No wanderlust this weekend. I had one planned, but when I started up the car Friday, the engine ran a bit rough, and then the engine check light started blinking. This is not a good thing.

The car ran well enough to take over to a friend (the blessed Jon Dahl) who has one of those car computer error code readers. My suspicion was bad ignition cables, bad spark plugs, or a bad elecronic ignition set — all of which I have had happen before (not on this car) and which are not too bad to repair. Yes, the Wandermobile now has over 200,000 miles on it, but Cindy and I have really loved this car.

But the error code reported an open circuit on one of the fuel injectors. We popped the hood, took the cover off the engine, and … there was a nice little pile of leaves and pine needles and pinon shells under one of the injector plugs. And the cable was badly chewed, including one wire chewed clean in half. Well, there was my problem.

Will take it to the mechanic tomorrow. Should not be too bad a repair time- or money-wise. But I’ve had mice chew up important electronics in my vehicles four or five times now. I need to find a reliable way to prevent future chewings. I may have to get vicious about this …

Meanwhile, due to COVID, the New Mexico Geological Society annual fall field conference this week was postponed to May. Gary Stradling and I are probably going to roll our own next month, in Colorado. It’s been a warm September so far so there’s a good chance the weather won’t yet be snowy and frigid in October even in the higher terrain. Wish us luck.

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