Showing posts with label oil light. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oil light. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

One more reason why I shouldn't be a mechanic

There was an "incident" the other day and when it was over, the first thing I thought of was "I've got to call my Mom and tell her about this."  When that thought pops in my head, I realize that I have to ask myself the question, "Is this blogworthy?"  If so, I stifle the story and share it with you and her (HI MOM!) right here.

It's difficult to get "tone" across in writing, so I should mention that there were some specific changes in tone as this story progresses.  With my side of the story, there was: calm and relaxed; panicked; scared screechy (two pitches higher than normal); and then howler monkey freak out (five pitches higher and barely audible).  Justin only had mellow, annoyed and pissed.  He's much less dramatic in situations like the one you're about to read.  I'll let you know as the tone changes in the story.

Let me set the scene.....

I'm driving from one job to the next in one of the cars that Justin is selling (a lovely Oldsmobile Aurora), and talking to him on the phone.

Justin: So, what else is going on?

Me (calm): Just driving to the next job.  By the way, did you know that this car needs oil?

Justin (mellow): Not this again......  (you can read why he says this here)

Me:  Don't start with me.  I'm quite sure that it's THE OIL this time!  Why?  Because this car actually tells me..... in words... in English (it does.....see.....)

Justin: How long has that been on?

Me: Three days

Justin (annoyed):  What???  Are you kidding me?  Seriously, Vic..... three days?!

Me (panicked): Yes.  But it's only been three days.  The last time my other car needed oil you weren't in any big rush to do anything!

Justin (annnnnnnnd we go right to pissed): Don't even get me started on the last time..... You can't be driving around like you do for three days with the oil light on!  It's telling you to check the LEVEL.  That means it's running out.   It's not saying that you need to CHANGE it.

Me: I understand what it says.  I just didn't think it was that big of a deal.....

Justin (extra pissed): Vic!  If the car has no oil do you know what is going to happen?!  I'm trying to SELL that car.....

Me (scared and screechy): I know!  I know!  I'm heading for the Quick Check right now!

Justin (trying to calm down): Okay.  You're going straight there?  Is Quick Check the closest place?


Justin: I never said you were a moron.  I just wanted to be sure.....


Justin: Well, don't hit anything....



He's a smart man and knows when to shush up.

Me (scared): My driving skills are seriously impaired due to all of this pressure.

More silence.

I hear muffled chuckling on the other end.

Justin (calmly): Do you know what kind of oil to get?

This is when my father rolled over in his urn.  I was driving like a 90 year old lady in rush hour traffic, about 3 inches from the windshield and white-knuckling the wheel at ten and two.  Clearly, I was stressed, so I just blurted out what first came to mind.

Me: WD40

I know full well what WD-40 is and I know it's not an oil grade, but I was so busy wondering if I was going to make the engine go kablooey that I didn't put much thought into my response.

Justin: Oh my God.....

Me (panicked again):  I have to go!  My driving skills are...

Justin: ....seriously impaired due to this pressure.  I know.  Call me when you get there.

For those of you who know me well, you know full well that I didn't call him when I got there.  I wanted to figure this out myself so I could redeem myself for ANOTHER oil faux pas in ANOTHER vehicle.  I popped the hood and imagine my surprise when I saw this:

There is a chance that you won't be able to see it, but everything is labeled!  Even the oil dipstick....
(between you and me, there was one tiny drop of oil at the very end of this thing.... very bad!)
I'm really surprised that Oldsmobile isn't booming because they've got it goin' on under the hood.  Any moron can find the stuff that they are looking for.  And if the moron can't find it, that means that it's too important to let an idiot know where it is for fear that they might screw it up!  They hide their significant shit.

I was all too pleased to find this little gem....
Lookee there!  They tell me what type of oil I need to purchase!  A bit o' 5W-30!  They couldn't make it any clearer.  And if I was still confused, they told me to check my owner's manual.  (If you need to refer to the manual to add oil, you shouldn't be driving.)

