Well, about two weeks ago the Prius decided to flash a cryptic warning on its display screen for a second or two. "Problem" was about as descriptive as it got. And it didn't stick around. It would come and go. So, I called in for an appointment. Since I am busy working on weekdays when normal people are supposed to be able to fix their cars, I had to wait a week and a half for an open Saturday with the only hybrid mechanic in existence. In the meantime, "Problem" and I got pretty well acquainted.
Going 75 MPH? "Problem" *beeeeep*
Turning left? "Problem" *beeeeep*
Trying not to crash into the person cutting you off? "Problem" *beeeeep*
Hit a bump? "Problem" *beeeeep*
After a few days of waiting and not really knowing what "Problem" meant, the car started feeling a little different. I started wondering if maybe the car was going to blow up with me in it. I mean, it really would be just my luck. It was a little maddening. The Prius is so smart about telling all sorts of things about itself. There are so many buttons and settings, and there is access to so much data. But can it tell me what "Problem" means? No. For all I know, the windshield fluid might just be low, since there doesn't seem to be a light for that! And then on top of that, I started to get a really bad feeling. Like I just knew that it was going to be really bad. This did not make driving the car very fun.
Saturday finally came around, and Dan and I took the car in. About four hours later, we get a call from the mechanic. The engine is completely destroyed because some line for the oil broke, then the oil rushed into the engine and made a lot of crust. Then all of the gaskets melted. He said it would take a long time to get a new engine and then fix it.
We had to rent a car, which is really hard to do on Saturday at 6 PM. But, we figured it out. I had myself all signed up for a Kia... not too excited about that, but hey, I wasn't interested in spending extra money for vanity's sake. I just needed a car that worked. When we got to the rental location, the guy said that all they had was a Fiat 500. In my mind I am thinking, "This car is tiny... how do I feel about this?"
In the beginning, I thought it was a silly car (although I have heard on many occasions that it is "soooooo cute!"). It wasn't very fast, unless you turned on sport mode and wanted to use a lot of gas. But, eventually it grew on me a little.
I am now out of the Fiat and into a loaner car from the dealership-- a brand new Prius C (that car has me feeling some serious envy, I adore it!). I have no idea when I will get my car back, but I am happy that the dealership is taking care of me until then.