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My oil story. So, when I was younger I had a 1966 Volvo P1800S that I drove daily to school. Eventually, Dad and I pulled the motor. We honed the cylinders, replaced one piston, installed new rings x 4, pulled the pan to scrape about an inch of not so much sludge as sediment out. The car came out of Daytona Beach Florida and that pan looked like someone had dumped a bucket of beach sand into it. If you think your engine is completely sealed against the elements think again. We installed a complete gasket set, sent the head to a great machine shop, cleaned her up, painted and chromed all the neat bits and pieces. Keep in mind that Dad is a brilliant technical man who taught me much but was willing to let me learn from my mistakes. Not knowing what I know now about oil, I thought the neatest thing was to fill that B18 4-banger with Castrol 20w50 weight oil. They called it racing oil and that's what I wanted, RACING OIL! How awesome does that sound at 17? So... here I go for what I had always done, a nice looong drive into the hill country here in South Texas. No cell phones (what are those?) plenty of tools in the trunk, everything is great! My typical route sent me from IH-10 about 80 miles out toward Kerville Texas where the landscape changes from relatively flat roads to very hilly, twisty stretches; I mean BEAUTIFUL stretches that tempt drivers to bury the pedal and not let that guy who's been behind you for the last 20 miles or so get past. The car is purring along beautifully until... I get to one of the steepest climbs just outside of Boerne/Comfort. My dad always taught me to eye those gauges and check my fluid levels regularly. I kinda blew that off after the rebuild. Heck! I just checked the level about two or three weeks ago, I knew what I was doing. As I hit midway up that hill I literally saw the oil pressure gauge plunge to a ridiculously low reading somewhere between 0 and 10 within about 5 seconds. I could not believe what I was seeing and my first reaction was to shut her down NOW! As I crested the hill and leveled off the gauge stabilized but still at a very low reading. I was near a rest station and decided to hook a U-turn and stop. I pulled the dipstick and there was no reading whatsoever on that stick. I did that about four more times before I realized... there was not enough oil to safely run the motor. The feeling of helplessness was overwhelming and I knew Dad was at work and mom was not home. I sat and waited for a couple of hours not knowing what to do as it grew darker. Eventually a family returning from vacation pulled into the rest stop and the father must have seen the panic on my face. He actually approached me and I told him what the problem was. He was a godsend because he happened to carry lots of motor oil (something his dad might have taught him) more than enough to get me back home. I had no money and was SO grateful he and his family happened to stop and rescue me. Lesson: Know why using the correct viscosity oil matters, especially with new or rebuilt engines. Check your levels regularly and DO NOT get slack or lazy. That two week period before my long drive cost me more than three quarts of oil and I never knew it was happening. Now... get out there and drive!
 
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