So, I bought my oil, popped the hood right there in the parking lot and began pouring.  The irony of this entire situation is that I was taking the above photo to send to Justin to show him that I was SOMEWHAT capable of SOMETHING automotive, when I heard, "See honey!  A real woman knows how to check oil and put some in if it's needed."

Oh boy.

I turned around and saw an older gentleman sharing this gem of wisdom with his little granddaughter.  If he had any clue about what had happened in the 15 minutes prior to his comment, he would've shut his trap and kept walking.   If maintaining the oil in your vehicle is an indication of whether you are a real woman or not, I'd have to say I was pretty much on the same level as his granddaughter.

p.s. Just a reminder..... this is NOT an oil light of any sort:

I wish you happy and safe travels, my peeps!

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Definitely Not Auto Mechanic Material

Greetings everyone!

Tonight I come to you, humbled, and with acceptance of all mocking or jeering that you feel I deserve. You will pick sides.  And I'm okay with that.  Women will sympathize with me and men will ridicule me, and many will take Justin's side.  It's all good.

Let me preface my story by telling you that my grandfather was a mechanic, my father was a mechanic, my husband was a mechanic, my younger brother is a mechanic..... and no, I'm not about to spew lines from my Cousin Vinny or explain postitraction (or Posi traction, if you will).  The fact is that I do have some automotive knowledge.  It's just that I am also blonde and a bit kooky.

Our own potential mechanic.... she spends more time looking under the hood at the plastic parts that "need work" than driving her Jeep.  True story.
Okay.  Wait. I lied.  There's one line that bears repeating.  "Imagine you’re a deer. You’re prancing along. You get thirsty. You spot a little brook. You put your little deer lips down to the cool, clear water. BAM! A f*ckin’ bullet rips off part of your head! Your brains are laying on the ground in little bloody pieces! Now I ask you: Would you give a f*ck what kind of pants the son of a bitch who shot you was wearing?!" –Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny.

Alright.  With that out of the way, I will get back to my story.  

There's a lot of dialogue, so I'll set the stage and get on with it.  I'm driving in my car and on the phone with Justin, who is in his car somewhere else.  It's afternoon, early in 2013 and I'm driving along merrily, following my work schedule.

Everything in parentheses is my own commentary, by the way.  Here we go.....

Me: When was the last time you changed my oil?

Justin: I dunno.  It's probably due.  Remind me and I'll get it done when I go to Rockland.

Me: Oh, I think it's definitely due!  The oil light has been on for awhile.  Remember I mentioned it to you awhile ago?

Justin:  How long is awhile ago?

Me:  At least a month ago.  (how bad could that be?)

Justin:  A MONTH??

Me:  Yesssss.....why?  (i'm feeling nervous)

Justin:  Vick...You can't be driving like you do for a month with the oil light on!  You didn't feel this deserved some sense of urgency?!

Me:  Yes, I did.  And that's why I told you that it was on over a month ago.  When you didn't do anything I assumed it wasn't so bad.  (nicely lobbed that one back in his court)

He's a car guy for Pete's sake.  He is in charge of all of the car crap.  You can see why I thought I was going to be okay to keep driving.

Justin:  I'm not going to do this with you right now (a/k/a/ he knows I have a point).  You need to get to a gas station like NOW.

Me:  Okay.  You're freaking me out a little bit.  I'm about a mile from Mobile.

He explains all of the reasons why running out of oil is bad and finally I get to the gas station.

Me:  I'm here.  I'm going to run in and get some oil.  How much should I get?

Justin:  Get three.  There probably isn't a drop in there. 

Me:  Ok.  Hold on.

I go inside and get 3 quarts of oil and head back to my car.

Justin:  You know where to pour the oil, right?

Me: Yes!!  I'm not an idiot.  I want to just check the oil real quick.

I check the dipstick and it shows that it's already half full.  Huh?  How can that be?  It must be residue.  I have no idea what that even means, but it was the explanation I fabricated first.

Justin:  There's got to be next to nothing in there.  Don't bother.  You just need to get oil in there right away. Did you get the cap off?

