Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Phew Close Shave

This week has had a very exciting start to it, I was facing a busy get all over the place week with regards to meetings and driving everywhere, which started Monday with a 60 mile round trip.
On my way back I had a warning light come up on the car and it went into 'limp home' mode. That meant it cut the speed down to 20mph. That would have been fine except I was on the A1M, a fast motorway where you simply can't do 20 mph without causing a problem. I had no alternative but to pull over and stop on the hard shoulder.

I checked the oil, as when this has happened in the past the oil has been low. (We always regularly check the oil but this car seems to use it a lot even though we have had it fully checked out at the garage) So the dip stick was showing no oil, so I though I had better put some in. I took the filler cap off and started to slowly add the oil when it happened, flames started to leap out of the top of the engine which caused me to spill some of the oil because I jumped. That made the flames worse, Now I was panicking, thinking that I was planning to go away driving this car in a few weeks and there it was going up in flames. I don't remember doing this, but I put the filler cap back , stood well back and called the fire brigade.

I needed to get things out of the car, my bag, and coat as it was cold, I opened the door and slung them up the embankment. It was then I came across a bottle of diet coke, I thought kill or cure, I decided to try and put the flames out with the coke. By this time there were no flames at the top but they were coming from the sump underneath, so I emptied the coke over the engine and the flames went out.

The brigade arrived and checked it out and confirmed my makeshift firefighting had done the trick. They think the engine was so hot that it had caused some sort of flash over and when I jumped back I put oil on the outside of the engine fuelling the fire.They also said putting the cap back on had starved the oil of oxygen and had prevented it doing major damage to the engine. Amazingly the car started and they got me off the motorway. The breakdown people towed me home and the car was checked out yesterday by the garage. They have said that apart for a few singe marks around the area of the fire and sticky splashes of coke all is well. They have cleaned up the engine and surrounding area and given it a clean bill of health.

I have never been so scared, from nothing to flames in a matter of milliseconds. Oddly I have only ever broken down on the A1M once before and it was in the exact same place, last time mum was with me and I remember standing under the sign for knebworth house. Very Odd.

1 comment:

Raymonde said...

So glad to hear you are safe, no photos then??? Even of the fireman??? Take care and I mean it. Love you. xxx