Nov 082008

It tells me when it needs service.

I’m not good at remembering maintenance details. Most of my plants die because I forget to water them. With critters, I do quite well. A critter will come up and tell me his water dish is empty. A plant will just suffer quietly, and typically I don’t notice until it’s in dire straits. I prefer to have the critters, who are more proactive in these matters.


Which is another good point about my Honda Fit—it tells me when it needs something. It has a little wrench-shaped light on the dashboard that lights up when the car wants service.

The wrench-light isn’t the best part, though. A lot of cars have little lights that come on to let you know the engine needs service. Some of them are shaped like tools, and some actually have words that say “service engine soon.” And that’s all you get, a vague suggestion that the car needs service. It might need minor routine maintenance, or the transmission might be about to drop out onto the road. There’s no telling; you just get the one light for everything.

My Fit gives me more useful info. When the little wrench light comes on, the car also replaces my digital odometer display with various codes to let me know why. Last week the light came on, and the codes said “Oil life 15%,” and “B 1.” The owner’s manual translates these codes for me:

Oil life 15%: Well, that one’s pretty self-explanatory. Change the oil.

B: While you’re at it, the oil filter needs replacing, and you should check my fluids, brakes, and a few other things.

1: Also, it’s time to rotate my tires.

This afternoon I took her up to the friendly Honda dealership where we bought her, and they performed the maintenance requested by her little dashboard lights. I love that. It’s so much easier to take care of a car that tells you exactly what it needs.

 Posted by at 4:51 pm

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