Her name is GiGi. She's a 2011 VW GTI and we've been together for 134,000 miles. Hands down, she is the most expensive thing I've ever invested in, and as a VW, maintenance is also pricey. That said, I take great care of her. She gets oils changes on time, scheduled maintenance, and I happily spend 3 hours detailing her.
Her check engine light came on in early October. After an expensive service to change the spark plugs, I was informed that the CEL was due to a carbon build up on the intake valves causing the engine to misfire. Each time a cylinder fired, the valve couldn't close, so some of that energy would get wasted. My car was putting in all the effort, but only getting out part of the energy. The labor intensive repair would cost about $800.
In simpler terms, I wasn't able to run on all cylinders, but my car still ran. For months, I ignored the ding and flashing light every time I turned on the car. About a month ago, I realized my fuel economy had gone down by about 10mpg. Nonetheless, the repair was expensive and I could still get by on my misfiring engine, so I put it off.
What if we looked at what I was doing to my car and put ME in her place? Taking care of myself until it became expensive or inconvenient. Delaying some serious work because things are operating "fine". Putting in the effort but not reaping 100% of the benefits because I was just not in the shape to properly convert effort to output. It was a ton of energy being thrown into a bowl with a hole.
Do you ever do this? You can see an issue in your life or lifestyle that needs to be adjusted. You even have the solution and the tools to get it done, but you delay it because it's easier or cheaper to just get by as is.
After whining about it, delaying, and shopping around as a means of procrastination, I finally had the repair done. It ultimately cost $1,200 because the issue exacerbated having been left for so long (new fuel injectors).
It's okay though. Despite the massive cost, I picked up GiGi feeling proud of myself for taking care of her. The cost was an investment in her well-being, a worthy purchase to keep us traveling for many more miles and experiencing many more adventures. I need her to be healthy so I can get to work, to visit family, and to catch up with friends.
Driving from PA to NJ after the repair, I smiled as I watched my fuel economy jump back to it's pre-misfire numbers. It felt good to have taken care of her. It also reminded me how crucial it is that I invest in my well-being with just as much commitment as I ultimately did for GiGi.
Even though I can function with a misfire, I am worth taking care of myself so I can fire on all cylinders. No wasted energy.