What Was The Dumbest Thing You Ever Did To Your Car?

By on March 9, 2018

About 15 years ago, a twenty-something me drove a flamingo pink Chrysler minivan to the nearby Blockbuster to pick up some overpriced videos.

I smelled oil on my way back to the van but, like most young parents, my mind was elsewhere in the Himalayas of parental thought. Mostly, I wondered whether I would get lucky that evening.

The answer was, “About as lucky as an old minivan with a pink paint job!” I turned the key and started it up. “Clacketah! Clacketah!” a red oil light came flickering on and I instantly had my first “Oh $hit” moment of parenthood when it came to cars.

I quickly turned the car off, begged my wife to bring my drain pan and oil change tools, and rolled the van snugly into a parking space where I proceeded to redo the oil change from earlier that afternoon. There were only about a couple of quarts that drained into the pan, but no harm done other than ruining an old t-shirt and  my favorite pair of shorts.

Since then I have pretty much done countless boneheaded things to the cars I have owned. Overfilled my motor oil. Underfilled my transmission. I even smashed my windshield into oblivion after my hood wasn’t properly closed, and flew open while I was driving 50 miles an hour.

Even these days I sometimes royally screw up. Last night I spent a good half of my evening trying to find the plug-in access to my new electric vehicle thinking that it naturally had to be where the gas flap would be.

It turned out it was on the exact opposite side. Not only did I not see it, but I must have walked completely past it at least two or three times with the charger in my hand while my neighbors were trying to figure out what the hell I was doing. It took one of their pointed fingers to guide me to the flap that was already open. They laughed about that almost as much as they laughed at my old flamingo pink minivan.

With that said, what was the dumbest thing you ever did to your car? I hope that whatever it was, it didn’t involve the color pink.

 

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  • Jim | 2018-03-09

    Changed the oil on my ’77 Celica GT while under the influence of LSD. After driving about 10 miles, I wondered why I had a whine from my gearbox…then it hit me: I had drained the gearbox & added 4 more quarts of Castrol into my already-filled crankcase…the gearbox whine never totally went away.

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