I bought a new car. (See picture- it's cute, right?) I spent many hours searching the internet for this specific car: Chevrolet Sonic RS. The RS part is important because it means I have a turbo, leather and a sunroof. I don't know why those things indicate luxury to me, but they do and I had to have them. So I got them. I also get 35 MPG on the highway - not luxurious, but very practical.
To date, I have put 30K on my new little car in 10 months - somebody quick figure out my monthly average, but I'll estimate that it's pretty high what with all of the commuting for work and my long-distance relationship. And, oh yeah, the road trip we took to Yellowstone this summer.
A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I were "flying low" down the highway when I heard a terrible thump under the car, and saw something that looked like a rock careening down the lane behind me. Thinking I must have hit a dirt clod or something similar, I didn't take too much notice. Until oil started covering my back window. (Oil? How in the hell would oil get on my back window?) As my oil pressure lamp lit up and the oil pressure alarm sounded off (like this: DINGDINGGGDING!!!), I wobbled my way off of the highway to a gas station parking lot. Ugh.
The kids and I sat on the curb next to my little car, bewildered and waiting for roadside assistance. Believe it or not, I have never had to use roadside in my life. It's pretty easy, all in all. However, I was so shaky that my sons were dialing dueling phones for me while we arranged for rides, advice, etc.
The tow truck driver was a young kid, burly and earnest. As he jumped out of the truck, he let out a low whistle at the puddle of oil now staining the parking lot. "Threw a rod", he says, "Wow - that stinks". (What? What? WHAT?? I have thrown a rod in a vehicle before...it was my fault...I was waiting for the Change Your Oil light to come on. It never did come on. It was a 76 Toyota pickup that didn't even have a Check Your Rattling Engine light. I have been very good about oil ever since. I could not have thrown a rod in this little car.) "Would you mind looking at the hole in the pan, Sir, to see if the hole is coming out or going in? I am sure that I just hit a rock," I said, trembly voice full of panic. Trying to scootch his large frame under my tiny Chevy, he finally located the spot where the oil had been pouring out of. "Huh. This hole is threaded - this is where your oil plug should be!", he nodded wisely to me.
So - apparently - when you are flying low down the highway, your oil plug can just FALL OUT. This is not something I have ever heard of, and of course was not prepared for.
Now I am well versed in all things Oil Plug, Oil Light, Overhead Cam, Turbos, dealerships who promise you the moon but give you moonrocks, other dealerships who pick up the slack and restore your faith in some dealerships, and roadside assistance. Go ahead - ask me anything.