until Friday when the “Check left front tire pressure” message came on again.

“(VERY BAD WORD!)” I said to no one in particular. “I’m buying an air compressor.”

As long as it doesn’t come with a warning light.

 Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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