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Old Yesterday, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
3,883 posts, read 10,137,768 times
Reputation: 4325

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I am not a car guy. That I am on this particular C-D forum is pure chance.

In August 1990, I was on vacation, going to visit my sister and her husband. I was still nearly an hour away, driving my '82 Tercel over the Grapevine, north of Los Angeles when suddenly, I heard a loud "Bang" followed by a cyclic ka-thumping coming from the engine with blue smoke billowing out of the exhaust.

I called my sister, and in few hours they came and we towed the car to nearby garage. He told me that a "something-or-other" had broken and busted my crank case and held up a large gumball sized piece of twisted metal.

I didn't know for sure if what he said was true, and if true, if it was serious. However, I did take the word of the original loud bang and ka-thumping, and the blue smoke. They sounded as serious as a heart attack. I left the car there and eventually mailed the title to the garage. I was too far from home to bother with a 200 mile tow home or the hassle of a long distance car repair.

Like I said, I'm not a car guy, but if someone wants to attempt a post-mortem diagnosis, I'm all ears.
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Old Yesterday, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
6,005 posts, read 3,244,476 times
Reputation: 12192
Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlepot View Post
I am not a car guy. That I am on this particular C-D forum is pure chance.

In August 1990, I was on vacation, going to visit my sister and her husband. I was still nearly an hour away, driving my '82 Tercel over the Grapevine, north of Los Angeles when suddenly, I heard a loud "Bang" followed by a cyclic ka-thumping coming from the engine with blue smoke billowing out of the exhaust.

I called my sister, and in few hours they came and we towed the car to nearby garage. He told me that a "something-or-other" had broken and busted my crank case and held up a large gumball sized piece of twisted metal.

I didn't know for sure if what he said was true, and if true, if it was serious. However, I did take the word of the original loud bang and ka-thumping, and the blue smoke. They sounded as serious as a heart attack. I left the car there and eventually mailed the title to the garage. I was too far from home to bother with a 200 mile tow home or the hassle of a long distance car repair.

Like I said, I'm not a car guy, but if someone wants to attempt a post-mortem diagnosis, I'm all ears.
Failed timing belt is a strong possibility. Or a broken piston/connecting rod. No doubt you would have been looking at a new engine.
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Old Yesterday, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
10,790 posts, read 19,196,722 times
Reputation: 14845
My story: MANY yrs. ago I was on the Pa. Turnpike in my good ole Nova. A terrible blizzard came up and of course I got car trouble (horrible engine sound, turns out I threw a rod - first a turnpike plow driver parked in the opp. direction and ran across to me, he couldn't help me personally but said he'd called a tow truck, then a man who's native language wasn't English stopped to help, had me start it and declared "engine bad", LOL. A tow truck came and took me to a station in the Monroeville area, it was closing because of the ice and snow, I was freezing (weather hadn't been predicted and I didn't have warm weather clothing) - one of the guys went out in the storm to find a place to get me a sandwich and hot tea (how nice!!) - he then gave me a ride to a hotel (where I slept w/one of the bedspreads wrapped around me to try to warm up). They came and picked me up in the morning where I waited for a ride from a family member. I asked what beer they liked and it was Milwaukee's Best - picked up 2 cases and took it to them as thanks. There are some nice folks around
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Old Yesterday, 11:51 AM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,200,988 times
Reputation: 2451
Not a "breakdown" story, a getting stuck story.

I was working as a 3rd shift security guard at a city garage with a vacant lot next door.
This goofy, cross-eyed lookin' guy comes and knocks on the door of the shack. Dummy managed to get his car stuck in the mud in the lot.
The reason he was in the lot was that he had a hooker in the car and that's where "business" was transacted.

I kind of felt sorry for the guy, so what the hell... it was a city garage, they had dump trucks and no one was around.
"You know how to drive that?" I asked, pointing at the dump truck. "Yeah", he said. "Ok, let's go", I said.

We get in the truck (keys were left in it) and drive over behind his car. I get out and take the wheel of his car.
This was a long time ago. It was a 70's Ford LTD or some similar.
Hooker is sitting on the passenger bench seat, not a bad looking girl, actually. "How ya doin'?" I said to her.

I start the car and here comes the guy in the dump truck. WHAM!
He hits his car hard and I'm hanging on because we are going out the lot fast.

Once we're in the street, I get out and see that his bumper is on the ground on one side.
He doesn't care, all that matters is he's not stuck anymore. "Put that truck back where you got it." I said.
He puts it back, says "Thanks a lot," they leave and no one is the wiser.
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Old Yesterday, 12:37 PM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
4,086 posts, read 1,828,146 times
Reputation: 14048
I ran out of gas, in a Chick-Fil-A drive-through on a weekday, at high-noon (lunch rush). Right as I placed my order at the speaker.

