Thursday night I drove to the westside to take a friend home. On the way home I noticed that the air coming from the ducts was coming out cold, despite the fact that I had the air was set to warm. That's when I noticed that the temperature gauge was all the way up past the H. I was on the 405 going up towards Mulholland Dr. when I thought to myself, "Oh SHIT! Don't let me get stuck up here on the freeway in the middle of the night."
In my mind I thought of the different options I had. The car was going to start getting hotter and hotter until it would finally stop working. My only chance, I thought, was to make it to Mulholland and then coast down this little side street that I know. My only problem was, would the car make it to Mulholland ? As I got off the freeway I still had to make it up the hill to this little street, whose name escapes me at the moment. It's right past the University of Judaism, for those who know Mulholland Drive. With the car not quite smoking, but starting to make knocking sounds from the engine, I made it to the little street, and put the car into neutral. I hoped that gravity would take over and I could make it to the bottom of the hill on a single coast. I left the headlights on and hoped that I didn't run into any other cars. Thankfully this little street is a residential street, and being that it was just past midnight, everyone was asleep. I coasted and the car picked up speed. I pumped the brakes, but because they're power assisted they didn't really slow my momentum. Now my problem wasn't not having enough momentum, it was having too much momentum. I pulled and pumped the emergency brake hoping that it would slow the car down. It did, but at the same time I couldn't stop it entirely. There are six stop signs between Mulholland and Valley Vista, where this street ends. I didn't have enough control over the car to stop it completely on any of them. I slowed at all of them, but hoped that another car didn't turn in front of me, or come out of a driveway. Thankfully because of the late hour only one other car was on the street with me, and it was going up the hill. When I reached Valley Vista, I had to start the car again, to make it to Sherman Oaks circle. I figured that I could coast to Ventura from there. The car started, but it stalled a bit. I waited for it to cool a bit, and started her up again. I made it to Sherman Oaks circle, and turned off the car again. The little boast from the engine was enough to get me nearly to Ventura. The light was red, but I could see the other lights on the street where turning yellow. I turned the car on again hoping to get enough momentum to get me to my street, just off Ventura Blvd. Thankfully I did, and again I coasted all the way down my street until I got to my driveway. That's when the momentum, thanks to a turn, slowed. There was no way I was going to be able to get it up the driveway after that sharp turn. I tried pushing it up, figuring that I was trying my luck by turning the car on for a third time. I couldn't move the car up my driveway though, and I sure didn't want to wake anyone up to help me. Especially on a cold night like Thursday night was. I figured I'd just stay there until the car got a little cooler, and finally just turn it on one last time to get it into the driveway. If that failed I could just turn it and park it on the street. The gauge was reading much cooler, thankfully, so I turned the car on one last time, and parked it. I had actually made it all the way from the Mulholland/Skirball exit on the 405 to my house by coasting down the street, with no power steering, and no power assisted brakes. It was an experience to say the least.
When I finally got into my house I sat down at my desk and noticed that I was shaking. I couldn't believe that I had actually made it. I love it when a plan comes together. I took my car to the mechanic today, after filling the radiator with water, and he told me that my heating coil had a leak, which means that I was probably leaking coolant. He fixed the problem, though the quick fix basically bypasses the broken heating coil. As a result I don't have heat in the car. At least the car works though, and the repair didn't cost me much. It was only $50, although I had to borrow about $25 of that.