Forum: Advice / Cars & Driving

Thrown rod
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu May 06, 2010 12:54 AM

Daughter's car. Her first breakdown. Apparently, she neglected to keep on eye on her oil level. Or maybe it just wore out. Too late to split hairs at this point. And I have no choice but to find a used engine and beg my brother to do the work. Still looking at least $1000 USD.

Ah well, at least I have a mechanic brother. And I was able to find a tow service at 10pm. She only spent about 30 minutes on that dark road by herself before I got there. And I do have the cash on hand to pay for the tow and a new (or rather used) engine.

She is still very unhappy.

Car trouble. Ugh. Commiserate with me over your own car breakdowns.

kk~

17 Replies to Thrown rod

re: Thrown rod
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 06, 2010 06:49 AM
Yep, I let my oil get too low and the entire engine block seized up. I ended up just getting a new car. I was soooooo embarrassed, because it wasn't like I had just started driving. This happened when I was 25 years old and on my third car. Needless to say, I am now pretty fastidious about getting oil changes on time.
re: Thrown rod
By pondflyPremium member
On Thu May 06, 2010 09:24 PM
Blew a U-Joint (coupler for a driveshaft) years ago and was a couple hundred miles from home. I uncoupled the rear driveshaft and then shifted into 4WD thereby converting the vehicle to FWD until I got home and replaced it.

Other little things, but I always keep an extra drive belt and long bar socket wrench handy just in case I throw a belt driving.
re: Thrown rod
By rosalinde
On Thu May 20, 2010 07:04 AM
My old car's engine overheated once when I got in a traffic jam. I could reach a parking lot before it really boiled over and apparently I had a hole in the radiator and a broken thermostat. :O The AA topped up the cooling fluid, told me to wait until rush-hour was over (there was no problem as long as I could keep the speed) and go straight home. I took the car to the dealer to have it fixed the next day.

I also clipped a sidewalk once and scuffed the tire, causing the tire to get a bulge. The AA guy I called said I could've driven on just fine, but I told him I didn't fancy having a tire blowing and landing upside down on the soft shoulder. He laughed and said I wouldn't flip over as long as I wouldn't hit the brakes. So I gave him a death-stare and asked him to guess what I was most likely to do when a tire blew ... I mean, honestly ... He put my spare tire on and I drove a lot more reassured.
re: Thrown rod
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 07:44 AM
^ heh, I think that's Triple-A (AAA), not AA...unless Alcoholics Anonymous are now doing car repair. :D

Dani
re: Thrown rod
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 08:31 AM
^I think it IS AA in the UK/Ireland, for their equivalent of the USA's AAA American Automobile Association. UK/Irish Member's please chime in. They would hardly use "American" in their title.

Jon
re: Thrown rod
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 08:36 AM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-05-20 08:37:01
^ I could swear the OP was American. But hey, the more you know! :)

Dani
re: Thrown rod
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 09:20 AM
I'v decided not to fix it after all. I found a cute little VW bug for her a ta great price. Yellow, sunroof, low mileage and wheels that look like Daisies. We bought it Monday. She's happy.

The old car is going to the junkyard.

kk~
re: Thrown rod
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 09:28 AM
Bluugh. Sorry to hear that, KK, but hopefully new car = better luck.

I had to junk my old car because the steering column had a tiny fire! I was helping my dad fix something with the brakes and all of a sudden I realized there was smoke coming out near the key. Turned the car off, snatched the key out and once my dad did the damage report--not only were the brakes shot, now the wiring harness was completely melted. Seeing as it would cost multi-thousands to fix and the car was worth maybe $500 when it ran...it got scrapped. :( I still miss that car. My dad fixed the A/C in it about two years before it died and it ran cooooold!

Dani
re: Thrown rod
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 09:38 AM
^ From my point of view, that is what happened to my car many years ago when I threw a rod. That was disappointing because I did do regular maintenance on it. Just as I was going to haul it to the junk yard, a rather handy fellow from work bought it from me for $125, and put an engine in it from a junk yard and gave it to his kid for use in college. I had put 95K miles on the car and this fellow's kid put another 200K on it in six years. The kid lived in upstate NY where they use a lot of salt of the road and my collegue said it was almost entirely rusted out. It was finally involved in a fender bender and the kid gave up on it, but it was still running at the end. It was a 1970 Plymouth Duster, bought brand new for $2000, about the cheapest new car I could find when our family suddenly needed two cars when my wife started teaching and I went to a rotating shift assignment. We've had two cars ever since and for a couple of months we actually had six cars for four drivers when my kids had one car in a different state for a summer job which I sold when they returned and another car had a "for sale" sign on it.
Mercifully we are now down to just two cars.

