The ’02 started out just fine. The motor started and ran smoothly. The gas needle was paged at the full indicator and with the windows down and the wings swiveled (poor man’s AC) the trip down to Cypress looked like it would be a breeze. After about 5 miles, a strong ozone smell started filling the cabin. Being in the electronic industry, the smell of burned wiring/circuitry is seared into our team’s psyche. So, our guy immediately pulled into the slow lane and he eyed the next exit which was less than a mile away. Half a mile, one quarter of a mile, then wisps of smoke started coming out of the hood vents. Not good, NOT GOOD! The exit was there and the car was coasted off to a side street and the ignition was turned off immediately. The hood was popped and the car was thoroughly inspected, but no burned or even hot wiring were visible … Strange. Headlights worked as did the horn, so the battery was fine, but the engine would not even attempt to start. Our team member turned back the ignition. Nothing. Again. Nothing. After 20 minutes of inspecting the car and conferencing with mechanic contacts, he just concluded that the journey needed to be continued so he figured that it’s time to bump start the car! The street was relatively flat and mostly disserted so he pushed the car and jumped back in to pop the clutch … nothing again! Attempt after attempt, in forward and reverse gears, no luck. Bump starting a car is tough with just one person at any time but add in summer day temperatures, dress cloths and dress shoes and you are sure to have a memorable experience!

After 20 minutes of attempting to bump start the ’02 and with perspiration running our guys hair, cloths and make-up (well, strike the last words), smoke started billowing out of the hood vents again. This time, with the car stopped, he wrench opened the hood and located the culprit. The smoke was coming from the heater/vent fan. Apparently, sometime in its past, the motor had seized and, unbeknownst to us, the fan switch had been set to the on position this whole time. The switch was quickly set to the off position and the smoke dissipated … On a hunch, our guy turned the key to the start position and, wouldn’t you know it, the engine fired right up. Finally after more than an hour stuck on a random side street, our ’02 was on its way (slowly and cautiously) back to our Cypress warehouse.


Alyson Yarberry