Emil’s in the car with me and we’re heading down the road toward Margo when the engine oil light starts to flicker. Now this is an older car and its dashboard electronics are temperamental and it could be just another baseless warning, as many have been, but engine oil, well we don’t mess about with that do we? The car’s not due for its regular oil change yet and the light’s gone off and stayed off but I pull into the inlaws’ yard, which is only a mile from ours, to check the oil. After a short visit with my mother-in-law while the oil settles, I go back out and wipe the dipstick and poke it back in and pull it out again and what? No oil whatsoever? Not a drop? Really? I try a couple more times, unwilling to believe my eyes.
Pat drives us home and when Scott arrives several hours later we go over and he verifies that there is absolutely no oil in the thingy. He adds nearly a gallon and I drive Little Green home. A seal must’ve gone and repairs will be necessary and I will be lucky if the motor doesn’t quit altogether, won’t I?
The car has never burned oil so there was no reason to check it before driving it each time, and who does that anyway? But the last time I drove it there was, for a minute or two, a slight smell of burning rubber that seemed to be related to the heater but I couldn’t be sure and didn’t think it would be anything serious and then forgot about it. That must’ve been the early warning.
Goddamn computers, dogs, kids and cars.