The Audi Gods were watching...

Fisher, Scott Scott_Fisher at
Fri Jun 7 12:05:47 EDT 2002

Well, I must be living right.

This week was my regular Portland-to-San Francisco business trip, and since
it was expected to be hot through the central Valley, I prepped the '83
Coupe (with very good A/C) for the journey.  A fresh Audi Original oil
filter and 4 quarts of 20W-50 GTX went in Monday afternoon, after my
5-year-old son and I detailed the car on Sunday.

The drive down was uneventful, only a touch of drizzle in northern and
central Oregon but changing to hot weather pretty much the instant I crossed
Mt. Shasta; the waitress in Williams where I stopped for lunch said it was
supposed to be over 100.  I changed out of my Audifans shirt (which I'd put
on before leaving) and put on a short-sleeved shirt and continued on my way.

Yesterday was the drive home.  I made it out of the Bay Area to Dunnigan,
California, north of Sacramento but south of Willows and Thunderhill Raceway
Park.  I topped up the CGT's tank and decided to check the oil, since I'd
put on about a thousand miles since the oil change Monday night.  Sure
enough, I was about a pint low; well, hell, if this 19-year-old car wants to
use a quart of oil every 2000 miles driving in 100-degree weather with the
A/C running full blast, that's okay with me.

So... I removed the filler cap and set it on the front bulkhead, opened a
quart of Castrol from the trunk, poured it into the engine, threw away the
empty, closed the hood, and drove off.

No, I didn't forget anything up there.  Well, I didn't forget to WRITE

Next stop: Grant's Pass, Oregon, about three and a half hours later.
Waiting at the stop light to turn into the Shell station, I noticed what I
thought were reflections from the cars passing in front of me -- they looked
just like wisps of smoke coming from my engine bay.  Then I saw some of
those reflections WITHOUT cars passing in front of me.  Yes, those ARE wisps
of blue coming from the right-hand side of the hood.  Hmmm -- well, the
hoses are all two years old and the radiator's on the other side and the car
has been running really cool ever since we crossed into Oregon; must be an
oil leak, from the cam cover?  What are the chances of getting a fix for
THAT in Grant's Pass?

I gave my order to the station attendants (in Oregon, it is illegal to pump
your own gas), started receiving my requested 13.274 gallons of regular, and
popped the hood.

It's really AMAZING how much oil can splash out of a 2" hole over the course
of three hours (it was exactly one quart; good thing I brought two quarts
along with me), as well as how much surface area it can cover.  Probably
having the #1 cam lobe right under it helps.

Audi Gods' benevolence #1: The oil filler cap was exactly where I'd left it,
in a hollow on the reinforcement for the front bulkhead.  I picked it up and
put it back on.

Audi Gods' benevolence #2: There was a coin-operated car wash directly
across the street from the Shell station.

Audi Gods' benevolence #3: The coin-op car wash did not have a bill changer,
but I managed to scrounge EXACTLY five quarters, the amount required to run
the pressure-washer.  And there was a "Motor Wash" setting that sprayed
degreaser out of the wand.

Audi Gods' benevolence #4: The car started immediately with no hesitation or
stumble after spraying the entire engine compartment, first with greenish
degreasing solution and then with a high-pressure stream of water.

It must have been starting the trip with the Quattro digest anniversary
shirt that gave me such good fortune.  Obviously, everybody should buy one
when Dan does his next run, and spread the good karma around...

--Scott Fisher
  Tualatin, Oregon

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