A Gallon of Gas

Went out to run a few errands in the ‘Bird yesterday. Fired it up, then walked back to the house for some packages I needed to mail. Before I got back up the driveway, I heard the idle slow down, then the engine just died.

What the heck? Cranked it over a few times, then took a look under the hood. No gas in the fuel line. In fact, no gas in the car at all.

  • Disadvantages of a broken fuel gauge: you never know when you’re about to run out of gas.
  • Advantages of a broken fuel gauge: none that spring to mind.
Gas Gauge
This gauge always reads "E". Yesterday, it was accurate.

Walked to the gas station, picked up 4 gallons of gas. Did the trick, and the car started right back up. But this was the beginning of the odyssey. I drove it around the block, turned it off, thinking I’d just make sure it’ll start back up ok. With the key off and out of the ignition, the engine kept running.

Decided, what the hell, I can run these errands even if the car has to sit running in the parking lot. Got more gas, the stopped at the post office. Dropped off packages and came back to a very hot engine. More idling at a long red light and now the engine is running rough.

Finally, a mile down the road, the engine stopped, backfired a few times, dieseled for a moment, then quit altogether. A kindly stranger helped me to push her into a parking lot, which happened to be our local watering hole.

Perhaps the car just wanted me to stop for a beer and watch a few innings of baseball. Anyhow, that’s what I did.

Half an hour later, the ‘Bird fired right back up and I drove it home. Turned off the key, and the motor stopped, just as it should. Go figure.

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