I had to tell the kid that was taking my order that the line of cars backed up around the building couldn't move because I was stuck & I, a woman alone with her then 2-year-old child; couldn't possibly push that Dodge king-cab pickup truck out of the way. She paused & answered "Oh, okay! I can send someone out to help you!"

She sent out about 8 "someones" to help me; a small army of teenage boys dressed in red & white, walking side by side to rescue me (& the throng of hungry people, waiting & wasting their lunch break behind me). First, they had to push me up to the window to pay & collect my order. Then, they had to push me through the parking lot & into an open space.

I really just wanted to crawl under the dashboard & die of embarrassment but instead; I had to call my husband, who was waiting on ME for his lunch break & tell him I was down the street, in his truck & out of gas. That didn't go so well:

"Hey ... I got you some lunch!"

"How soon are you going to get here? My break is almost half over."

"Well, I sort of ran out of gas at Chick-Fil-A & it was really embarrassing! Can you come down here?"

"But you have my truck."

"But I'm close ..."

"Why did you run out of gas? I thought you had money."

"I did have money. But I don't anymore because I got you Chick-Fil-A!"

"So now I'm supposed to run down there, give you money, help you get gas & get back to work before my break is over?"

"I was just trying to surprise you!"

" ... Thanks."
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Old Yesterday, 01:10 PM
 
976 posts, read 936,410 times
Reputation: 1199
In my 23 years of motoring, the only time my car failed me was when the faulty OEM relay 109 gave out on my 2001 VW Golf TDI. Relay 109 is a relay located under the steering column and is the main power supply to the ECU. Many of the originally equipped relays had insufficient solder that would break continuity when the temperature got too hot. VAG refused to issue a recall even though thousands of VW/Audi owners diagnosed the problem ($10 fix).

I was driving my girlfriend (now wife) home after dinner and right when I'm in mid-shift from 4th to 5th cruising down Hwy 39, the car gets oddly quiet and smooth. I look down at the illuminated dash and see that my tachometer is showing 0 RPM. I keep the clutch in and coast my way to side street and restart the car. I changed the relay the next morning as I was prepared for the failure...thank you tdiclub.com for the aggregate of owners. It helps to know about problems before they become your problems.
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Old Yesterday, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
1,231 posts, read 1,230,170 times
Reputation: 3925
A few years ago, I was flying to Flagstaff a few days before Thanksgiving. I stopped at Barstow-Daggett Airport for food and fuel. As I was getting ready to take-off, I saw a car fire on I-40, adjacent to the airport. By the time the fire department got there, the car was a total loss. I saw two elderly people on the side of the road, talking to the CHP. Eventually, the CHP officer drove the couple up to the airport. I showed the officer my badge and ID and asked what the problem was. The couple was driving from Mexico to see family in Flagstaff when their car caught on fire. They were low on funds, tired, hungry, and lost their luggage in the fire. Being fluent in Spanish, I made new friends. I invited them into the airport restaurant for lunch and offered to fly them to Flagstaff. They humbly accepted, offering me what little money they had, and I politely declined. After lunch, we took off and their family met us at the airport.

When their family found out that I had no family, the invited me to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with them. I explained that I had to work on Thanksgiving Day. They offered me what little money they had, lodging, food, etc. I expressed my thanks and told them to "pay it forward". I have no doubt that they have.
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Old Yesterday, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,506 posts, read 6,468,251 times
Reputation: 9470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
Out off-roading in the middle of nowhere when sure enough, it starts to stumble and skip time. Had to pull the distributer out, and using a nail and a rock, remove and replace the chewed up gear, re-install and time the beast by hand/sound.
Gotta say, FisherCat, that's one whale of a fish story...a nail and a rock to pull a distributor and change a gear...
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Old Today, 04:07 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
2,372 posts, read 874,030 times
Reputation: 4730
60s, little West Virginia town, cold winter Sunday morning. Generator light flashes in my Volvo PV544. Nothing open but a Gulf station, 300-pound attendant snoozing on leather sofa next to a woodstove. Used a garden rake to pull a toolbox off his flatbed truck and went to work. Pulled the brushes with the generator in-situ, found a set of '36 Chev brushes that were close enough, and ground them down till they fit in the slots. The box said the brushes were 79c and he apologetically said he'd have to charge me a buck for the labor. Last I saw of the Volvo, the brushes were still in there.
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Old Today, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
12,606 posts, read 19,052,405 times
Reputation: 7239
Simple tire blowout on i-95 in Virginia. Called AAA. They said my donut spare was stuck. They had to tow us back to civilization to a shop that was still open. Only problem was that I have disabilities and there's no way to get in the truck. No problem. They loaded the van on the flatbed with me in it. It was a fun ride, 20 miles back to a town, and at high speed.
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