I was hunting for a project car on craigslist for the past few weeks. I found a 1971 VW bug that looked slightly promising for $1600. I went and test drove it. The brakes on it were insane and required the force of several small babies on the brake pedal just to slow it slightly but I thought “hey this looks fun to work on .” I asked the seller for the pink slip which he did not have, nor did he have remotely sufficient documentation to register it so I walked .

I got home that night and found an M62B44 powered 1997 540i on Craigslist. I drive over that night and check out its condition. It is in horrible shape. After the seller goes through a five minute process of popping the hood (due to a broken release cable) I see that 4.4 liter v8 and immediately want it. He has the pink slip so I pay and get it towed home.


He obviously thought it wasn’t starting due to the EWS (as he pick your parted to more, even though they aren’t switchable without replacing the EWG), which had a disconnected capacitor. So off to RadioShack I go to buy a capacitor. After some novice soldering I have the capacitor replaced. Turn the car over and nothing. Shucks. One of the soldered leads came off.

I resoldered both leads and go to start again and pow I jump a little. The capacitor blew. I reversed the polarity the second time. So my 6 year old and I go to Radio Shack again to buy another capacitor. I solder it in this time like a pro who only makes like 10 mistakes. Return to the car, shut the door, plug in the EWS and turn the key. As the key tunes I accidentally depress the lock button. The car still won’t start so I’m ready to take a break.

I reach for the door handle and it won’t open. I press unlock and nothing. I pull up hard in the lock nub. Nothing. I try all four doors. Crap. It’s getting hot. This is a 90 degree day and I’m trapped in a car with the windows up. No phone in my pocket, now what? Screaming for help? That sounds genius. I scream like I’ve never screamed before. No one comes. I press both key fobs for my other two cars to set of the horns. My wife thinks it is the BMW as the alarm went off when I towed it in two nights ago.


I begin prying the back door apart when I remember the trunk. I pop the trunk with my remote and begin prying at the back seat when I turn around and see my 2 and 6 year olds staring at me with great fear. I shout to get mommy. They eventually respond. My wife comes and I am so irrational I come up with the break the window solution if I can’t crawl out of the trunk. Then she asks me to hand her the keys through the trunk. I am saved.

By the way my kids came out because my screaming sounded like “You can buy my car for 88 cents today” to my son. I paid him $1 for saving my life. Best deal ever.