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Most ridiculous breakdown - Dipstick
What's your most ridiculous breakdown experience when just about everything seems to go wrong?

Mine was:

Morris Minor (my first car!) and me a mechanical numpty.

A38, Devon. Getting dark and raining.

Car overheats. Pull in to layby.

Used to this scenario, so fetch water in bottle from boot.

No torch (not clever enough for that) so peer under bonnet for place to deposit water.

Glasses slip off nose and tinkle into engine bay.

Now blind, grope about feebly for glasses. Find them unbroken.

On withdrawal from engine bay, touch unspecified hot bit with hand. Leap backwards.

Sooth pain in back of head from sharp contact with bonnet.

Replace glasses, hold on with one hand, attempt water pouring game with one hand. Most goes where it's supposed to.

Sigh with relief, re-enter car. Have nothing to remove oil from glasses with so vision much reduced until shirt pressed into service.

All sorted now. Engine starts. Put in gear and move forward two yards. Odd noises from below vehicle.

Decide it must be the exhaust. Get out of car.

Lie in layby in puddle, scanning another small quadrant of underneath bits in the headlights of each passing car.

Get wetter and crosser as nothing is found.

Notice passenger seatbelt is hanging out of door. Buckle was making noise.

Get back in car, seatbelt now safely in car.

Put in gear and move forward, get onto carriageway, hear whooshing noise.

Look over the see passenger door is ajar.

Nowhere to stop now so reach over and pull door closed with leather strap.

Leather strap comes off in hand.

Engine overheats.

Reach next layby.

Now no water. Police car pulls in behind.

Ask them if they can help. "No mate. are you sure it's yours?"

Persuade police that have not stolen own car, aware of smeared glasses and oil stain on shirt.

Walk quarter mile to find phone and call AA. Join over the phone at exorbitant cost.

Get taken 200 miles in AA tow truck.

Am told car has cracked engine block.

Clueless and skint, so fix it myself with Polyfilla.

Car runs another two years before being sold, and MBM 559G is apparently still on road.

Have been member of AA ever since.

Most ridiculous breakdown - normd2
romantic picnic on a summer's evening at Rhyl beach, radio on in car, headlights on after dark to play 'frizbee' with - (ah, the innocence of youth) - result? flat battery. Never bump started before so pushed to a slope and rolling down selected 1st! Car starts but bursts flexi-pipe on exhaust. (fwd Simca 1100 special) drove back to Liverpool sounding like a rally car and could do no more than 30mph. Into garage next day only to be told the manifold bolts had sheared and had to be an engine out job to drill them out.
Most ridiculous breakdown - Altea Ego
Dipstick, you are aptly named.
< Ex RF, Ex TVM >
Most ridiculous breakdown - DP
I've run out of fuel once each in two Fords with a quarter of a tank of fuel still showing on the gauge.
A mk1 Sierra and a mk2 Mondeo. Some things clearly never change.
Both cars driven (and fuelled) by myself and one other person, and trip meters were not used, so impossible to know the gauge was lying.

I now religiously reset the trip and have got SWMBO in the habit too when filling up. A stupid, stupid thing to break down for.

04 Grand Scenic 1.9 dCi Dynamique
00 Mondeo 1.8TD LX
Most ridiculous breakdown - 659FBE
Years ago as a student, I had a very rusty mini. These cars had a bad mud trap above the headlamp nacelles in the wings and rust (particularly on the RHS where the mud was not dried by the heat from the radiator) was usually extensive.

This mini was so seriously weakened by rust to the extent that, when pulling up sharply (or as sharply as the drum brakes permitted), the headlamp fell out.

The headlamp fell to the ground, the connector unplugging itself in the process and broke.

I ran over the broken lamp and got a puncture.

Most ridiculous breakdown - Dipstick
That made me laugh. Quite a lot actually.

Most ridiculous breakdown - Dipstick
"Dipstick, you are aptly named."

I chose that name for a good reason. My life is peppered with such things. Only this minute I have picked up a banana bought from Tesco which bears a bar code label that says "Sole: other, Sock: other."

I can only imagine that on presenting my bananas to the checkout person I was charged for a pair of slippers.

Most ridiculous breakdown - Pugugly {P}

"I can only imagine that on presenting my bananas to the checkout person I was charged for a pair of slippers."

That has actually made my day - thanks, I will have that image with me for some time.
Most ridiculous breakdown - BazzaBear {P}
Where do I start? I'll go with one of the more simple to describe ones for now.

I had a Vauxhall Astravan which had two irritating habits.

The first was a propensity for throwing off one of the spark plug cables, and once while driving down the M6 I noticed it was running roughly and guessed that it had done this. At the next junction I got off, stopped in a layby and fixed it back into place.
Unfortunately, despite being well aware of it, I had forgotten it's other little foible - it would never start when hot. So I had to wait for a gap in traffic, and push it up the road, attempting to attain a bump-startable speed before I got run over.
Most ridiculous breakdown - BazzaBear {P}
Then there was the time that the Astravan got laid over at home while I was at University because the engine gave up. The plan was for me to replace the engine over the christmas holidays.
For a reason very much unknown to me, my parents decided one night to try to get it running, despite the fact it was knackered. So they towed it all around Congleton for half an hour trying to get it to catch before gicing up (I could have told them it wouldn't work, what with it also having no petrol in it). They eventually returned home with a flat battery to add to its woes (because it's always best to try such things at night, right?)
Having admitted defeat, they started to push it back into it's corner, only to realise that the keys were in my mums hand and the steering had locked. Did my mother, standing in the drivers door, reach in and pull the handbrake on? No. They just wavbed goodbye as it sailed over a 6 foot cliff at the end of our driveway, hitting an engine from another van when it reached the bottom.
Cheers mum and dad.

