Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Never ignore the indicators !!!!

I started for a meeting yesterday morning about 9 am, since I had to be at West Port, near the harbour about 50+ kms from my office in my car - proton wira. I had seen the petrol indicator which was flashing earlier & now it appeared to be steady. I had expected that the fuel would suffice for me to reach the client place & on the way back I can fill up comfortably. I had to pick my colleague from the office and then we together head for the client place.

The journey to client location was peaceful & we made in time. We (office colleague) finished with the meeting & we were heading towards KL, when we came to point where we had to cross over a bridge which runs over the river. The car starts giving jolts and sort of turning off and on.. and that's where it hit me that the fuel level is gone too low for me to drive till the nearest petrol station. I still try to push it since I see a climb on the bridge which will then help me get down the slope. 

But no, it was not to happen & I was stuck halfway on the climb with no gas. My colleague got out & we decided that we will need to get petrol from the nearest petrol station and we started waving at any car going past us. I forgot to mention that this was a highway where we had gone dry & there were huge trailer trucks passing us by & making the car shake/vibrate as if some large crane was trying to move us. Well I start on the parking/emergency lights & open the luggauge trunk so as to make it clear for vehicles coming from behind that we are not moving & we have some problem.

In about 3-4 minutes we were able to get help from a passing car who welcomed my colleague to give a life till the nearest petrol station. So I was left alone by the car waiting for my colleague to return with the petrol. Well the place where we had visited was still in the making & so I could not use the toilet there and had planned for the same at the petrol station. So I was holding back!!! not a good idea!!

Lot of vehicles pass by & try to figure out what's wrong, but nobody except another car offers to give some help, which I let go, since we already were working on it. It is almost 12:45 pm almost 45 minutes & I wonder what happened to my colleague since he had not returned. I called him on his cell & got to know that he had returned with the petrol & was coming back taking a U turn since there was no way to cross over from the other side of the divider. Apparently my colleague had to walk a few distance since he didnot get any help while coming back where he was dropped. 

Finally he came & now we had to figure a way to pour the petrol into the tank, since the tank has a flap for avoiding spillover. I used the jack lever to push it aside & then poured all the 2 litre or so petrol into the tank. I went in to give the car a start.... it started and immediately died off. I thought maybe it had gone dry so it might take time to start, so we kept trying for another 5-10 minutes. Still the car was coming to life..

Then I gave up & decided to call the towing company Lonpac to provide me with the help to get my car towed to the nearest petrol station. I got thru the call & the lady there said, she shall ask their tow truck to get in touch with us. Apparently this was going to take time. So I thought of trying a few more times.. 

Then we happen to see towards the street & realise that we were at an incline & maybe if we can just push the car past the climb then we could get some slope to try and push the car & get it started.

I got out and my colleague sat at the wheel. It was difficult for both of us to push together since on the driver side, the vehicles were going past too close & it was scary choice. I started pushing the car & meanwhile my colleague tried starting the car but still no luck.. Well it was about 10 minsutes past 1 pm  & the day was quite hot & I trying to use my strength against pushing the car to make it climb was really making me exhausted. I started sweating like anything & my mouth was feeling dry. I was almost on the verge of giving up, when finally we just reached the pinnacle of the climb & we started climbing down & within 1-2 minutes the car gave in & started. 

By now I was panting and puffing & sweating.. and almost half of my shirt was wet & my back completely wet. I jumped into the car & we started towards the nearest petrol station. In about 10-15 minutes we came to the petrol pump. I called the towing truck to cancel my request & they did so, gladly!!!

I went to fill up using my credit card apparently they had their Credit card machines down and they were only accepting cash!!!!! what a day !!! So apparently my colleague had about RM 30 odd with him & so we filled up about 16+ litres and started towards the office. I used the restroom and was getting thirsty & feeling very drained from the afternoon workout.. :)) So my colleague helped me with a 100 plus 500 ml, which helped me get back to my senses.

We returned to office without any further drama and we straight away went for lunch..... 

Moral : If you get your petrol indicator flashing for almost empty petrol tank don't take chances. Fill up petrol at the nearest petrol station & then you can continue peacefully. Indicators are meant to do their job...!!!! Acting on them is our job...!!!


Neelum said...

You had a not-so-nice adventure for sure!! I hope it has taught you some lessons. Take care and pay heed to the Indicators !!

Parag said...

I remember a similar incident. Amol and I had gone to some place (don't remember which one). On the way back we had to take the Mumbai-Pune highway. Amol was driving our old fiat car. And suddenly our car went dry on the highway. We got out and Amol took out the petrol can from the trunk. Just a few moments later, we spotted a traffic towing truck coming in our direction. It stopped next to us and a traffic constable got out. Instead of offering us help, he asked for fine because we had parked on highway. We tried to explain to him that our car has gone dry. But it was of no use. So we had to pay the fine and also fetch the petrol that day.