Stupid Things I’ve Done Working on my Car
It's going to be a beautiful weekend! Not that it matters to me when it comes to working on my car. If it's time for an oil change and tire rotation, or anything else that needs attention on my babies, the weather generally doesn't matter. And it seems to have paid off to roll that way, when it comes to my '95 Celica that is pushing 400,000 miles. Simply put, when it needs something, which is actually pretty seldom, it gets it.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a complete gear head. I pretty much cover the engine's outer parts. Get below the valve cover, and I pretty much leave that to Choice City Auto Repair, as Mike once ran the service department at Pedersen's, and has been really good for me. Nothing corporate there, either. Nope, just a little corner shop on Stover.
That said, I have done a lot of really dumb things while working on my vehicles, most of which can be attributed to being in too big of a hurry. Because fixing a car takes forever!
- Been going down the interstate when I heard a really loud knocking sound, to find I forgot to tighten my lug nuts and at least one wheel was trying to come off. Luckily, I found the lug nuts scattered on the side of the road!
- Lowered my vehicle from the jack, while looking toward the front of the car, then started to think, "Hmm! This seems to be taking forever!", then looked back and realized I hadn't put the back wheel on yet, and I was in fact sitting the back of my car on the concrete.
- Had a jack stand slip and puncture my gas tank. Thank you, JB Weld!
- Started my engine after an oil change to realize I hadn't put the new oil in yet. Thankfully it did no damage, as I shut it off immediately.
- Forgotten to put the oil PLUG back in, so when I put my oil into the engine, it poured onto the garage floor. (Not the same day as the previous screwup.)
- And, I've flown out of a car while it was going and run over my own foot. You won't believe this. It was my first car, it was a real piece of junk, the driver's door wouldn't stay closed, AND, the brakes were terribly out of adjustment and pulled really hard to the right if you had to stomp on them. And I did. I'm just glad I moved in time, as I still remember the wheel heading toward my shoulder!
*Just for fun*
Two of my latest survivors:
And, some other car "mishaps" I have experienced:
- Changing a fuel pump in a convenience store parking lot, just to find out the gas guage was way off on this used car we had bought, and the car had simply run out of gas.
- My engine backfiring and starting on fire. It was traumatic, as it was a car I loved. But, I got it put out in time to save the whole works. Probably the fastest I had ever run, as I was a block away from my house!
- Driving about 1000 miles in sweltering summer heat with my temp guage pegged the whole way, as I was broke and just needed to get home. I drove that car ('83 Thunderbird) for a long time after that, amazingly.
- Buying a car from a friend, just to drive it around the corner and have the transmission completely give out. (No, I didn't get my money back. Yes, we stayed friends. I fixed it.)
- A radiator hose exploding when I pulled my first car into the garage. I was 16, clueless about cars, and all I knew was I heard *BOOM* followed by blinding steam everywhere.
- Most recently, changing a tire on our "mommyvan" when the scissor jack just gave and folded. Thankfully, all four tires were on the car.
And to think, I was in college-level autos class in high school! At that time, I quickly learned: Cars are kinda like kids. I will do anything for my own, and you take care of yours.
By now, you're probably picturing me like this:
My Cousin Eustis. Well, technically he's my uncle, too.
But I'm running more with this:
My other Uncle, Ignasius Prescut Baldwin III.
Just humor me.