Jon
re: Thrown rod
By Reidfidleirmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu May 20, 2010 11:22 AM
Hmmm. First major break down was on a detour on a side road with a mound of traffic behind me, and my alternator failed... Called a few friends in the area. One finally answered and helped me out. I felt so bad for the drivers in back of me. My hazards wouldn't even work. YOu know it's bad when you try to start it, and when you turn the key there's dead silence. not even a click.

2nd major one was the most interesting and hilarious.
I was driving my 96 Olds cutlass cierra, and it caught on fire. yup. I was in a store parking lot thankfully. I had gone over a speed bump, and AC cut out, (had that done 3 weeks before). After the 2nd speed bump, everything cut out and it died. tried hazards- didn't work. tried starting- dead silence. ( I was irritated because I had just replaced the alternator on this one too- 2 wks before).
I was sitting there for a few minutes waving people around me. Suffering miserably in 120 degree heat (Phoenix in August= miserable)
Started smelling funny. Cue the smoke, and BAM! Flames start shooting from the driver's side- I was like "Whoah!!!! That's right by my Head!" Thankfully I had already rolled the windows down. I tried to unlock the doors- didn't work and didn't think to manually unlock, so I jumped out the window, and ran to the store entrance.

I called 911 immediately. and started freaking out a little bit as my car started beeping incessantly, windshield wipers started going, car tried to start itself, and it started rocking back and forth- All on it's own! I thought it was going to drive away! hahahaha
Obviously it was electric fire.
Fire dept arrived, and I went inside, store manager closed entrance because smoke was billowing inside the store. A crowd gathered to watch. 3 minutes later this woman comes running up and screaming "AHhhhhhh A car fire! OMG OMG! we gotta get the people out of there! Are they oK?!?!?!?!?!?!"
I said "Maam? Hi! I'm the owner of the car! See? I'm ok! RELAX... and enjoy the show!"
By that time I was laughing hysterically over the situation. I thought it was sooo funny.
In the end I got rid of the car (Duh), and got more insurance money than I paid for it- sweet! Drained my bank accounts and bought a much nicer car. I literally said to my boyfriend (at the time) Sweet! I can get a new car now! haha I had only had the Olds 6 months)

(Fire started from battery- like I said- new alternator, so I think it was putting out too much voltage, as I don't know how old the batter was :/ oh well. I hated that car anyway).

Justine
re: Thrown rod
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 01:14 PM
^ We trashed a car (from our point of view) because a garage installed an alternator that was too large for the battery we had. (I'm not sure I understand how all that works.) It was a very spiffy 1984 Celica GTS in fire engine red which was supposed to me my "Mid Life Crisis" car. A new car is definitely cheaper than a mistress. Shortly after we got it we drove it on a trip and that was about the last time I drove the car for any appreciable amount of time. I had maybe 3000 miles, half on that first trip, when my wife decided that a sporty car like that would overcome the image of the "little old lady" school principal. She drove it until we got a new Celica for her and I finally got my fire engine red car...a twin to hers...the same day. My son took over the 84 and after a couple of years he had the alternator problem which went from bad to worse. A collegue who was handy with cars (different guy from the one above) bought the car for his son and it was he who figured out that the alternator was too big for the battery. At least mine didn't catch on fire.

Jon
re: Thrown rod
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 05:15 PM
I had a car fire years ago. I don't remember the details of the mechanical problems but I do remember the smoke, flames, dead car and walking for miles in the rain to get help. Thank goodness for cell phones and roadside assistance these days! I would hate for my kids to have some of the car breakdown problems I had when I was young. Too many to tell everything. Flats, stuck in mud, dead batteries, ran out of gas, locked keys in the car (with it running, no less) and on and on.

kk~
re: Thrown rod
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 05:44 PM
That's a whole lot more than a breakdown!

