So I spent almost all day working on my car to try to get it to pass the Texas emissions test. Enter car GOD Charlie to check everything out. It required a complicated series of new spark plugs (the old ones looked like they didn't get replaced in the massive overhaul last year) new spark plug wires, new air filter and some presto magic gas additive that cleans out the engine (Thanks Risley). The oil and filter had already been changed, and Charlie checked the transmission fluid and antifreeze as well. I filled my car with premium gasoline (yikes) and tomorrow I must drive, drive, drive the whole tank through and then return to have it reinspected. From the very poor condition of the spark plugs, Charlie feels replacing them will probably do the trick. I sure hope so, because Charlie does not do replacement catalytic converters.
I was thinking today, how greatful I am to have a mechanic I trust around. Charlie is 23 years old, just an honest guy trying to feed his kids and make extra money on the side for Christmas with odd mechanical jobs after his work day as a school bus mechanic. One of those people that obviously know car engines backwards and forwards. He never shames me for not knowing anything, and tells his own horror stories of mechanic rip offs he has witnessed in his work. Like I said before, everyone should be blessed with a Charlie.
Genie told me today she thinks that failing the emissions test happened at this time so that I could have something fixed that was minor instead of a major car problem later. After seeing the spark plugs, and talking to Charlie, I think this is probably the case. So cross your collective fingers for me out there, hopefully all this work was the only steps I needed to make.