Thursday, June 12, 2008

Don't trust the gas light.

I avoid going to the gas station for two reasons. #1 - It hurts when the numbers keep going up and up and they don't stop before $40 anymore. #2 - We've started using Dave Ramsey's envelope system so we use cash for gas. With two little girls, it is too much of a pain to drag them both into the gas station to pay.

The needle dropped to 'E' on Friday, but the light didn't turn on, so I decided to wait until Saturday when Sean could fill the tank. Saturday came and we began our normal errands. Sean was driving. He mentioned that we needed gas. The girls weren't very happy to be in the car, so I wanted to keep the trip as short as possible. I asked him if the gas light was on. Nope? Okay, we'll be fine. He joked that maybe the gas light had finally burnt out, but this is our little Saturn and it seriously goes forever on empty before the light turns on. So we didn't fill up.

Later Saturday I was out by myself. On my way home I noticed again that we needed gas. Still no gas light. I decided to wait until I was closer to home because gas in our neighborhood is about 10 cents cheaper per gallon than the part of town I was in. The Saturn can go atleast 30 miles after the gas light comes on, so I knew I would be able to make it home.

So I'm driving home on the freeway, marveling in the fact that the gas light STILL isn't on. Man, I love this Saturn!

Then the engine cuts off...

It is amazing how fast your speed drops when you are not giving the car gas. Of course I am in the fast lane of the freeway and nobody wants to let me over. I turn on my emergency flashers and work my way over to the shoulder. Then my phone beeps. It is almost out of batteries. Great.

As I'm sitting by the side of the road watching cars zip by the only thing I can think of is the fact that my gas tank is on the drivers side, mere inches from these speeding cars. Houston drivers aren't the best, and I've seen numerous occasions when people have been killed while changing a tire because someone hits them going 70 mph.

As I'm waiting for help to arrive (and contemplating the gruesome death that they are surely about to face) I notice a tow truck pulling up in front of me. Great, some passing tow truck noticed me and is now going to try to drum up some business for himself, he's probably going to want to charge me $200 or some other ridiculous amount. It turns out Houston has a program called "Safe Tow", they have cameras monitoring nearly every section of freeway looking for cars that have broken down (you can also call 311 or 911). If they see you they send a truck and will take you to the nearest gas station free of charge. So I was towed off the freeway and nobody got squashed.

Moral of the story: Ignore the screaming kids and let your husband fill up the tank.

1 comment:

Anthony & Kristie said...

Living in Houston does have some advantages, thank goodness for that Safe Tow program that helped you out. I am glad to hear you are still alive, because some of those Houston drivers are crazy.