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  1. #1
    General Administrator Cool Rides Online's Avatar
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    Post Every Cars Nightmare: Worst Case Scenarios

    Every Cars Nightmare: Worst Case Scenarios

    Contributed by Edson Farnell

    Posted on June 14, 2012 by Guest Blogger



    When you think about it, cars take a lot of abuse. We expect them to start when we want, drive as far as we want them to, and never break down or have any kind of trouble.

    Unfortunately, though, things can go wrong and they often do. The good news is that most emergencies can be prevented though and are easily fixed if you are prepared.

    Lockouts. Its happened to almost everyone: distracted by the phone, the kids or the pile of packages youre carrying, you hit the door lock and shut the door before you notice that the keys are still in the ignition or sitting on the seat.

    Lockouts are inconvenient, but not the end of the world. If you have a vehicle with the OnStar service, you can just call for help and the technician will unlock the car remotely. If you dont have that service, call for roadside assistance or the local fire department. These crews have tools that will unlock even power doors without damaging the car.

    To prevent lockouts in the first place, carry an extra car key in your wallet or purse (some vehicles even come with temporary keys that fit in a wallet).

    Running Out of Gas. This is another common but avoidable situation. Make it a general rule to never let the tank get below a quarter of a tank (or half, if you are super paranoid.) Carry an empty gas can in your car to use for an emergency fill up if necessary; never carry a full gas can in your car for obvious reasons. And if you care getting low, and youre not sure where the next station is, stop and fill up. Spending ten minutes now can save you hours later.

    If you do run out of gas, assess the situation. Sometimes, calling for help can be faster and safer, than trying to walk to the gas station.

    Flat Tires. Youre driving along, when suddenly, bang! You hear a pop and the car wont handle and you hear the telltale thumping sound coming from the wheels. Dont panic, but immediately pull off the road to a safe area.

    Changing a tire is relatively easy if you have the basic tools and only a little bit of training. If you dont know how to change a tire, its best to call for help, since you could injure yourself or worse, cause an accident if you do it incorrectly. Always monitor your tire pressure and keep it to the manufacturer specifications and perform regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. Carry a properly inflated spare and a tire jack in your vehicle to aid in the repair.

    Battery Issues. When the battery goes dead, so does the rest of your car it simply wont turn over. While most batteries last an average of three to five years, that life span can be shortened if you drive a lot in extreme hot or cold temperatures. If your battery is drained or near-drained, it also makes it more likely that when you accidentally leave the lights on overnight and thus youll wake up to find no power.

    If you run into battery trouble, a set of jumper cables and a charged battery will get your car running again. If your vehicle seems to have trouble starting up, or you notice lights dimming or reduced power in other accessories, replace the battery as soon as possible.

    Oil Problems. If you perform no other regular maintenance on your vehicle, get the oil changed regularly. Maybe change your oil yourself. Why? Not only does it keep the engine lubricant clean and fresh helping the engine run more efficiently but regular oil changes help identify potential problems that could leave you broken down on the highway.

    When oil leaks out or burns and isnt replaced, the lack of lubrication could cause the engine to seize a expensive (and possibly terminal) problem. If the check oil light comes on, stop driving immediately and address the oil situation.

    At the opposite end of the spectrum, overfilling the oil can cause major car problems. When refilling the oil during a change or topping off the oil tank, pay close attention to the fill limits and do not overfill. Excess oil gets whipped up by the crank shaft in the engine and turned to foam, which can lead to a loss of oil pressure and serious engine damage.

    Knowing a little about your car and preparing for emergencies can help keep you cruising down the road and out of the breakdown lane.

    This post was written and contributed by Edson Farnell. Edson writes about various automotive topics. Edson recommends shopping withParts Geek The Dealer Alternativeto get all of the things to prevent you vehicle from one of these nightmare situations.

  2. #2
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    A little preventive maintenance goes a long way.
    If winning was easy, then the losers would be winners.
    I wish I was the man my dog thinks I am.

  3. #3
    CRO Senior Moderator Justa6's Avatar
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    LOL, these are hardly "worse case" but preventable headaches for sure.
    Always keep em smokin,,,,then let er drift!

  4. #4
    Classic Member B_hix's Avatar
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    I have had the wheels/tires off my Mercury Comet off and on for the last several days - I have been doing a lot of wire brushing surface rust, rust treatment/conversion, priming, painting and undercoating - all misc prep work before I get around to the engine and trans swap.

    Well yesterday I decided that I needed to get a couple gallons gas in it otherwise I'll run out moving in and out of the garage... Through the subdivision I go, about 1/2 mile in I start hearing and feeling a clunk...clunk...clunk... uh oh - did I drop a rod? Lifter? Spin a bearing...?

    Back to the house. Trouble shooting indicates it's only while moving but all the rotating assemblies seem fine and aren't hitting anything. Back up the road I go for aother short drive to try to sort it out... 1/2 mile, clunk. clunk. clunk. and it's getting worse

    With 1/4 mile to go it's really bad even at 10-15 mph.

    Then the little light comes on.......... I stick my head out the drivers window and look at the driver-front tire.... Sure enough it's wobbeling, bad.

    Seems dum dum here had one of those moments. Since I was only intending to drive in and out of the garage and the wheels were on/off several times I had only snugged up the front lugs and forgot about that. By the time I figured it out I only had 2 of 5 lugs left on the drivers side front (side by side none-the-less) and they had loosened up to finger tight and within 5/6 threads of coming off.

    *sigh*

    dum dum, lol

    Fortunatley I carry an emergency tool kit - took one lug off each back wheel and went back home with 4/5 lugs.

    The clunking is gone -.- I then took my 49 to Napa and bought a complete set of new lugs - and yea, they're tight'er than my boss'es butt at christmas bonus time

    Could have been ugly
    I may not do it all right, but I'll do it myself the best I can - THATS HOT RODDING!

  5. #5
    Senior Moderator cor66vette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_hix View Post
    ... By the time I figured it out I only had 2 of 5 lugs left on the drivers side front (side by side none-the-less) and they had loosened up to finger tight and within 5/6 threads of coming off. ... Could have been ugly
    I had a similar experience with my knock-offs and spinners 'cept instead of lug nuts I failed to hammer the spinners tightly enough. Two threads more and the wheel would have been off. Speaking of being ugly ...
    Drive fast and leave a sexy corpse


  6. #6
    CRO Senior Moderator Justa6's Avatar
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    My daughter picked her Explorer up @ the dealership after having brakes done and left from there to catch up with us @ our cabin. She called and was having Shake N clunk noise and scared to drive any farther. 1hr 15min drive to find her only figure out right away the dealership failed to tighten the lugs on Pass/rear. Their lil heads are still ringing after the WORD whoopin they got from me!! And that was over a year ago. LOL
    Always keep em smokin,,,,then let er drift!


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