Sunday, December 16, 2007

the tow truck

i get to ride in a tow truck!


But then again, getting to ride in it means 2 things.

Either I befriend a tow truck driver or that my car broke down.

Apparently, it's the latter. And where were we when it happened?

In J.B.

With a full load. Passengers max out at 5 persons and grocery shopping maxed it out even further.


Maybe things happen for a reason. The seamstress screwed up on one of my dresses so we came back to Komtar before going back to S'pore.

I can't imagine this happening when I was already at the customs.

And that's when I realised that my windscreen fogged up badly. From THE INSIDE. Which means the front of my car was hot. VERY hot. So much so that it almost sizzled when the rain drops fell on it.

I looked at the temperature meter. It suddenly cross my mind to look at it. It was wayyy above 'H'. Hot damn (pun intended)!

I parked my car at one of the VIP lots. The security came over to tell me to go but I told her in an urgent tone, "Can you let me stay here awhile? Something's wrong with my car."

As luck would have it, there was a group of contractors finishing up on their work nearby (the building was under renovation).

I popped my hood but I was so panicked I fumbled, while trying to pull it open. The smoke was already wafting out the sides.

Maybe that was what caught one of the guys' attention. That or the fact that there's a girl in distress. Heh.

As he came over, all streotyped thoughts of "cheeky M'sian guys" went out the window and I told him my problem.

He opened my hood and remarked, "Wah, you car is seriously overheated. We need to pour water into the radiator. But not now. It's too hot. Let's keep the hood open and let it cool off."

Thank goodness it was drizzling then. That'll make the cooling process faster.

Somehow, I remembered that just this morning, we had forgotten to temporarily place our car-products in my aunt's place and they kinda take up space in the boot.

THANK GOODNESS they're still there cos' I frantically rummaged through the groceries and manage to dig out this huge bottle of coolant. PHEW!

I used to think that the bottle seemed a little "extra-sized" for a coolant but I guess it does come in handy after all.

That guy came over with a handful of newspapers. He was already wearing a thick glove then. And he attempted to open the radiator cap. His friends warned him of the hot water that may sprout out.

Thankfully that didn't happen. He asked for water. We gave him the big bottle that we kept in the boot for cleaning purposes. Then I asked if he want coolant. He nodded so I passed him the bottle.

He balked at the size of the bottle and remarked, "Wah, macam tahu aje..?" (Wah, it seems that you know this might happen?)

His frens soon finished with their work and came over. There must be like 6-7 guys standing around the hood, helping to fill in the water and coolant.

Meanwhile, I was on the line, frantically describing the whole situation to my father and my panicky mother was quick to put the blame on me because I had driven into a sandbag that morning.

That sandbag had looked so innoucuous!

Then we also called my aunt, whose house we came back from, to send her hubby over to maybe send us back to S'pore. Next, I called the insurance company, asking for a tow truck. Then I called the tow truck company.

Then the guys looked under the engine one of them remarked that there was water dripping. One of them said that there might be a leak. I stopped my conversation with my dad.

My mum was already raising her voice at me. "See I told you it's because you hit that sandbag. Maybe it wasn't 'just sand' in there. That's why it caused that leak."

She almost drive me crazy with the blaming game. She's good at doing that. Really!

Then one of the guys said that he had poured water over the radiator to cool it down. Maybe that's where the water dripped from. The one of them wisely said that if the dripping water had coolant in it, then MAYBE there's a leak.

Made sense, there. So they looked. After 5 mins, they agreed that it wasn't a leak after all. Then... "Eh wait, there's coolant ah!" Shit!

So my mum was right. I hit that sandbag which eventually caused a leak.....

"Eh, no la, the coolant overflowed! No leak!"


One of them asked for the car keys and then he asked me to start the car cos' his hands were all blackened. The temperature meter was back at the normal level.

Then he revved the engine. Still ok. So he said, "I think it should be ok, now."

Then, one of the guys standing at the hood said, "Eh wait! Something's not right. Press the gas again!"

He did. The same guy said out, "The radiator fan's not moving!" Aww... Shucks!

One guy put his finger where the fan is. "Maybe it's stuck, it's definitely not spinning just now."

Then their company van arrived. "I'm sorry, ladyl. But I think it's best that you dun drive it. It's too dangerous. Later your engine might fail." He gave me the number of a nearby mechanic but the mechanics have already left when I called.

The whole bunch of us can't thank them enough. My mum offered to give them some cash but they won't accept it.

Meanwhile, I was back on the line with the tow-truck company. They were hesitant to pick my car up from across the causeway so the lady on the line discussed with the mechanic, who told her that I can slowly attempt to drive across and call them once I'm already in S'pore.

It's not practical to call them over and it's gonna be very expensive.

We decide to wait for my uncle to come by since we've already called him over. Maybe we can get a 2nd opinion as to what I can do. He was a tad late, though.

When he finally arrived and accessed the situation, he had sincerely offered to send us across, but I don't want to leave my car behind and it's too much of a hassle for him.

He said it had happened to him before and he kept on driving. The issue is, I need to watch the temperature meter. The engine mustn't get too hot or else I have to stop the car and let it cool down before moving on again. That might be possible had I have to travel down the highway with nary a traffic.

The problem is, I'm (><) close to the customs. My uncle had said that there ain't a jam. Cos' if there is, the traffic build up would have reached where we were then. I will have a HUGE problem if there's a jam.

As I drive off, the temperature remained at the normal level. As we approached the customs, it rose a weeny bit. Upon approaching the customs, we saw what was ahead. A jam was starting. And reacting similarly, was the temperature meter. It started going up too....


Okay, that's was a pretty loong entry and I'm still not done yet. Felt like I was writing a short story.

Didn't mean to bore you but I just want to let it out of my system and I want a record of the first time my car broke down. And I have to be THE ONE going through it. Across the causeway, no less.

So what happened after the temperature went up...?

Tell you tomorrow. Ok, nites!

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