Edited by Webmaster on 18/11/2009 at 01:17

Most ridiculous breakdown - BazzaBear {P}
And the next to final trip I ever took in the Astravan, driving up to Lancaster to visit my now-wife at her university, despite severe misgivings about the ability of the car to make it.
About 20 miles up the motorway, things began to come to a head. The car was still happy-ish at a constant speed, but if you ever tried to accelerate it would throw a huige cloud of black smoke out of the back. Eventually it died on the hard shoulder, but I was able to get it going after a few mins, and continued on my nervous way.
And then a realisation crept over me. I wasn't going to make it to Lancaster without a toilet break. So I stopped in services and did the necessary, retunring to the car to find it utterly unstartable, surprise, surprise.
In desperation I flagged down a passing man and asked if he could help push. He had the broadest Geordie accent I've ever heard, but I took his unintelligible response as a yes, and off we went across the car-park, me in the drivers door, him pushing on the boot. I jumped in, put it in gear and dropped the clutch, and she burst into life! A massive cloud of filth shot out of the exhaust, enveloping the coughing Geordie and I, not daring to stop in case it died again, shot off with my thumb sticking out of the window.
I still feel guilty about the Geordie man.
Anyway, I made it all the way to Lancaster then, with the car dying for the final time just as I pulled into Jenny's road, and dropping a gallon of oil on the pavement right outside the police station.
Most ridiculous breakdown - Mapmaker
>>and dropping a gallon of oil on

Wow, you had the V16-engined Astra van, then?
Most ridiculous breakdown - gmac
Wow you had the V16-engined Astra van then?

Have you never followed an AstraMax D on the motorway and wondered why nothing else could keep up with it ? :)
Most ridiculous breakdown - Altea Ego
>>and dropping a gallon of oil on
Wow you had the V16-engined Astra van then?

Probably why it kept breaking down, it was only supposed to have 4 pints of oil in it.
< Ex RF, Ex TVM >
Most ridiculous breakdown - BazzaBear {P}
>>and dropping a gallon of oil on
Wow you had the V16-engined Astra van then?

I'm sure that reply gave you a delightful warmly smug glow, and I deeply apologise for not trying to find an Astra handbook on the net so I could check the exact oil capacity and not offend your pedantic sensibilities, but do you really think there was any actual point to posting that?

What figure would you like me to guess at? I'll ask a passing mod if they can amend it ;)
Most ridiculous breakdown - Altea Ego
Blimey bazza you climbed out the wrong side of your cave this morning. What a bad mood bear you are!
< Ex RF, Ex TVM >
Most ridiculous breakdown - Mapmaker
Sorry, Bazza. It didn't give me anything like as warm-hearted a glow as it has obviously made you a sore-headed bear. It just amused me to imagine what sort of little astra van would use an entire gallon of oil. Sorry.

Very sorry indeed.

There once was an Astra van
Of oil it used more than a can.
'A v12?' I wondered.
The Bear, he thundered.
So I wished I had never begun.

Most ridiculous breakdown - BazzaBear {P}
If your post did not cheer me up and cause me to apologise, your limerick certainly did!
Sorry for being a grumpy bear.
Out of interest, what sort of oil capacity would you expect an Astravan to have? My current car takes more than a gallon of fuel, but obviously the engine is a little bigger than that in my Astravan.
Most ridiculous breakdown - Dynamic Dave
Out of interest what sort of oil capacity would you expect an Astravan to have?

Petrol, or diesel engine, and what cc?
Most ridiculous breakdown - sajid
dipstick that was funny, did you get your sanity back after the moggy?
Most ridiculous breakdown - Boggy
94 Mondeo, usually very reliable, £100 in labour charges to bypass immobiliser fault with 2 spade connectors. Total cost for parts: 90p.
Most ridiculous breakdown - mrmender
My first car 1968 Vauxhall Viva, I had been working on it all day cleaning and serivceing.
Had arranged to pick up my dad from the pub so he could have a couple more pints. On the way back clouds of smoke came from under dash and bonnet.
Stopped and opened bonnet, Found i'd left an oil can there which had moved fallen against the coil & shorted out the wireing loom!!
funny how most of these seem to start with my first car.....
Most ridiculous breakdown - madf
Going under Dartford Tunnel in my 6th car in 3 years as a just graduated and just married ex student. It was a 1946 Rover 16. The weather was very hot. Car started stuttering on way out: JUST managed to get out of tunnel.. (hairy!)

Tried to restart it.. no go. Fuel pump under exhaust pipe = vapour lock. Took bottle to nearby ditch filled with very muddy water. Covered fuel pump... eventually started (after 3 hours).


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