April 7, 2017
The other day I passed by a car sitting on the side of the road and two people had the hood popped and were looking at the engine.
I had to laugh because I always do that. If my vehicle won't start or there is some weird noise coming from it, I look around under the hood. What am I looking for? I have no clue.
It's just a habit that I probably got from my father. Although, he knew what he was looking for and would probably fix it.
When I was young I kept my father busy with all of my car troubles. The first vehicle I had was a red Ford Maverick. It was a great little car until the muffler started to get really loud.
One night after work I stopped at a red light and when I started to go the back end of the car started to rise and I couldn't move. Seems the muffler had finally fallen off but it came off at the front end and was still fastened at the back end. When I would start to go the front end of the muffler stuck in the ground and wouldn't let the vehicle move forward.
It was about midnight and there was nobody around so I ripped apart one of my seat covers and used the elastic to tie the muffler up until I could get it home to my father.
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When the Maverick gave up the ghost, I got a Dodge Dart. During the first road trip in the Dart, the radiator started to blow fluid out of the top. At first I thought it was raining, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky. So I pulled over and popped the hood. It didn't look good. I flagged down a Pepsi semi and got a ride to the nearest phone. After having the radiator cleaned, or rather taking it to be cleaned only to be told it was too far gone, I got a new radiator and the car was fine until one day it just didn't want to move anymore.
At that time I didn't have any money to buy a car, so I inherited my grandfather's gun metal gray Chrysler Newport Royal. We called it the "Prairie Schooner" because it felt like you were riding on a ship. The shocks weren't that great and, the breaks were almost nonexistent. In fact, I parked on a hill one time and almost got run over by my own car. After unsuccessfully trying to hold the monster back, I finally ran around, opened the door, jumped in and managed to get the car to stop. Much to the entertainment of some people who had stopped to watch the show.
The Prairie Schooner and I had a lot of close calls due to the braking issue but it always started and kept going. Until one day when it would no longer go forward, only backward. I looked under the hood and couldn't see anything wrong so I called my father and told me it was a lost cause. I took it to the local salvage yard and got $70 for it.
So if you ever see me on the side of the road looking under my hood, just stop and don't ask any questions. ❖