I apologize if I'm overstepping my bounds here, but I'm just wondering... Did your daughter pay for the new car? If I was that irresponsible with my car, my mother would have left me to walk to where I needed to go, not reward me with another vehicle.

I don't have any car terror stories of my own, but my boyfriend who is an engineer and had previously done all the work on his truck himself, decided to change the band in his transmission, or something of that nature. Even though he "followed the manual," he completely messed everything all up. He called our friend the mechanic and he said he wouldn't even attempt to fix the mess and told us to bring it straight to AAMCO. $300 and a week later, the truck was back to normal. OOOPS. Thankfully that was just a work truck. Everything from oil changes to routine maintenance on the new snazzy truck gets done at Chevy, lol.
re: Thrown rod
By Danamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu May 20, 2010 06:05 PM
^ I would say that it's not anyone else's business what they do with their money in their family.

My car once broke down in my high school parking lot - I think it was a dead battery. Best part was when my friends and I decided to look under the hood to see what was wrong. We opened it up, stared at it for a few minutes, looked at each other, and realized that not a one of us knew a single thing about cars.
re: Thrown rod
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu May 20, 2010 08:06 PM
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2010-05-20 20:07:17
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2010-05-20 20:17:05
^ Thanks, Dana. ;)

Sara, it wasn't exactly a 'reward' I was just trying to solve the family transportation problems. She's going to college in the fall and will be on the road a lot. She needs a dependable car. I would be the one saving her or loaning her my car if she had problems, so it was worth it, to me.

And the new car is far from 'new'. It's ten years old. I paid $2000 under blue book value for it. Her old car was, quite frankly, a POS and did not have much life left in it, anyway. I only paid $1800 for the POS when I bought it, so I got my money's worth out of it.

Whether it was her fault or not is really beside the point, right now. It wasn't worth the money I would have had to pay for a new engine. I had planned to buy her a laptop for graduation but she got the car instead. She will now be buying her own laptop and plans to use her graduation gift money. So, it all works out in the end.

kk~
re: Thrown rod
By pokomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 24, 2010 03:50 AM
Sigh, my first breakdown was when I was 20.

Let me set the scene.

Driving in the city (and this is, Sydney city....right in the heart of it).
In the middle lane.
About to go on the harbour bridge (Sydney siders would understand this)
In the pouring rain.
In peak hour in the morning.
On a monday.

My battery died. In the middle of 4 lanes. And I had two younger girls in my car on the way to a dance practice. I had people screaming out the window at me "TURN ON YOUR HAZARDS"...uh duh, my battery was so dead, the hazards wouldn't turn on. After 20 mins of standing in the rain trying to get someone to help....someone finally towed me to the side of the road and jump started my car. After about 15 mins on the jumper leads...I finally waved a thank you tothe guy who helped me...and went over the bridge...and into the city...and then my car stopped again. A truck full of removalists help move my car around the corner to a side street to prevent blocking traffic. Called the NRMA who came and looked at it. Charged my battery enough for my to get to the closest mechanic. Had to leave my car there. So, got a taxi for me and the two girls to the rehearsal hall. Then took the 2 hour train ride home with them, and got the taxi from the station to drop both of them home as well.
Next day, my brother is in the city for uni, so picks up my car. They charged me about $700AU for a new alternator.... 2 days later, my best friend is driving my car to take his brother to school...and calls me at work. My car broke down again.

Took it to my local mechanic.

The city mechanic, had put a 2nd hand alternator in my car that wasn't even MADE for my model of car, and told me it was brand new.

So, with the 700 of the crappy alternator, 200 worth of travel expenses on the day of the break down, 400 for a brand new alternator...

it turned out to be a very expensive day.
re: Thrown rod (karma: 1)
By kandykanePremium member
On Mon May 24, 2010 09:48 AM
^ I really hate sketchy mechanics! I'm so grateful to have a brother in the field. He's the one who called me and told me about the VW Beetle. He comes through for me.

You should all appreciate this -

Saturday night was the dance recital. As the only graduating senior and a student of the head teacher's for over 15 years, my daughter was honored on stage. The teacher said many lovely things about her that made me misty eyed and then she gave her a gift.....

A quart of motor oil.

ROFL!!! :D

kk~

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