How to kill a Honda Civic
CW: oil leaks, torque wrenches and VTECCC!
There were many important lessons I learned during my time owning a Civic Sport, unexpected but important. For example: lift off oversteer is a thing. I would say the best method of learning this is probably not by crashing into the fence of an Army barracks. Anyway, lesson learned. The police, who arrived promptly, were fairly kind, thankfully (I wasn't the first to have done so). My mum after towing my car out of the mud I was stuck in, less so.
The car survived, it needed just a small bumper repair and a salvaged door from Lithuania, coated in a slightly different shade of Milano Red.
The last image of the plucky hatch alive
So how did I kill the thing? Two calipers seizing on separate occasions didn't do it, nor did the leak in the boot that shorted all the rear lights. What will do it though is a slow oil leak, a "spirited" drive in North Wales involving Black Rock Sands and empty B roads, and of course the patented Jackson Hand of Cack. Us Jacksons can generally repair stuff, just not without damaging or breaking something else.
Chasing down electrical gremlins
Sunday April 7th 2019, a day out with a school mate and his friends from uni. Trampolining in caves, swimming in the Irish Sea, eating fish and chips, frequent full throttle applications, redlining and uttering the hallowed "VTEC!!!". This is usually fine in such a vehicle, provided the gasket on your rocker cover hasn't failed and thrown up all the oil down the front of your engine. I had yet to spot this until...
This picture was taken when I was still in the "I can fix it" stage rather than the "oh shit" stage
Monday April 8th 2019, when you have to wake up for work at 5:30am it is preferable that your car still works. I started the car and was greeted by a rough idle and very little power (no VTEC), I then drove the hour commute to work. This is where I start actively being an idiot, I know. This was also to be the last drive in my first car.
Once at work, the loss of all oil was established, I "borrow" some oil from the parts department (I was working in a bodyshop at the time), yet the car is still sounding like mechanical death. People at work are brilliant and in short order I'm skipping most a days work to get a train north to borrow my parents Fiat 500 and a recovery truck is organised to get my car back home.
Essentially the rest of it is summed up by saying Haynes manuals aren't idiot proof. The source of the oil leak is found and a new rocker cover gasket kit is ordered. I've been a good boy and "checked" my torques for the bolts, it's not the first time I've used a torque wrench but it is the first time I had used this one... CLUNK. CLUNK. CLUNK.
If you look closely you can see the grave of my mechanical hope, right next to the dipstick mocking me
Three snapped bolts and I am left with a very large paper weight.
The CLUNK should have been a CLICK of the torque wrench at the correct setting. There was doubtless other issues to be ascertained from the engine that had run sans oil, but my whoopsie(s) was going to be too costly to fix regardless. I sold it for not much more than scrap value to a guy with a friend in what had the air of an uninsured recovery truck, he wasn't too keen on the V5 paperwork and the car is yet to be retaxed...