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My Last Tank of Gas

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by Cattledog, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    #1 Cattledog, Nov 2, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
    I'd like to say this is the result of a personal Declaration of Independence. In reality, it was more of a personal Moment of Stupidity. Let me explain.

    My wife and I ordered our first (foreshadowing) Model S in early 2012 and received one of the last 2012 VINs with our S85 being delivered in January 2013. We LOVE it. So much so, that two weeks later we placed a reservation for a Model X from the touchscreen of the Model S. (That definitely beats going to a dealership!) We sold my wife's 11 year-old Lexus RX and kept my 12 year-old BMW 5 series to tide us over the two year wait. Other than constantly fighting over who gets to drive the Model S, all was going swimmingly.

    Then a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to buy a very early sequenced Model S. After a little soul searching, we jumped in and bought it. We expect its arrival within the next couple weeks or so. We had decided to limit miles on it and thus were going to keep the BMW. Until Monday morning.

    Tired, overworked, in a hurry, and generally not paying attention, I barreled into the San Antonio airport parking garage about 50 minutes before my plane's departure on Monday morning. Flat dawn light, drizzly, parking deck and median of similar color, old eyes, failing mind all conspired to entice me to try cut diagonally across the parking lot to the nearest space to the terminal.

    That was a big mistake. IMG_1253.JPG You can sort of see that the first and third rows of parking have medians with bent yellow pipe bollards and a fire extinguisher cabinet, but the second one doesn't (in the photo, it has my roller bag.) In a hurry, distracted, and just plain stupid, I cut diagonally across that median. I was probably going 10-15 miles per hour, not slow enough to stop. After two big 'bams', straightened in the lane and looked in my rear view mirror. "What a coincidence", I thought, " there is a dark stripe in the pavement exactly aligned with my car." Then I smelled the gas, and then I realized I needed to get out of that car right away. In addition to the concrete median, there was also a steel base plate with four bolts protruding from it. One or more of those bolts proceeded to rip open my fuel lines and/or rupture the bottom of my tank.

    I pulled right into a spot, got out with my bag, and ran 100 feet from the car, waiting for the inevitable explosion (I was really ready to make a Youtube video too, don't think the irony of all that didn't actually pop into my mind right then.) But the car didn't go up in flames, and why I don't know - divine intervention - but proceeded to empty the entire contents of the gas tank onto the parking deck. Not drip, not leak, but pretty much spew gas everywhere. I called 911, the airport police and fire departments came right away - BTW, they were great! I called my wife, and then sort of stood there as they spread kitty litter over the gas to absorb it, though about half of it had evaporated or absorbed in the few minutes it took for them to arrive.
    IMG_1256.JPG After about 10 minutes, the fire guy said the situation was under control, I could try and catch my plane. I sprinted into the terminal, got to the counter 25 minutes before my scheduled departure, the dork (sorry) at USAir wouldn't give me a boarding pass because of the 30-minute rule. But luckily I remembered printing it the day before. i flew through security, sprinted to the gate and made my plane. My very sweet wife took care of the tow to the collision shop, the insurance claim, and finishing up with the fire and police guys. She remarked afterwards that it was sort of remarkable in a 9/11 way that they let me leave the car before she got there, which is really true, but that saved me from a cascade of missed flights and appointments. So a massive thanks to her and to them for bailing me out of my own stupidity.

    After my pulse settled down, the potential history of the situation settled in - with our recent purchase of another Model S, was that the last tank of gas I'll ever purchase? Gushing out on the upper deck of the San Antonio airport parking garage? Sad? Ironic? Fitting? Certainly Lucky. Lucky it chose to evaporate over 15 minutes and not 15/100 of a second.

    Here's to an all electric present and future.
     
  2. elecblue

    elecblue Member

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    Cattledog - tough lesson! Glad you made it out safely. I haven't purchased any gas for quite a while (MS delivered last December) and don't plan on it anytime soon. Nasty stuff that is!
     
  3. BoscoBoy

    BoscoBoy Member

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    Um, don't try that clever maneuver with (either of) your Model S's :eek: Otherwise, an amusing story, well-written.

    Only have had my Model S for five weeks, but yesterday's visit to a clogged-up Costco gas station, in my partner's Prius, was painful. He gleefully mentioned gas was down to $3.05/gal, I smiled and said, "who cares?", in the nicest possible way. :tongue:
     
  4. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    Very amusing story and glad it worked out. I'm bummed that I have to buy gas for the rental car I have currently.
     
  5. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    Wow, if it would have caught on fire, would have been a nice Viking funeral for your last ICE, with insurance money to boot. Well - I guess not setting the parking deck on fire is a good thing. We still technically have an ICE with the Plug In Prius, but I think it's been about 3 months since it's had to get gas.
     
  6. Puyallup Bill

    Puyallup Bill Member

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    Happy no fire.

    Gas free since February this year. LEAF and Model S - that's it.
     
  7. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Great write up, well written.

    Interesting, in that curb looks to be low, not very high. I guess most Bimmers do ride low. Kind of surprised it was that vulnerable. Good thing you didn't have a lit cig on you... just sayin...
     
  8. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    It was about a 6" curb and the anchor bolts for the base plate stuck out a couple inches. Yes, lucky there were no sparks from anything - going over the bolts, a loose piece of metal, electrical short, etc. See, not smoking does save lives!
     
  9. Vexar

    Vexar Member

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    What's a fuel line? People keep using ICE terms and I have no idea what they mean anymore. Camshafts are the glass part of a camera that let the light in, right? Just teasing. I never did figure out what a voltage regulator was, though, and I am not about to look it up for historical purposes. Very sorry about your ICE car, but seriously, you need to work on getting more sleep! This is an amazing story.
     
  10. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Glad to hear it worked out okay!

    I sorta did something like this when I was sixteen. A recent snowfall had left six inches of snow on the ground and I made a left turn through what I thought was a break in the median strip, but was actually a raised median. Two thumps and I was stuck on top. I had to have a couple of help people push me off. No damage to the car, only to my teenaged ego.
     
  11. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    Found out today it was about $2K in damage, way less than I anticipated. Car's probably worth $5K-$6K, so I was expecting it was totaled. Apparently gas tank was plastic, so the part is not much $. Removing the driveshaft to get to get to it, and all the other cosmetics, is where the cost came in. It's actually quite a blessing for us, I did not want to have to put extra miles on our early edition Tesla, seeing it as part investment. I guess I haven't actually bought my last tank of gas...
     

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