Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bad Car-ma

I love my car.

It's a '92 Caddy Seville that we bought from my Dad's estate when he passed away in '97. It's a 4-door sedan that only has 120K miles on it (which is very little for an 18-year-old car, considering the average mileage put on a car is 15K annually). My dad got it with a V-8 engine, and it really kicks ass going up the mountain.

I'm not a car person. Or I guess, what you'd call a "gotta have a new car" person. Hubby has a friend whose wife just beats the crap out their cars, and insists on having the newest model every other year or so. Hubby has offered to trade it in and upgrade over the years, but I've refused. I really REALLY love this car and can't think of another I'd rather have.

On some level, I think Hubby feels guilty, because he's gone through several cars himself since we've been married, and I'm just happy with mine. It looks great to me (gorgeous midnight blue), is fully loaded except for a CD or MP3 player (which I could give two poops about), has front wheel drive (with the great Caddy feature of a light that shines in the direction you want to turn at night when you hit the signal) and has been very reliable. We've had some work over the years (brakes, tires, etc), but it's been a great car to haul a family around in.

I tease him about how lucky he is to have such a low-maintenance wife. ;-)

Of course, being me, things don't usually run the way you'd think ordinary life is supposed to.

I guess I'm not the ONLY one who loves my car.

A few months ago, I wrote about the spring snow storm we had and the family of rabbits we found huddling under the hood when Hubby went to check my wiper fluid. We live in a rural mountain area, and there is a plethora of wildlife around.

Over the past 13 years, from time to time, if I've been driving the car for a few hours or more, it started to get a smell. Kinda burny. We've all described it various ways..."burning coffee" (which is entirely reasonable, since once I overturned a full coffee cup on the floor), "popcornish", or "burnt meat".

I'd get home, make an appointment with our local mechanic shop to check it out. We'd get there, and they couldn't diagnose the problem, because well, there was no mystery smell. Everything was working fine. I'd drive it home, and a month or two later, it would happen again.

So, it happened again one day, and I drove it straight to the shop. Went inside the office and said, "Hurry! Get out here!" The owner (who is our neighbor), and all his mechanics smelled it all for the first time, said the smell wasn't electrical but seemed to be organic. They checked the engine, carburetor, etc, were baffled, and said, well, if you have a loss of power or anything, bring it back.

I had a lot of appointments in the next two weeks, and I didn't want to use this car, so I left it in the garage. Hubby had brought his mom's car from back east, and I used that instead because I just didn't want to deal with the burny stuff.

Bright and early one morning, Hubby decided to run the car down to get an oil change for me before I started driving it again. It started to get that smell almost right away, which was unusual, because it usually took at least an hour of straight driving before it happened. When he got there, the owner of the shop said, "let's take another look under the hood".

Popped it open and screamed like a girl.

Mice. Everywhere. Running around under the hood of my car and jumping out at him.

When he was sure that the mice were gone, he put my car on the rack thingy and lifted it up. Every nook and cranny, hole (muffler too), and ledge was stuffed full of dog food! He and the guys took air hoses and estimated that they blew about 2 pounds of Pedigree dry dog food from the underside of my pride and joy.

I guess when my car got hot, it started cooking the dog food, hence the burny smell.


Apparently my car has served as a mobile meese hotel and casino complete with buffet for the last 13 years or so. I must have left a trail of dog food behind me every time I left the house and bounced along the dirt road.

Now we're storing the dog food in a sturdy garbage can with a locking lid. Yuck!
P.S. For some reason, Blogger is dropping some of the comments. Don't worry, I'm getting them in email!


Pete said...


by the way the word verification is simice

Warner (aka ntsc) said...

My wife used to do Thanksgiving dinner at her father's house. He and his wife cooked, but didn't really use the oven.

One year we started to get a strange smell and a bit of smoke from the broiler.

Pulled it and it was packed with dog food. Mice had been storing it there.

Crazy Mom Tats! said...


I understand completely how this happened. And I'm glad your baby is smelling better.

Thanks for sharing!

Warner (aka ntsc) said...

Post got lost.

Similar thing happened to my wife when she was cooking at her father's house. He didn't use the oven much and the mice were storing dog food under the broiler.

Jennifer Jayhawk said...

Holy Cow!!! Now I can't get the image out of my mind.

Great Story :)

Ashley's Mom said...

Ewwww! I'd still be having nightmares if mice jumped out at me!

Kim Ayres said...

My wife would never get in the car again if that happened.

BTW Blogger's been losing comments all over the place today, but I think the bug is fixed now

From Tracie said...

Wow! That is crazy!

I never knew that mice would do that. How funny.

I would have loved to see that guys face when the mice jumped out at him.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Mice! Yikes. Are you SURE you don't want a new car ;-)
Glad they finally figured it out.
Happy trails...

Kikilia said...

I'd never be able to set foot in that car again. Ewwww!

Rootietoot said...

Hahahahahaa!! Oh *whew* I thought you were going to say the roasty smell was cooked bunny.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Holy crap that has to be the funniest thing! Could you have just DIED!?
Mice. Ick. we have ants in the Momvan.
And it pleased me to read how you are about cars--I'm the same way.

Heather said...

I was waiting for you to say that there was a burnt bunny in the engine too. Glad it was just dogfood....the lesser of 2 evils I guess. I would have screamed too if I opened the hood and mice jumped out. Yuck!!!

I drive a 1994 Buick Lasabre. It used to be my Grandfathers. It is loaded (with a CD player even). Everyone asks me why I don't get a new car. I love the big boat. So comfortable and plush. Plus the kids have to lean across the backseat to smack each other it is so roomy. LOL

Chris H said...

Ikkk to the mice!
Very funny story.
Blogger is being an arse for sure, it won't even let me publish half my comments!

Valerie Marie said...

Mice story! Thank you sooo much! xoxo