Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Car Problems

We drove from Eugene to San Diego to visit my grandmother for Chanukah and my wife's family for Christmas.

Our car is old enough it burns oil, but normally not a noticeable amount in 16 hours of driving. We made sure all our fluid levels were refreshed before leaving Eugene and stopped thinking about it.

However, it seems that 16 hours almost all at once and at freeway speeds does burn almost all the engine's oil. We began to hear alarming noises near Dana Point. We took the car to the Laguna Niguel Auto Center.

A common problem when very low on oil is broken connecting rod bearings, since these are supposed to be completely submerged in oil. Raul the Mechanic removed the oil pan confirmed the connecting rod bearings were broken but the connecting rod and crank shaft were not damaged, and made repairs.

Raul did not use oil additive, which our car likes. The engine noise was louder, and the engine differently responsive, until the additive was used. Now our car sounds and behaves as we are used to.

UPDATE: How was driving that far with little Smiley? He is amazingly good in the car, but lousy at sleeping in a motel room. At the end of the drive we are sane but needing sleep. Favorable roads and weather graced us.

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