How I Blew up My Car Engine and Learned the Importance of Motor Oil

Jude Barton By Jude Barton, 31st May 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Money Saving Tips

You will save tons of money if you don't blow up your car engine. Learn some simple maintenance skills and never ignore a knocking noise, especially when your oil light is on!

My Story

It was time to get the oil changed in my beautiful blue Mercury Sable Station Wagon. It was only about five years old and it ran well and it was still undented and pretty new looking. I dutifully drove down to the local oil changing garage and had the car serviced and new oil put in. Honestly at the time I had no clue what purpose oil played in my car but I just did it because my husband told me to do it.

It was all good and I could cross that task off my to do list. After running a few more errands I was on my way home and glanced down at the gauges and noticed the oil light on. That’s weird because I just had it changed. I tapped on the idiot light - ahem…I mean indicator light. Nothing happened and it continued to glare at me. I mentioned this to my husband and he too tapped on the light.

“The light is broken” he said with a dismissive tone. “You just had the oil changed didn’t you?” “There must be a short”.

He checked the oil dipstick and sure enough it read full.

Days passed and the engine started making a knocking noise. Now I’m not a car expert but this did not sound good. I mentioned it again and was once again was assured by my husband that everything was fine.

What Happened Next!

Over the next day or two the noise got louder and louder. Not wanting to be the nagging wife I decided that I would just trust my husband and try to ignore the noise.

And then it finally happened… one or two final clanging noises…car comes to a dead stop…smoke pouring out of the hood…oil slick on road! Oooops!

Lessons I Learned About Motor Oil and Cars

They call it an idiot light for a reason.
Just because the oil dipstick says full doesn’t mean your engine is getting oil.
Motor oil keeps the moving parts in your car lubricated so they don’t break.
I learned the term “throwing a rod” and that “throwing a rod” is not good.
I learned how to open the hood of my car.
I also learned that you have other fluids that have to be filled and replaced such as Transmission Fluid and Antifreeze.
I learned that it cost significantly less to maintain your car than buying a new one.
I learned that you should never cuss in front of your children because they repeat everything you say.


For more details on checking your oil and basic car maintenance see.
Basic Car Maintenance Tips: Motor Oil
Basic Car Maintenance Tips: Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)
Basic Car Maintenance Tips: Antifreeze and Coolant


Automotive, Care For, Cars, Maintenance, Motor Oil, Repair

Meet the author

author avatar Jude Barton
I am an artist, mother, grandmother, Christian and traveler on a wonderful journey of life. My interests are art, art history, world culture, literature, film, children, and all the things that make us tick and tick us off.

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author avatar Susan Kaul
31st May 2010 (#)

Wow, you learned a lot of life's lessons in pretty short order. hope you enjoy your new car

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author avatar Johnnydod
31st May 2010 (#)

Brilliant now I know where to go if I need any help with my car

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
8th Jul 2010 (#)

Dont know how I missed seeing this earlier, totally one of the best titles I have seen for ages. For sure never ignore such problems.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
10th Jun 2015 (#)

Once bitten twice shy! Few still believe fuel is all that the car needs for it to run! siva

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