Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cars Need Oil

Do you remember my recent encounter (well, okay it was a few months ago, but it still feels like yesterday) with a flat tire?

Apparently, just like deaths, flat tires come in threes.  Yes, since that flat tire, I had two others (on different cars) to contend with. Additionally, the spare tire wench on my '97 minivan gave out and I had to deal with fact I was dragging my spare tire behind me on the highway. I was an hour and twenty minutes into a four hour road trip. By myself. Okay, that is a bit of a lie. Our hyper-active pooch was with me. 

So, it should have come to no surprise to me, when over two hundred miles from home my check engine warning light illuminated my dashboard as Doc H and I drove to experience a newly opened bar.

In a huff, we pulled over. It was now dusk, and darkness was just a short arm away. 

I told Doc H it could be low oil. In the driver's seat of my car, and unfamiliar with the dash layout, he spent time fidgeting with the bells and whistles of the car trying to find an oil level indicator. 

I explained the hoity-toity car lacked an oil indicator. It has a coochie warmer and a coochie cooler, but no oil indicator. The check engine light was the oil indicator. It's amazing what money doesn't buy you.

Frustrated with the situation, I busted out my passenger side door, walked around to the the driver's side, where I opened Doc H's door and popped the hood. 

I grunted and huffed as I looked for my box of tissues. It was time to get my hands dirty and I knew it.

While my man flies high at the thought of getting his hands dirty with blood and guts, getting his hands dirty with engine grime does not appeal to him. At all.

Reluctantly, he followed me under the hood, where we checked the dipstick. 

Low oil. Effffff meeeeeeee.

The next morning, I was scheduled to head home by myself. Doc H would be hanging behind a few days to deal with contractors and the like. Truth be told, he had to pay them and I couldn't stomach the thought of being around when that gi-normous check changed hands. I was fleeing in an effort to protect myself from making a ugly disgrace of myself.

That morning was like any other car emergency I've dealt with recenty. I kissed Doc H goodbye, and headed to the nearest auto store...alone. There I called my fancy car dealership, explained the scenario and asked what oil I should purchase. 

I must admit, I felt like I was wearing body armor as I walked into that auto store. The salesmen jumped all over me, which screamed... Oh, here's a good one! This broad doesn't know what she's doing!

I told him I needed oil, "Castrol synthetic blend, please... and a funnel. please." 

"What oil weight?" 

Okay. So, he had me there. Thank God for the internet.

I know they were looking outside their window as I popped my hood just outside their front door. I admit it took me a second to locate the oil cap, but I attribute that to my insistence that I do not need reading glasses. But, really, why must there be so many caps on an engine? It all seems so unnecessary. 

After locating the oil cap, inserting the funnel, and successfully pouring a can of oil into the car without making a livid mess, I hoped I made a further impression on my peeping toms by whipping out my Mama gear... water bottle, clean rag, and wipes to clean all the engine grim of myself.

As I cleaned up, I smiled to myself and gave myself proverbial pat on the back, thinking... You've come a long way, Baby. Last time you ventured to do this you had your high school boyfriend on the ground laughing as he watched you struggle to pour the oil down the dipstick hole. Who's laughing now?



  1. Damn girl nice job! Now I feel like I need to take an auto mechanic class to be up on your level ;)

  2. Ha! Not quite an auto mechanic, but just given enough auto lessons by my dad to make me a little less dependent on a man. Good thing!

  3. girl nice job! I get so frustrated because I really cant hide my cluelessness and I just know I am getting cheated but cant stop it. That's some independent woman stuff. I need to change my air filter, I read on the internet that's its easy . You have inspired me maybe I will do it by myself......maybe......

  4. Shame on your high school boyfriend!!! And wow, I'd love to have you along any time I'm stuck in a bind. :)



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