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Old 07-06-2008, 02:26 PM
Location: Alexandria, VA
148 posts, read 643,421 times
Reputation: 120


My car broke down today (would not start) in the garage of a shopping center parking lot. Because the garage had a low ceiling, it was impossible to get a tow truck inside of the parking facility- to move it out. I had to hire some Non English Speaking Immigrant Day Laborers nearby to help me push the car out of the garage and into a nearby Firestone Car Repair Shop. What an experience!

My question is:

Has anyone faced an even more difficult situation where the car broke down or would not start in a very inconvenient spot? Maybe on a busy highway, or in an intersection, or out in the middle of no where.

Tell us your terrible experiences where the car stalled, ran out of gasoline, or would not start in a terrible spot.
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:45 PM
1,932 posts, read 4,783,111 times
Reputation: 1246
Well, the story I have is this:

In 1990 I owned a 1982 Ford Escort, 5-sp manual, 2 door hatchback. It burned oil like nobody's business. I kept a case of oil in the rear, because I always ran low. Anyway, I had to take my brother to his Army Reserve meeting in Altoona and get their by 6:00 a.m. We live in Johnstown. It's a 50 mile trip one-way. Luckily, I thought, it's all 4-lane highway and doesn't take but 45 min . His girlfriend at the time road with us to keep me company on the way home.

So I drop him off about 5:30 and start heading home. We're on US-22 heading west and up Cresson Mt. when I hear the valves tapping and tapping. This is nothing unusual considering my car. So we top the hill and stop at a truck stop. I check the oil and it's registering full. But it's still tapping. We were less than half-way home, but I thought we could make it. We pull out of the truck stop and start crusing down the highway, tapping all the way.

All of a sudden ... BOOM! ... lights go out, car shuts down and I have to fight to get it to the berm of the road. Apparently, I blew a piston through the head (if I remember correctly). All I do know is the motor blew and we had to walk over one mile back to the truck stop at ~ 5:45 in the morning to call someone to come tow me home. What an expensive trip that turned out to be.
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:54 PM
8,652 posts, read 17,202,028 times
Reputation: 4622
Driving on some country dirt roads one time my gas filter got clogged with dirt and on the way home it started missing out REAL bad and no one where ever I stopped had one that woud fit the fittings..I had to drive almost 100 miles at about 10 to 20 miles per hour spitting and jerking all of the way...After that I started carring a spare with me.
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:57 PM
941 posts, read 2,298,903 times
Reputation: 849
I had a 86 Mazda rx7, and when i first bought it i knew very little about the engine. I traveled about 3 hrs to pick it up, and on the way home it started to overheat and stalled right outside of the Lincoln Tunnel in NY. I finally got it home, and a week later after I got all the paperwork on it done, it broke down again, right on a super busy road in rush hour traffic in front of a "graveyard" of all places! It took me 4 hours to get a tow truck, i was stranded,hungry and pi**ed off. Later I found out the engine was gone when the jerk first sold it to me. http://bestsmileys.com/angry2/3.gif (broken link)
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:17 PM
Location: California
11,466 posts, read 19,310,287 times
Reputation: 12712
Mines differant, my vehicle didn't breakdown, I was going camping, driving down a little dirt road into a valley, it started raining and I slid off the road into a ditch, I spent 2 days sleeping in my truck in the rain on a angle, wet and covered with mud.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:05 PM
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 14,015,225 times
Reputation: 3535
I was 4 miles east of Browning Montana in a white out winter blizzard and my air filter iced up and we were stranded in this freaking blizzard and nobody would stop to help.
My wife, my dog and my little conure were with me.
After a while the heat from the engine melted the iced up air filter and we limped into Browning.

Picasa Web Albums - Rick - escaping the ...
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:20 PM
Location: Southwest Nebraska
1,297 posts, read 4,756,730 times
Reputation: 910
Back in 1983 my wife, myself and 3yr.old daughter were heading to Garden City KS from McCook NE on a hot 100 degree day in a 1980 F100 pick-up and transmission blew half-way there, about 75 miles out. Walked for miles, and got 3 rides to phone at grain elevator, called family but said no that was my problem, got another ride luckily to McCook. Long story short took 1 week to get to KS and I'm still bitter about family not helping.
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:29 PM
Location: West Michigan
12,082 posts, read 38,756,466 times
Reputation: 17006
2 times actually for me. First time I had some crap gas out of a can and it clogged my jets of my carb about 4 hours away from my house on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere in the UP of Michigan. Took out my flashlight and a few hand tools and removed the carb to tear it down and clean it out right on the spot. Took a bit of time, but got it going again and made it home with no further problems.

Second time was when a fuel pump died when I was about 30 miles back into the woods in Northern Maine with my Jeep. Day after Christmas and not a logger anywhere so I took a bit of fuel line off and used an old container of gear grease and siphoned out gas enough to fill it then attached the gas line to the end, had a buddy hold it up out the window with the other end of the fuel line on the carb. Idled all the way back to a main road where I could get cell service and called a friend to bring out his flatbed and haul me back the other 25 miles home.

I thank my Father for making me learn the basics of how things work and to use my head to sort things out when needed. Both times nobody knew where I was and it would have been a LONG time before anybody showed up by accident either place.
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:51 PM
Location: Earth
4,237 posts, read 24,721,610 times
Reputation: 2274
Lets see....

Had an upper ball joint break on my 76 Olds Cutlass while on my way to summer school. Luckily it was up the street from a friends house who lived in a farm house on a big piece of land off the road so it was towed and repaired there. But it did tear up my tire.

The same car also popped a freeze plug and I found this out after it went 5 miles and overheated. I had to ask an old woman for some water and she acted scared. It also was notorious for having a bad connection on the battery.

Then for the second time my 77 Ford Courier wouldn't crank or start, I thought the solenoid was fried and spent $50 to have it towed home, only to find out it was the plug in on the back of the dash mounted ignition switch came loose....after plugging it back in it started.

But then the same truck twice lost brakes...the second time was 5 miles from home at my work, brakes went completely out. Had to have it towed home.

Then my S-10 died once on the road, not far from a friends house. it turned out to be the tab on the rotor was missing. A quick tune up fixed that.
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:07 PM
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,588 posts, read 17,511,932 times
Reputation: 9462
I've gotten flat tires at bad times. One time I was coming home very late at night, about 1:30 a.m. Luckily, a CHP stopped and let me wait in their car with them until the Auto Club tow truck showed up to change the tire.

Another time I was going to Reno, and couldn't figure out how to take the chains off my tires, subsequently I went too fast, and blew the left front tire just south of Gardnerville.

I blew the head gasket on my Pontiac Phoenix on the freeway; the temperature gauge was malfunctioning, so I ignored it when it went into the "hot" zone. It cost me $800 to fix that car, and it was probably only worth $500! If I could have pushed it off a cliff, I would have done so. Grrr.
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