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Moments from disaster.. share your stories #4442074
06/26/17 02:38 PM
06/26/17 02:38 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,947
Ohio
L_Sludger Offline OP
L_Sludger  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,947
Ohio
We've all had our share of automotive "uh oh" moments where disaster was just a second away, but it was narrowly averted. For example, peeking under the hood of a car with failing hood lift struts - you have your head buried in the engine bay in a pretty compromised position, then get up to grab a tool or something. Moments later, the hood slams shut. That sort of thing. I've had a couple pretty serious moments I wanted to share.

Many years ago. Young and even more ignorant than I am today. I'm driving around in my turbocharged NA-T Toyota Supra. I turbocharged it myself using bits and pieces of the turbo model's parts, but with lots of piping components from Home Depot. Well, an intercooler hose popped off a piece of 90 degree Schedule 40 intake charge pipe. The car started stalling, so I pulled into a parking lot to get the hose back on.
Well sir, the pipe was only accessible from underneath the car, so I set the parking brake, put the car in gear, and jacked it up with a tire jack. Then I stuck my head underneath (:doh:) the car and started wrenching. Not long into the repair, I noticed the car making sporadic creaking noises. Creak. Creeeaaak... creaak.. So I got up out of there just in time to watch the car roll over the spare jack. Yeah, I learned something that day.

Another instance, I had a project supercharged Lexus. I started noticing a fuel smell while idling. I thought nothing of it at first, but after a few days I decided to pop the hood to investigate closely. And there I saw it... right off the rising rate fuel pressure regulator's inlet hose barb, gasoline was dripping.... right onto the exhaust manifold heat shield.. and boiling off on the spot. shocked2
In about zero seconds flat I turned the car off and tightened the hose clamp. That could have ended differently.

These days I don't modify cars anymore, they're fast enough for me stock. So life is quite a bit less dramatic on the road.

Any similar stories you'd care to share?


too many cars and oil combinations to list in 150 characters or less
Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442088
06/26/17 03:02 PM
06/26/17 03:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,453
Gulf Coast, MS
3800Series Offline
3800Series  Offline
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,453
Gulf Coast, MS
Not really related to me but about 10 years ago I was living in Missouri. I was on my way home from a hardware store and they had this little Honda in front of me. About 30 seconds later I see a tire roll off the car and the car slides into a deep ditch.

Had 2 kids and a girl in it probably 16 or 17 but I asked them what happened and they said they where driving home and while on the interstate the steering wheel had a lot of play in it. They stopped a few times but nothing looked obvious to them so they got back on the road.

The driver didnt know what was going on so they decided to get off the interstate and take a back road home. From what they said they got off the interstate about 2 mins before the wheel came off.

It was rush hour traffic tho, everyone in the car was fine and the vehicle didn't take any noticeable damage and we where able to pull it out of the ditch and find all the lug nuts on the road and got the tire back on before the cops showed up (freshly paved road) and their rotors carved up the asphalt pretty well.

I've thought about it a few times over the years. Being rush hour traffic and all. The area always have 18 wheelers and between that or them sliding into another vehicle someone could have probably lost their life if that happened at 75mph vs the 25 of the back road...

Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442124
06/26/17 04:04 PM
06/26/17 04:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 515
Fort Worth TX
TheKracken Offline
TheKracken  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 515
Fort Worth TX
changed timing belt on my lexus and did a full coolant drain, I only refilled the overflow tank and drove it for 15 minutes...woops


2011 Prius 96k miles RLI 5w20
97 Toy T100 4x4: amsoil 0w20 242k Miles
04 Toy Sienna awd: Pennzoil 0w20 281k Miles
Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442135
06/26/17 04:16 PM
06/26/17 04:16 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 291
Alaska
AlaskaMike Offline
AlaskaMike  Offline
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 291
Alaska
I bought a better turbo from a friend for my 2000 Dodge diesel, and he helped me do the swap. Unfortunately he got distracted at one point, and I never went back and checked all the oil line fittings for tightness. I was almost home when I noticed my oil pressure dropping fast, and I noticed the trail of oil I was leaving down the road. I threw it in neutral and coasted into the nearest driveway. My friend hadn't tightened the bolts for the oil drain hose, and I blew about 10 quarts of oil all over the road. Thankfully I noticed it in time and no known engine (or turbo) damage resulted.

Another time, my wife and I drove down to the lower 48 in my older 1992 Dodge diesel, and pulled into a little truck stop at a place called Amargosa Valley NW of Las Vegas. I pulled into the parking spot and noticed the coolant temp gauge was abnormally high, so I turned the heater on full blast while it idled to try to help it cool down. Unfortunately the heater was blowing cool air, so I immediately shut down the engine. Turned out my water pump was toast and it must've blew out the coolant right before we turned into the truck stop. Again, no damage because I caught it in time.

I try and pay better attention to my gauges these days.

Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442159
06/26/17 04:45 PM
06/26/17 04:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,584
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,584
ME
I have a folding engine hoist. I store it by leaving the crane part vertical, then pull the pins for the legs, fold them up too. Normally I secure the legs but I was doing engine-y work and thought I'd need them again. Had one of the heavy metal legs whiz by an inch from my ear/ head. Felt the breeze.

Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442178
06/26/17 05:18 PM
06/26/17 05:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,283
WI
HoosierJeeper Offline
HoosierJeeper  Offline
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,283
WI
Replaced the belt and tensioner on my Liberty a few weeks ago, had to take out the mechanical fan and efan plus the shroud. Got it all back together, no issues. Had a random thought the next day, did I reconnect the efan? Checked it after running an errand and no I did not!. So thankful it was in the 60s and I didn't have the AC on. Would've been replacing an engine otherwise from over heating.


15 Jeep KL Limited V6: Formula Shell 5W20
07 LR3 SE V8: Maxlife 5W30
05 Jeep KJ Limited: PHM 5W30
96 Jeep XJ Country: STP HM 5W30 (winter)
Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: HoosierJeeper] #4442213
06/26/17 05:44 PM
06/26/17 05:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,584
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,584
ME
Originally Posted By: HoosierJeeper
Replaced the belt and tensioner on my Liberty a few weeks ago, had to take out the mechanical fan and efan plus the shroud. Got it all back together, no issues. Had a random thought the next day, did I reconnect the efan? Checked it after running an errand and no I did not!. So thankful it was in the 60s and I didn't have the AC on. Would've been replacing an engine otherwise from over heating.


You'd have been fine with just the mechanical fan. The e-fan is to boost AC performance.

Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442218
06/26/17 05:55 PM
06/26/17 05:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 21,937
Orlando, FL
Mr Nice Offline
Mr Nice  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 21,937
Orlando, FL
Luckily I've only had a double oil gasket and a big leak when engine started.

Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442225
06/26/17 06:07 PM
06/26/17 06:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,183
OH
fdcg27 Offline
fdcg27  Offline
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 16,183
OH
On a 250 mile or so drive a couple of years ago with wife, son, DIL and then about five month old grandson, disaster struck in the form of a serious oil leak. We had stopped in a rest area and my son remarked upon the brownish spots on the rear surfaces of the '12 Accord. I had a good idea of what this had to be. I checked the oil and it was more than a quart down. We drove to the next exit and I bought a few quarts of Kendall SB in a 10W-40, added one, ran the engine briefly and allowed it to sit for a couple of minutes before again checking the oil. The stick showed midway between the add and full marks, so I dumped another quart in. We stopped every fifty or so miles thereafter and I added another three quarts en route.
We made it to my mother's house in Rocky River, a west suburb of Cleveland without incident so she got to see her first great-grandchild.
I was meanwhile on the AAP site gathering what I'd need to get under the car and change the oil, particularly the oil filter, a white-body K&N that had a gasket failure, just as I suspected.
Anyway, my various sisters gathered, I changed oil and crusty with leaked oil filter while I marveled at the fine job of rustproofing the oil spray had done for the bottom of the Accord.
All turned out well, but only because my son had noticed the tiny specs of oil on the rear of the car.


18 Accord Hybrid FF
17 Forester 18K VME 0W-20
12 Accord LX 96K SSO 0W-20
09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
01 Focus ZX3 118K PP 5W-20
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i
Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442281
06/26/17 07:21 PM
06/26/17 07:21 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
Ducked Offline
Ducked  Offline
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
OK, Close Shave Story.....um...bit spoilt for choice, but I find this one hard to forget.

1800 Marina estate. Filled up on the way home and the smell of petrol seemed more persistent than usual. Actually stopped to check, but it was dark and (of course) [censored] down and I couldn't see anything. Home late and forgot about it.

Next day woken by nosey neighbour who complains my car is leaking petrol down the street. Indeed. ALL the way down the street gutter, under lots of much shinier cars.

What to do? Have a couple of large jerricans, but have learned that siphoning petrol out of a tank really only works well in the movies. Decide to remove the tank and decant petrol directly.

Lying under the car in a small river of petrol, I'd unbolted the (still almost full) leaking tank and lowered it onto my chest, where it was soaking my overalls, and had just started to wriggle out with it, when the nosy neighbour (who'd complained about the leak in the first place) stuck her head down over the gutter to check on progress.

Did I mention she was a CHAIN SMOKER?

I couldn't look at first.

Then I looked and couldn't speak.

Then I spoke, but I had to be VERY polite to avoid agitatating the STUPID COW, since the ash didn't look very stable.

One of my nearer death experiences.

Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442300
06/26/17 07:33 PM
06/26/17 07:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,132
Dallas,Tx USA
aquariuscsm Online content
aquariuscsm  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,132
Dallas,Tx USA
Two goof ups I can remember.

Changing the oil in my 3000GT. I "splurged" and bought Castrol Syntec. I was pouring the oil in and with each quart,I noticed this weird splashing sound but didn't think much of it. Finished pouring the last quart and I just had to find out what that splashing sound was. I'd forgotten to put the drain plug back in and all that expensive synthetic oil went into the oil fill hole,right out the drain plug hole,and into the drain pan haha.

