Becoming the Housewife MacGyver IN THE CAR

In addition to being here today introducing this month's Housewife MacGyver theme, I'm also over at Housewife Eclectic sharing the fourth segment in my web-favorites series. Feel free to pop on over. :)

My, how time flies! I can't believe it's already September... and that means that there's only 3 more months of Housewife MacGyver! What a year it's been. Head over here to see the last 8 months of our MacGyvering, and drop me a line at if you'd love to be a guest for one our upcoming months (details here).

Up this month...
Becoming the Housewife MacGyver IN THE CAR

MacGyver did his fair share of work with cars and other mechanical doohickeys... on top of hotwiring plenty of vehicles, he also built several airplanes to rescue POWs and trapped journalists. Oh, MacGyver...

For us housewives, though, we'll keep things a little simpler and talk about how to keep our cars clean and organized and running well, as well as some items to keep in your car for emergencies of all kinds.

To get us started, I have two assignments for you. Homework, if you must. And I'll be completing these assignments too!

First assignment: Grab a piece of paper and write down the following (leave some space below each item):
  • tires
  • windshield wipers
  • oil and filter
  • air filter
  • coolant/antifreeze
  • wiper fluid
  • brake pads
  • spark plugs
  • gasoline
  • car wash!
Next, write down the approximate dates or mileage of the last service or maintenance to each of those parts of your car... Hopefully each of us can at least remember (or guess) that last time our vehicle(s) were filled up with gasoline! :)

Why do this? Because it's good to know. Because even if the men in our lives (or our neighborhood mechanics) know, it's still good for us to know, or at least think about every once in a while!

My dad always taught me that a car is not an investment, it's a money pit. Taking good care of your car will (hopefully) help the pit take in less money in the long run. :)

Second assignment: Learn what the different notification lights mean for you car. Yup, those little blinking things on the dashboard ALL mean something. And they are your car's main way of speaking to you. For example, I recently learned that this little light

means that you have a flat tire.

Or, more accurately, that you are well on your way to a flat tire.

When you pull over right then to check (after consulting the owners' manual to figure out what in the world that symbol means), all the tires will appear fine. And then you may or may not forget about the aforementioned light until your husband has driven your entire family to the grocery store and says "Oh crap!" when he gets out there.

Only then will you remember about the light. But then you will be SO grateful that your brother-in-law who manages one of a chain of tire stores is in the state visiting right then because not only can he get your tire fixed, he can get your tire fixed free.Thank you, dear brother.

Anyway, the sort-of moral of that rambling story is... know your dash lights. And pay attention to them. Generally, all of the lights turn on when you start the car, and then turn off. Some of them turn back on momentarily (like the one that tells you to buckle up! it's the law!) and some of them turn back on regularly (such as the check engine soon or change oil soon lights on some models) and some of them turn back on and should have your attention immediately (like the aforementioned flat-tire-coming light).

Just think of knowing your dash lights like knowing the different screaming noises your toddler makes -- you need to know which ones are important and should be heeded immediately, which ones will escalate into further trouble, and which ones can be ignored because they'll eventually turn off on their own. :) 

I'll stop rambling at you now. Go learn and be MacGyverish... more goodness coming soon.

Thanks for reading!

This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.


My name is Ali... said...

So lucky to have a brother that can get you tires for free!! Just had to purchase 3 new ones (thanks forth tire for waiting!) those suckers are expensive!! Lucky girl...

I remember when that light came on the first time for me too :)


Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Good advice, Lorene, and can't wait to see what this month has to offer.

Danae said...

An apt comparison-- toddlers screaming and car lights. Unfortunately, car lights tend to bode more expense, as I can attest after my $750 Intake Manifold Gasket...

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