Monday, June 9, 2014

The Futility of Frugality or Penny Wise Pound Foolish

Well today was supposed to be a beautiful day here on the outer banks so I had planned to mow my yard, work in the garden a bit and perhaps move the compost out to fill in a low spot in the front yard. Well that was the plan anyway, I jumped out of bed and decided that I should mow first thing just in case something came up then at least my yard would look nice. I drug the lawn mower out and put fresh oil in it and I decided to run down to the local purveyor of lawn mower "go juice" otherwise know as gasoline, first though I needed to empty the left over gas from the can before I could refill it I would first need to empty it out. I was only going to use a one gallon can and I looked at the fuel and it looked ok and smelled ok so I decided to use it in my car after all that was about $3.50 that would be wasted otherwise, so I poured it in to my nice new can thinking that even if it was bad one gallon mixed with fifteen gallons would present no problem for it. Oh how wrong I was to learn that thought was!

After pouring it into the tank I jumped in the car and went down the street to refill the can, I hadn't gone a hundred yards when I noticed my car was missing slightly, I figured oh no problem it will work through and that will be that. I went ahead and slowly (as fast as it would go) drove down to the gas station and filled the can up and on the way back it was running horribly and every indicator light was lit up. The engine light, ABS system, emissions etc. by the time I had made it back home I had lights lit up that I didn't even know my car had!

When I got home I was afraid to turn my car off as it was missing so bad I thought it may not restart again so I told my friend Teri that I was going to take it into the dealership to have them drain the tank and change out the fuel filter. I was thinking at this time perhaps a one hundred dollar lesson but it couldn't be more than that could it? (yes it could) So off I go with my friend Teri following as soon as she could get around in her vehicle as she had things of her own to do in Elizabeth City. on the way up I stopped at an automotive store and bought some "Heet" to remove the water from the gas while I drove it to the dealer. I drove the 45 miles or so to the dealership at 50mph at best as the car was missing horribly and I finally arrived to discover I was in luck they could take it in immediately.

I told them that I wanted the fuel filter cleaned or changed and the gas tank purged and to let me know how much it would be. Well they told me the only way to empty the tank was to pull it out of the vehicle and dump it that way. By this point I'm thinking ok perhaps I can get out of this with it only costing me a few hundred dollars. I was to find out that was wildly optimistic thinking indeed!

After approximately one hour or so the guy I was dealing with came back with a report saying I needed $1,280 worth of repairs and they would have the vehicle for four days! I told them they were crazy if they thought my car needed that kind of work just because of a small amount of water in the gas. I paid them the $60 diagnostic fee and jumped in the car as soon as I hit the gas I noticed that it had its "pep" back so I drove to the local Ruby Tuesday where I met my friend Teri for lunch. On they way I may have put my foot into the accelerator a few times and I "may" have slightly exceeded the speed limit to see if it was running ok and it did do fine by the time I arrived at Ruby Tuesday the lights had all gone out and the car was running like a top so I figured the "heet" had finally gotten rid of the water in the gas.

When I left Ruby Tuesday I took Teri with me and we went out on 17 bypass to put my foot really into it and I wish now I hadn't as I lost power and it started missing again! #$%%$^^%^%$&$ I took her back to her car and decided I would drain the tank myself and deal with it as I'm not paying the money that Honda wants. By the time I got home the lights were all out and the engine is running great. I took it for a good 30 extra mile run and it seems to be doing fine for now. I still don't completely trust the fuel in the tank now but I'm sure it will work out over the next few days and all will be well with it.

So to not waste that one gallon of old gas has cost me around one hundred dollars and I consider myself fortunate at that. How many customers would go into the Honda dealership with a missing engine and they would pay the $1,300 rather than $5 for a can of Heet. How many people are so frugal they would try to run last years lawn mower gas through one these "sensitive" new vehicles we all seem to have these days.

I guess I learned a lesson today and in the future I will not risk my cars engine like that ever again. I got lucky!


  1. Quit being so darn conservative, lol...:)

    1. That's who I am Tammy and it will never change.


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