Illustration for article titled Whats The Best Quick Roadside Repair Job Youve Ever Seen?

If you're reading this, chances are pretty good that at some point in your life, you owned a car that was less than reliable. And chances are pretty good that car broke down on you at least once. The chances are still pretty good that, at some point, you scrambled out some kind of improvised, roadside repair. I want to hear about those.


The best kind of these emergency roadside repairs are when they involve almost no tools or parts, and you only had some gum, a piece of something you hope wasn't a condom, some soda can aluminum, and a vague memory of a MacGyver episode.

A few years ago, I was driving on a busy LA road at night when the throttle cable in my Beetle snapped. I was in an area I wasn't too crazy about leaving my car in for too long, and there wasn't much of a shoulder to park on, so whatever I did, it had to be quick.

I coasted to a stop, got out and went around back to see what I could do. The accelerator cable was totally gone— it broke about halfway in the tube, so getting it re-connected wasn't an option. Channeling my inner MacGyver, I simply took the throttle return spring on the carb and used it to hold the throttle at about 1/2.

Getting back in the car, it was like flying one of those old WWII planes that I think I once read were like this — pulse and glide. I slipped the clutch to get started, got it up to about 45 or so, cut the engine off so I wouldn't keep accellerating, and then coasted until I needed more speed, when I'd turn it on again for a bit.


It sucked, and was alarmingly loud, but I got home.

I bet you loons have better stories than that, so tell me! These should be good.

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