Sunday, April 25, 2010
Why you should keep a fire extinguisher in your car- Part One.
This is my third blog about the life and demise of my old college car, the 1993 Dodge Shadow. The first was titled, "My Humiliating Car," and the other was, "Tire Rims and Poor Decisions."
One evening around 11PM, I was driving home from Bakersfield (an hour-long drive through a windy canyon), and I noticed that my oil light began blinking intermittently on my way home. The oil light went off pretty frequently in the Dodge Shadow, as it had had an oil leak for at least three years straight at this time. Every few months, we'd pour a few more jugs of oil into the car, and a few months later, the oil light would begin blinking again.
So when it started blinking, I didn't really get concerned. As I entered the mouth of The Canyon, however, the blink changed. It was no longer a blink, but rather a steady, red light. Then, the temperature of the car started climbing. The little temperature gauge kept slipping from the calming blue area to the frightening red area.
I decided to pull over and add more oil. I stopped at one of the biggest turnouts where I knew there would be an emergency call phone- just in case, of course.
Fortunately, my husband had considerately given me a car safety kit. It had knives, ropes, a first aid kit, tools, flares, a flashlight, and of all things, a fire extinguisher. When he gave it to me, I laughed at the fire extinguisher. As if I would ever need that.
Unfortunately, I had taken the flashlight out earlier in the week to do something with it, and had failed to return it to the car safety kit. I left my lights on and got a quart of oil to pour into the engine.
It was pitch black that night. There was no moon anywhere, and the stars gave no light.
I've done this a million times, I thought. I can do it without a flashlight. Or a funnel.
I began pouring the oil into the engine, which as I mentioned before, was extremely hot.
I accidentally spilled a large amount of oil onto the blazingly hot engine, and as most people know, but I had stupidly forgotten, OIL + EXTREME HEAT=FIRE!
Twelve inch flames were shooting off the top of my car's engine.
"Fire! Fire! Help!" I screamed, forgetting that I was on a lonely dark canyon road at midnight, where no one would be coming along to help me.
To find out what happened next, tune in on Monday.