Ten Tips To Tell If Your Car Is Haunted Or Just Needs Maintenance

Illustration for article titled Ten Tips To Tell If Your Car Is Haunted Or Just Needs Maintenance

It’s Halloween! As part of the blood oath Jalopnik signed to promote the Works of the Dark Lord, we’d like to take a moment to help you understand if and how your car may be haunted or possessed by something occult, creepy, undead, or possibly all three. Luckily, there’s some easy clues you can look out for!


1. If your car has throttle body fuel injection, you might find that your mass air flow sensor frequently gets fouled with massive, dripping clots of blood. Non-haunted cars shouldn’t have hardly any blood in the fuel system.

2. Many cars possessed by lower-echelon demons often exhibit a peculiar handling trait where, when turning sharply to the right, the lower control arm will start to shimmy, almost like a worn bushing. The way you can tell it’s not a bushing and is, in fact, a demonic possession, is that a small, oily black demon will often crawl out of the wheel well and start beating on the windshield with a broken length of your control arm.

A worn bushing will not exhibit similar behavior.

3. Strange noises under the hood? Use this handy old mechanic’s rhyme as a guide to know what kind of issue your car has:

If it’s screamin’ it’s a demon, if it’s a thrash, it’s valve lash.

Remember: no conventional problem in your engine will sound like a pained, tortured scream. Well, except a slipping belt. So check your belts for shiny spots when you check for demon nests.


4. Cars that self-repair body damage are always possessed by some malevolent spirit. The often-discussed GM Self-O-Fix and Ford’s Eponyfix, or even Toyota’s Magident Selfix systems are all unavailable in cars to date.

Only Toyota’s system was shown at the LA Auto show in 1983, when they had Rowdy Roddy Piper beat the crap out of a Celica with a sledgehammer, only to have the car self-repair on stage. The system was later found to actually use the possessed spirit of an Inca warrior, and as such could not be sold to the public per NHTSA rules.


5. The presence of a corpse or body parts hidden in your car does not necessarily mean your car is possessed or haunted. Some cars may just have dead bodies or parts in them. To confirm a haunting, you need to actually observe a haunting-related phenomenon, like blood leaking from the ashtray.

6. Visions of hell and/or the torture and killing of loved ones may be the result of a car-based poltergeist, but could also be the result of a severe in-cabin exhaust leak. Before calling a priest in to get your car exorcised, check your exhaust manifold for leaks.


7. Turbocharged cars often attract banshees, who mistake the turbine’s impeller whine for mating calls of female banshees. Since all banshees are female, things get confusing quickly, and the resulting banshee activity is known to cause premature valve wear.

8. The particular kind of evil sprites that inhabit the electrical systems of old British cars and late ‘90s-early ‘2000 German cars are extremely powerful, and should not be confronted without significant preparation.


Some of these evil sprites are capable of depleting a healthy adult’s bank accounts in a matter of months. Check for their telltale glow in the check engine light of the car.

9. A 20 foot-tall dragon with glowing red eyes that bursts out of your air cleaner and roars and breathes fire into the sky is usually caused by using conventional oil in an engine used to synthetic.


10. If you frequently find decomposing, zombie-like fingers pushing through plastic blanking panels on your dash and clawing at you with blind rage, you should take that as a lesson to not be such a cheapskate and next time buy a trim level of car with at least enough knobs and shit on the dash so you don’t have so many blank plastic filler panels.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)


3. Strange noises under the hood?

Be sure to check your serpentine belt.