Cheap Oil Filter
Some one once told me that my misfortunes are
all my own doing. I don’t believe that. One bright sunny spring
Friday, I popped my jeep into the service station across the street from
where I worked for oil change. When my shift ended, I picked up my car
and headed home.
The next morning, I planned to meet several friends for a trip to Disneyland.
Cruising down the street, I heard a light thunk. I looked in the mirror
and a small object was tumbling in the road behind me, followed by a large
oil slick. My oil filter had popped off. I quickly made my way through
traffic to the side of the road. The engine raced with the oddest sound,
and I knew that when I turned off the key it would never move again. I
can’t explain how I knew, I just did. Sure enough, the engine died.
Later investigation showed that even that short time with zero oil was
bad. The engine had seized, and would never to never run again. The car
was ruined; thank goodness, the loan was almost completely paid off.
I learned from prior experience that my dad was not going to help me,
so I turned to my mother for some type of help. She said that since she
didn’t’ help me the last time I needed a car, she would come
through this time help me come up with the money for a new car, but I
had to wait two weeks. Well, those two weeks dragged on for 3 months,
then 4, and 5. I tried to make the best of it, but my work and school
schedule was so tight, that public transportation couldn’t’
get me to both on time. Work won, and I lost an entire semester (this
was not the first nor the last time my mother caused me to loose an entire
semester, but that is another story). After 6 months, she managed to come
up with a few hundred, far short of what most lenders wanted for a down
I took that few hundred, plus the few hundred that I came up with and
visited every weekend car auction I could reach. I managed to buy a used
police car with six digit miles on it (100,000+), which was just a nightmare
to own. The main gear on the starter had a few teeth missing, but it only
affected start up. I had to hand-crank the flywheel so that the starter
had a good bite. Every so often, a few more teeth would chip out, making
it harder and harder to get it started. Because of the placement of the
flywheel and the starter, I couldn’t’ see where they meet.
I had to crank a little, try staring the car, crank a little, and try
starting the car, until I got it running.
I can remember standing in the pouring rain, cranking that car over and
over and over until I would give up and walk down the hill to work, dreading
the walk back up in the rain. I would walk through the parking lot looking
at the occasional jeep thinking “soon”. I would stand on my
feet all day at my crummy retail job watching the rain fall, hoping the
store would be robbed so the criminal could just shoot me just so I wouldn’t’
have to walk up that hill again in the rain.
This story does have a happy ending. One morning, for some odd reason,
fate smiled upon me. A credit card arrived in the mail with my name on
with enough of a limit to be the down payment on another used jeep.