Panic! In the Car


Great friends are so sweet and dear it’s worth doing whatever it takes to hold on to them. One of the few things we miss about living in Northern Virginia are our former neighbors Christopher and Melanie (along with their daughter, Lucy and dog, Otis).

They are such good people, and it showed immediately. The day we moved in, Christopher offered and helped us move in the heavy furniture.

Again today, Christopher swooped in for a save. My Jeep has been acting funny for the last few days. I started to think it might be the transmission yesterday when it seemed to be having trouble switching gears. This led to a quiet panic about the moolah.

If you’ve ever talked to me about my Jeep, you know that it’s my favorite car I’ve ever driven by far, but I really didn’t want to spend the money to fix a transmission. Here’s where Christopher comes into play.

He was a Ford mechanic when we met him. His sister has the same make and model Jeep as I do. He has a clue when it comes to cars. After I described my jerky, slow ride to professional development to my husband, he shared it with Christopher. When the check engine light came on, Christopher simply said, “Take it to an auto store and have them run diagnostics.” Duh, that’s why we need a car guy in our life. We were going to take it straight to the shop.

On the way home from my lovely professional development (that really was decent) I stopped at the Advanced Auto Parts on Route 10. Everyone, even the other customers were so friendly. I was a little surprised to be greeted by customers on the way out the door. Richmond is a pretty friendly place compared to Northern Virginia, but Chester takes it to a whole new level.

J. at AAP was amazingly helpful. The transmission was NOT the problem, thank God. The throttle position sensor WAS the problem. It’s what tells the car how much gas to use in proportion to how much you’re pushing the accelerator (according to J.). He first showed me where it was and then how to replace it. For $38, I had the part.

When I got home, my husband watched this video on YouTube for direction. Within 30 minutes, he had DIYed my Jeep’s throttle position sensor. Yay for saving money on labor.

Christopher also helped us figure out how to get the Check Engine Light to turn off. He’s my all around hero today!


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