I learned a lesson the other day… the hard way.  (If there’s any other way, I’ve yet to find it.)

In April I received a recall notice for Ethel. (Yes, my car’s name is Ethel)

No big deal, it was something about a brake light switch. I stuck the notice in the drawer thinking, yeah…I’ll have to make an appointment at the dealership sometime.

Which means I promptly forgot all about it.

Then two months ago, we were leaving our friend’s place at camp. They have the driveway from Hell… steep and unpaved. We were backing out, hit some loose gravel and bing! bam! boom! all my warning lights started flashing on the dash. ABS, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Hill Assist.

You name it, it was flashing.



I thought, oh hell… we knocked some silly computer module out of whack.

But the car drove perfectly fine and by the time we got home all the lights were out…. so I didn’t give it a second thought. Until this Monday when I went grocery shopping, pulled into the parking lot and shifted into park. Bing! Bam! Boom! all the warning lights flashed again.

Warning lights. What do I know about warning lights?




I mean heck, if they had useful ones….. it would make sense.




But these things were going off for absolutely no reason. Again, my only thought was… stupid computers.

Until I loaded all my groceries in the car, started it and couldn’t shift.

Nada. Nothing. Frozen in park.

Of course it was a hot day…. and of course ice cream was on sale so I’d bought 4 containers. As everything melted into soup, I fiddled and faddled and cursed and finally managed to get it in gear to drive home.

Where it froze in park again.

Moral of the story?




When the manufacturer sends you a recall notice? There’s a reason…. go have it taken care of.

It may just be a brake light switch, and they may assure you “only a small handful of vehicles have had serious issues”….. but if it’s one in three million?

It’s going to be me.

I’m lucky that way.

38 thoughts on “Oops.”

  1. My truck has a leak somewhere in the roof. Somehow, after a good rain, that causes ALL my warning lights to come on… until I make a sharp right turn. It also turns on the seatbelt ringer.

    But, it was free, so I cannot complain much…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve never had a vehicle recalled, but the speedometer on my trailblazer goes on the fritz after my husband drives (speeds) it. When you’re in park but the speedometer says 50m/h, you know there’s something wrong. 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We received two recalls for brake and something else (I can’t remember what it was) shortly after buying our Durango.
    Yes, its best to get those things taken care of straight away.

    Why I remember this one time…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This one was just for brake lights, which were working fine. It was only later, after the gears froze… that I read the small print about a rare few experiencing serious problems. Note to self – always read the small print.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well sure, BUT… recalls – even minor ones – should always be taken care of (as you have discovered). Other than the inconvenience of not having Ethel readily available for a few hours…

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I can’t help but think of Penny on TBBT with her “check engine light” message that she ignored. While I don’t love taking my car in to have any service done, if it’s a recall I do pay attention. Glad you got this fixed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Damn! You just reminded me that I have a recall notice that’s been sitting on my desk for over a month. I am the Pope of Procrastinators. Thanks for the reminder. (I’ll take care of it after lunch.)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. River,
    We had a problem with our orange check engine light staying on. I wrote a whole post about it last year. Or was it the year before? Ah well… This year, our car wouldn’t pass inspection until we got the orange light and all of the reasons why it was on in the first place fixed X 2. Yep, we had two vehicles with this situation. $4,000 later, and we have two old cars that will (fingers crossed) make it another year or two before they bite the dust for good. I’m feeling your pain…mine in the pocketbook, though! Mona

    Liked by 2 people

  7. At least it was only lights or electronic circuits. My husband recently got a recall notice because the bolts holding the steering wheel were too short and the steering wheel could come off while driving. He drives high-speed roads every day. Needless to say, he did not ignore that one.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My wife has rec’d several recall notices for her car recently. Mine is much older (my car, not my wife) and been never been recalled….which just goes to show that they don’t make ’em like they used to (cars or wives). That may not sound logical; but then neither does my wife.

    I would recall that joke, but what she doesn’t know can’t hurt her, right?

    Liked by 2 people

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