Another oil change goof up. I was changing the oil in my 300ZX. I figured I'd have a few coldies and make a fun day of it haha. By the time I finished the oil change and got her all buttoned up,I was lit to the max!! I got in my car to back it off the ramps and noticed this weird grinding sound. I'd forgotten to take the drain pan out from under the car and dragged it all the way down the driveway and into the street,leaving a messy trail of used oil with it haha. Good lord! Yeah,I had WAY too much fun doing that oil change! laugh


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Pennzoil Platinum 5W20

Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442302
06/26/17 07:36 PM
06/26/17 07:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,531
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,531
...
Interesting thread.

A number of years ago back in the Seattle area, we lived SE about 30 miles. A winter storm dumped a foot of snow in quick time and my wife was working at WalMart on top of a hill. I picked her up around 10pm in the trusty Mitsubishi Montero Sport with 4wd. We made it down a long freeway hill before they closed it as it was solid ice and then drive a two lane highway back home. Along the way on a curve, it appeared a woman had slid her Honda into the ditch. Another car had stopped and a man was getting out of the driver's door to help. I was doing about 15mph and that guy slipped and fell into the highway right in front of me. I jerked the wheel to the left since there was no incoming traffic and went right around him. I was waiting for that dreadful bump but we missed him. It could not have been by more than a foot or two. I swerved back into the right lane before traffic came and saw him getting up.

I was shaking for a couple of hours after that. I couldn't sleep that night either. I wonder if that guy had to empty his pants?


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: Ducked] #4442303
06/26/17 07:36 PM
06/26/17 07:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,132
Dallas,Tx USA
aquariuscsm Online content
aquariuscsm  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,132
Dallas,Tx USA
Originally Posted By: Ducked
OK, Close Shave Story.....um...bit spoilt for choice, but I find this one hard to forget.

1800 Marina estate. Filled up on the way home and the smell of petrol seemed more persistent than usual. Actually stopped to check, but it was dark and (of course) [censored] down and I couldn't see anything. Home late and forgot about it.

Next day woken by nosey neighbour who complains my car is leaking petrol down the street. Indeed. ALL the way down the street gutter, under lots of much shinier cars.

What to do? Have a couple of large jerricans, but have learned that siphoning petrol out of a tank really only works well in the movies. Decide to remove the tank and decant petrol directly.

Lying under the car in a small river of petrol, I'd unbolted the (still almost full) leaking tank and lowered it onto my chest, where it was soaking my overalls, and had just started to wriggle out with it, when the nosy neighbour (who'd complained about the leak in the first place) stuck her head down over the gutter to check on progress.

Did I mention she was a CHAIN SMOKER?

I couldn't look at first.

Then I looked and couldn't speak.

Then I spoke, but I had to be VERY polite to avoid agitatating the STUPID COW, since the ash didn't look very stable.

One of my nearer death experiences.


Haha AWESOME story!! laugh I can just see her peering her face under your car to start yacking and you're ready to freakin kick her a**! Haha!


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Pennzoil Platinum 5W20

Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442308
06/26/17 07:39 PM
06/26/17 07:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,033
New England
madRiver Offline
madRiver  Offline
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,033
New England
Did 4-6 full spins on I93 in terrible winter conditions near Boston during rush hour and hit no one and no one hit me and recovered and kept going speed limit....stunned.

Re: Moments from disaster.. share your stories [Re: L_Sludger] #4442343
06/26/17 08:00 PM
06/26/17 08:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,969
South Florida
bubbatime Offline
bubbatime  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,969
South Florida
1) My dad had an 30 year old pair of metal car ramps. Sturdy as all get out. Not even 5 seconds after I was done with the oil change, and crawled out from under the car, the car came slamming down, crushing both ramps.

2) While driving, pulled out onto a two lane highway and a semi comes out of nowhere doing like 110mph and almost cleans my clock as it swerves into the other lane. Don't know why he was going that fast, or where he came from. Never saw him until he was flying by me.

3) Working in a prison, escorting one of the most dangerous death row inmates in all of Florida. He is fully shackled, legs, arms, and belly chain. Walking down a hallway, and as if a switch is hit, ALL of his chains fall to the floor. His leg shackles, handcuffs, and belly chain, every last one of them just fall off of him to the floor. The inmate stands there staring at us completely unshackled, and us staring at him. Amazingly, he just shrugs and we put the chains back on without any fight. I dont know how it happened, or why it happened, as everything was inspected afterwards and found to be in good condition.

4) Working in a prison, life sentence inmate who doesn't really care for me, ambushes me in a hallway with a punch to the face. In a split second, I deflected the punch with my left arm, and delivered a most appropriate uppercut with my right arm. He is immediately rendered unconscious. As I am cuffing him, I see that he has a 7 inch shank in his hand. He was attempting to stab me in the face, not punch me. I was micro-seconds from serious injury or death.


17 Chrysler Pacifica Mobil 1 5W30
13 Yamaha XT250 Valv MC 10W40
10 Acura TSX 2.4 Maxlife Syn 5W30
06 GMC Sierra Nextgen 10W30


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