I was helping my girlfriend get her Neon down to the car dealership where it was to be traded in, in Bloomsburg. The reason for it being traded in the first place, was that the oil light had been blazing on (in red) informing her of the need for added lubrication, un-heeded, for the better part of the week. She’d already picked out a replacement, informed the dealer of the rapping engine, negotiated a fair trade-in price and planned for a delivery of her car….all that was now necessary was to get her badly abused Neon to Bloomsburg for the trade-in.
Since the car had been stranded at my house for a week it was easy for me to get it ready for the hour long trek down to Columbia County. Prior to the trip I loaded the engine with Slick 50 (a product used to coat the inside of an older engine and seal up the gaps that cause power & compression loss), and 4 quarts of oil and prepped for liftoff! The first half of the trip went surprisingly well. We stopped briefly at a gas station, and as I’d expected I would have to, re-added to the engine 2 quarts of oil (since it had leaked a lot out in the drive). Then we slowly made our way out of Plymouth and onto what would be the final miles of her Neon’s running life. As I roared along I was thankful for the darkness of the night that hid my face, I drove slowly in disbelief of how the car continued, in spite of all the indications that it was unable to be driven at all. I watched as she followed me smiling because of how stupid I looked driving a car in such distress….then it happened...the engine blew!!
As we entered Route 11 the Neon started to make an incredible noise, it was deafening, it started to lose power, smoke, and shutter….and I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in a car that blows its engine, but I can tell you that you will never forget it. The structure of an automobile can withstand an awful lot but it seems to be challenged when an engine blows. As we began to climb up a very slight upgrade the car whined, and rattled, and “gave up the ghost”. The engine blew at 2/3’s of the way through the trip making me a liar, and at the same time an even worse gambler than I would’ve claimed to be. The car shook, and seemed to lift off the ground as the wheel lunged sideways, then slowly wound down to a humble death. I was told after the fact that the billow of smoke that came from the car was blinding, and would’ve been even so in broad daylight.
We sat in the blinding snow/rain storm for ¾’s of an hour until the tow truck took the now deceased Neon to its final resting place. Then we went and had a well needed beer.