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Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Sickness Is Spreading

This morning, both Marti and I are feeling somewhat better (have to love cold medicine), so we decided to take a little trip about an hour North of Forest City, where we’ve been for almost a week now.

We though that some fresh air and a change of scenery would do us good.  We’d heard so much about our destination, that we decided to go for it:  The Spam Museum in Austin, MN.

We hopped into our Honda Element and headed out.  As soon as we got to I-35, we merged into the light traffic and…

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the car started to buck under acceleration and the dreaded “Check Engine” light came on.  You know what that little icon usually means.


We just had the Element serviced in Missouri before we came up to Iowa.  Sometimes you can’t win.  Deciding it would not be fun to break down, we turned around and nursed it back to the Journey.  We’ll hook the Element back up and tow it with us to a Honda dealership somewhere along the way to Ohio.

We can’t complain,the Element has faithfully served us for the last 11 years and 174,000 miles (not to mention the 50K+ or so miles it’s been towed behind our motorhomes).  It’s never given us a lick of trouble and has required only normal maintenance that I’ve faithfully had done.

But then, I guess I deserved this.  After neglecting to mention in yesterday’s post that Jeri correctly predicted that we were not going to roll but stay at the Winnebago Factory for a couple of days, I’m sure she must had either put the PDJ (Paul Dahl Jinx) upon me or sent one of these guys to visit.


So Jeri, since you won first prize in the guessing contest, I’ll be bringing it along to Q next January to present to you with the proper “Pomp and Circumstance”.


If you are super anxious to get your prize, and feel you can’t wait, I’ll mail it to you.  You don’t have to worry about it not tasting good if there is a long delay in the mail, it’s the only other thing besides cockroaches that can withstand even a nuclear holocaust…  ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Quite often the check engine light is only an annoyance. But, if the thing decided to not run right, then I suppose it must be an actual *issue*. That sucks. Too bad you don't have a code reader, then at least you'd have an idea as to the problem. At least you can tow it.

  2. Why don't you get one of those OBD2 readers that will tell you what the check engine light means and then you'll know if it's some silly thing or something serious? Good plan to tow it. Bet you'll be getting out of dodge now that you can't go anywhere without your journey.

  3. Too bad you missed the SPAM museum. You could have really stocked up on that essential in a half a dozen different flavors. ;)

  4. Your element has many miles ahead as soon as you get it tweaked. Sorry that it interrupted your travel to the SPAM museum though.

    Hey, you coming through Indiana? We are just south of Indy until Thursday morning then we go to Wooster, Ohio for the weekend. Maybe our paths will cross...

    OH,,,, you do not have to make the trip in one sitting...especially since I lost the last contest. You know, I wonder if we should have the contest every time you that would be fun.

  5. Doesn't Auto Zone or similar car parts supply stores offer free code checks for people who are having engine check lights? Just a thought…Might give you a heads up BEFORE you get into the dealership…I've heard the SPAM museum is really cool! Sorry you had to miss it.

  6. For some reason, I'm getting hungry for a spam samich.

  7. I laughed, we both said we'd like to see the Spam museum sometime. George finally bought a code reader, now he knows how much money we need every time the stupid light comes on

  8. Believe it or not, I'm at a loss for words regarding the gift you're going to hold on for me. I guess spam is better than sardines so you can bet I'll remind you of it in "Q". We've had that pesky little light come on. Sometimes it's nothing so maybe the Element is just tired of playing second fiddle to the Journey and needs a little TLC herself .... I'm assuming the Element is a "she".

  9. At least you will be using a pretty fancy rig for the dead tow!

  10. I bet you were mostly upset about missing the Spam museum.

  11. Hope the car problem is a minor one... and that you both kick this bug and get back to feeling better!

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  12. Nine times out of ten, the "check engine" light is nothing serious and you can continue on your journey. Actually, it's probably closer to ninety nine times out of a hundred. Probably something as simple as the gas cap not being on tight enough.

    An orange light on the dash is okay...a red light is a problem...

    1. True, but this is the one out of a hundred. The engine bucks and stumbles when the gas pedal is stepped on. I was able to nurse it back to the Journey without breaking down (Phew!).

  13. We had that light come on in our coach back in California, Auto Zone could not figure out where to plug in the tester so 3,000 mile later had it checked here in Ontario. It showed that it was a non issue, the code was cleared and did not come back.
    Good luck with the fix.

  14. I think your Honda heard you were going to the Spam Museum and that's why it put that Engine Check Light on! The Element was probably afraid you were going to feed it some of that stuff. Either that or recycle the Honda as Spam ingredients - who would ever know???

  15. Oh me Oh my...sure hope The Element recovers from this ailment!! Also hope you are both feeling better which may not happen if you had visited the SPAM museum;o)))