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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Almost 300,000

I looked at my odometer yesterday and saw that it is at about 299,760 miles. I'll be hitting 300,000 this week!, I thought. And then my heart sank a little: I put 66 miles on my car each day during my commute. At that rate, I would hit the 300k milestone sometime during the commute, and it would be virtually impossible to get a photo of the event, like I did for 234,567 and 250,000 miles, unless I was on my way home and was able to detour somewhere off the highway.

I added drygas to my fuel this week, the good isopropyl stuff. I also replaced my windshield wiper blades recently, and checked my coolant level. I thought I was ready for whatever Winter could hand me.

This morning my car decided that I could not release my emergency brake.

Let me make this clear: My emergency brake is released. I know what it feels like when I'm driving with it on, and this ain't it. I think. I'm pretty sure.

But the BRAKE light won't go off on my dashboard, and the brake lights on the back of my car stay lit.

I wasn't about to drive my car 66 miles in that state. If nothing else, the computer at least might become convinced that I am driving with the emergency brake on, and might do something rash. Luckily there was a backup plan in place in the event that I could not take my own car to work. Luckily also, I gassed up my mom's car yesterday and added drygas to the fuel.

When I got back from work today I checked to see if the slightly warmer daytime temperatures might have undone whatever has put my car in this state. Nothin' doing.

I don't think this is really a brake issue. I think the brake is fully disengaged. I think this is a sensor issue, or something like the issue which prevented my speedometer/odometer cable from sending signals just about a year ago. (In reality, I probably have 302,000 miles on my car already, but my odometer was non-functional for most of last January.) I would very much like this problem to go away on its own. But if it's anything like last year's problem, it will only go away with the assistance of rather a lot of money.

Until it does go away, my car will be offline.

Ironic footnote: Looks like we're shut down for the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday. So my total work commute for this rotation would be 198 miles, not 264 miles. If I had driven my car to work every day this rotation, I would still have some miles to go before I hit 300,000. As things stand now...who knows?

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