Apparently it's something to do with carbon build-up in a pipe leading into something called an ERG(?), and there was something about valves and manifolds (what the heck is a manifold when it doesn't have warp plasma flowing through it?). I sound, about cars, like my mother sounds about computers -- actually, worse, I sound like she used to before she became quite a bit more computer-savvy. Anyhow, seemingly they have to drill out the deposits(?) plus replace some tube (or maybe manifold? Oh, so, apparently a manifold is a tube with lateral junctions to other tubes, or something, according to /define on lily) and (I think?) the ERG itself (whatever that is when it's at home). This would be covered under warranty, but, well, I'm well past that (mileage-wise).
I was going to need to leave the car overnight (which would leave me stranded at work and with no way to get home, let alone to poker, where I had the good fortune to win $6.50) or take it away (fine to drive, supposedly) and bring it back in the morning. So got up way too early and dropped it off to the dealership (with the help of urox to get back home). It'll set me back a bit under $400. Oh joy. At least they're comping me the charge for diagnosing it yesterday. Could be a whole lot worse, really.
I will probably be heading off up to the dealership (30 miles away) shortly, in order to get there before 5pm by public transport (mostly). This involves some buffer time for waiting for trains, the time taken on the VTA light rail, the time taken transferring to CalTrain (actually, 'looks like to a temporary CalTrain shuttle bus to Diridon to CalTrain itself), the time taken walking from the train to the dealership, and the time wasted by the fact that the train an hour later gets in just a little too late to be comfortable getting to the dealership before 5. Yay for public transportation. 3 hours to be 30 miles away!
It will be an adventure, I'm sure. Ok, maybe not.
[Edit, 2005.07.31, 01:38] It turns out I misremembered and the part is an "EGR", not an "ERG", which isn't really as funny. Oh well. All fixed now, have my car back, etc.