Me: Oh my God..... it's not budging!  

Justin: Are you sure you're looking at the right thing?? (Maybe the oil residue theory was bullshit, but I do know where the oil goes.  And I wasn't appreciating his tone.)

Me: Yes, I've got the right thing!  I'm not a fucking moron!  Justin, it won't move at all!  (I feel tears coming)  I have four more jobs today and a doctor's appointment afterward!  I'm booked really tight!  I don't have time for this!  (Enter....the tears.)

Justin: Okay.  You need to calm down.  (He does tend to level out when I start freaking, which is nice)  We can work this out.  You HAVE TO get oil in your car.  You can't do all of that driving if you don't.  Can you go inside and see if the guy behind the counter can help you?

Me:  Yes.  Hold on.  

Maybe it was the tears running down my face.  Or perhaps it was the desperation in my voice.  Most likely it was the fact that I just bought three quarts of outrageously overpriced oil from the guy.  Regardless, he was nice enough to come outside and help me.  After a significant amount of struggling, he finally got the cap off, and I praised him so much that he felt like a superhero.

Me:  I'm putting in the first quart.  (Good time to be obnoxious)  You know, it's ridiculous that you have to put every cap on so tight!  What are you trying to prove?  It's just like when you put the lid on the tomato sauce and I have to ask you to help me open it.  Then you smirk and open it like it was no big deal.  The guy at Mobil couldn't even open this fucking thing without putting a foot on my bumper for leverage....."

Justin:  Vic?

Me: What??

Justin:  Just pour the oil in.

Me: I'm already done.  I put all three in.

Justin:  (Very calmly) Okay.  Go turn your car on.

Me: (After obeying his order)  Oh my God.   Justin, the fucking light is still on!  This is crazy.

Justin: WHAT?  How can that be?  Go look under the car and see if there's a huge puddle of oil under there.  Are you sure you put it in the right place?

Me:  (Back to obnoxiousness)  Do you really think the guy from Mobil would have opened the wrong cap after seeing me holding an open container of oil??  Don't you think he would maybe have said, "Um, lady, you don't put oil in your radiator"?? So, even if you think I don't know what I'm doing, I'm pretty sure that HE does!  (peeking under car)  No puddle, by the way.......nastyass.

Silence.  I didn't even hear breathing.  Instant panic.  Was he done with my bitchy ranting, and hung up on me?

Me: Hello?

Justin:  I'm thinking.  


Justin:  This doesn't make sense.  I don't get it.  (more silence)  Listen, I know you're really smart and all, but I have to ask this question.  Are you sure it's the oil light that's on?

Me:  YES!  It's the one with the dip stick.

Justin:  Excuse me?

Me:  The dipstick!  It's red and it looks like the stick in a bubble.

Justin:  Can you do me a favor?  Can you take a picture of it and send it to me?

Me:  I can't believe you're making me do this.  Hold on.

And this is what I sent him.....
Take note of the "oil" light circled next to the arrow
Me:  I sent it.

Justin:  Okay.  Let me look.  I just got it.

That's when I heard the whispered "Oh my God" and giggling.  I could tell he was trying to break it to me gently.

Justin:  Honey, that's not your oil light.  That's your TIRE light.  Your tires need air.

Me:  Wha...?  Tire?   But it looks like a dipstick in a bubble with liquid in the bottom.....

Justin:  Those are tire treads.  Your oil is fine.  (more stifled laughter)  You'll be fine.  And you have plenty of oil now too.  I've gotta go, okay?

We hung up.

He was going to hang up and tell someone this bit of embarrassment, wasn't he?  If I hadn't been so relieved that my engine wasn't about to seize, I probably would have made him promise not to tell anyone.  But after my bitchy and ornery attitude, I deserved it.   He earned the right to share my vehicular dopiness with whomever he wanted.

In return, he allows me to call it the Tire Oil Light so I can pretend that I'm less of a mechanical moron. 

Until the next time, I wish you safe travels and no tire oil drama.

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