So I'm on the way back from mexico(old) and my wife's caddy starts misfiring and generally letting me know I might be walking. Now our caddy is a pretty good old girl with less then 120k miles and over 20 years old she has never let us down. So a few hours later I nurse the car back to the shop and take the truck home.

read up on it a check engine, so little chance of a fuel issue and no codes recorded in the Apollo 13 like computer system..the common issue appears to be "the igniter" or what the GM folks call the "ignition control module"..I'm getting the piggy bank out as I figure this bit is going to be a couple of hundred bucks, just like most pwc ignition boxes, uber expensive.

Well..long story short, this little gizmo is $60!..since I was taking a shot in the dark on it..I opted to buy the supergeneric one for ..ready?


Pretty easy to install(relative to the glass like plastic left in the distributor ( which hasn't been opened for at least 20 years) and bazinga!..she runs like new!

So why post this tale?

Moral of the story..a tow vs. keeping a spare part that is inexpensive and a couple of hand tools you need to change it could mean the difference between a $500+ tow or a lovely weekend on the water.

Check your car to see what it might need in this area..for GM's it's pretty much a no brainer..can't tell you about the rest, but I suspect equally as inexpensive.

I did end up buying the $60 bit as my spare, as they say the generic ones don't last that long.

On that note..if you don't keep a spare fanbelt in your trunk..well imagine what happens if that happens to let go on a trip.

not saying to carry the entire inventory of autozone with you, but a few carefully picked bits can literally save the day if you don't live in a major city.

Now had this been a wakasaki triple..I would have had to spend $300+ for a new igniter.