Wednesday, 12 October 2011


I don't know a great deal about cars, whether they have "Ambulance" plastered all across them or otherwise. 

I know that they need fuel, oil and water.

I know that you turn the ignition to start them, and turn the key the other way to turn them off.

I know what most of the controls do - which pedal does what and how far to turn the steering wheel.

I can, if needed, change a tyre.

Recently, I even ventured as far as changing a headlight bulb. If you own the same car I do, you would understand my sense of achievement.

But when it comes to cars going mechanically wrong, I have no idea where to start.

I have no idea what a cam belt looks like, or how many extra holes it would need if the car lost weight.

I have no idea what a clutch looks like. Then again, most Americans don't actually know what a clutch is.

I'd be too scared to change a battery or replace a spark plug. Do cars even have spark plugs?

However, I do know one thing for sure about cars.

If, when you start the engine and are about to head out on yet another call in the middle of the night, there is a loud THWUNK type of noise, and then, all of a sudden, sitting two metres in front of the car is a large, round metal piece of the engine, I know absolutely for certain that this is not a good thing.

Not a good thing at all.


Anonymous said...

petrol cars have spark plugs. diesel cars don't. although some have glow plugs.

not that you probably know, but what part of the engine specifically fell out?

Female PTSD said...

I found out this exact thing just the other day - breakdown man was nice enough to explain how my engine worked (still don't know!!)

As a side note plz will u give your opinion on this post on my blog would it have been seen as time wasting by yourself? thanks :)


Nicki said...

Oh no!!! I know about as much as you and throw in that if the engine is smoking and the patient compartment is overcome by a smell of sulfur, you turn the lights and sirens on and drive like hell back to the firehouse!

TOTWTYTR said...

A few months ago my wife and daughter were driving somewhere when the car started to make a loud grinding noise.

My ever observant daughter said, "I don't know what that sound is, but I'll be it's expensive."

She was right. $1,200.000 dollars right.

Whenever a piece of your engine falls off, it's going to be expensive. In this case, for your employer.

InsomniacMedic said...

Thanks as always for commenting people!
Anon - Ta for the idiots guide to mechanics lesson. I really am hopeless with such things... It was some big metal wheel thing. I'll post a photo on twitter and you can have a guess...
FPTSD - Have left a comment on your blog, and started following it properly too...
Nicki - Sounds like sound advice to me :)
TOTW - Ouch. Glad I'm not paying for repairs. Even more glad it happened when I was stationary and not flying at 50+ mph...

Anonymous said...

Well maintained vehicles as usual. Glad it happened whilst you were stationary.