Thursday, November 17, 2011

a muffled shriek

I was happily speeding along the freeway between the VA and the medical center when I first took note of an unobtrusive little light on my dashboard.

I wasn't really sure how long it had been there and definitely didn't know what it meant.

So I did what I consider the most logical thing - I snapped this pic with my phone and texted it to my husband.

He called back, told me to slow down and get off the freeway. As it turns out, what looks like an exclamation mark between two parentheses with a squiggly line at the bottom is actually the universal symbol for tire pressure. I could be driving on a flat tire.

So I kept driving, not because I didn't believe him, but because I really didn't want to get off the freeway in a not-so-great and largely unknown area of town.  Tire pressure, really? To my unlearned mind that symbol would more closely approximate the graphic representation for a muffled shriek coming from beneath the hood.

When I finally did pull over I found he was right - the back left tire was only half inflated.

I slowly drove the remaining mile to the medical center and fumed at Toyota for installing such uninterpretable hieroglyphics in my car.

Later that evening Lincoln and Munch picked me up at work. Munch and I drove home in the Mazda and left Lincoln to change the flat out for a spare in the dark parking lot.

Sometimes, and don't kill me ladies, it's really nice to be the little wifey.


  1. That is crazy! Just yesterday my Hyundai gave me the exact same symbol. I pulled out the little owner's manual, figured out what it meant, and went to the gas station to inflate up to the recommended 33 psi. Don't kill me! But that felt good too.

  2. It's the rest of the symbols on the Prius screen that confuse me. Has anyone done a study about the safety of Prius drivers? My father in law stares at the battery charging animation and the MPG instead of the road, I swear!

  3. I HATE that little symbol! The first time it showed up on my dash I had to ask my husband what in the world it meant too. Sadly, I think there is now something wrong with my back left tire because I need to add air almost every night before I leave the farm. It's never flat; just low. So, now I need to somehow squeeze in a visit to the dealership to find out what's wrong with my year-old girl.

    Glad the husband could come and take care of you. :)


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