If you play with fire...
Posted by tim in I Feel Sick on June 8, 2006

At work today, I was the guy working in the pit. One of the last few cars that came in was very very hot, apparently from just getting off the Interstate (freeway, whatever you call it...). This particular car was a newer Cavalier with the 2.2L 4 cylinder engine in it. In GM's infinite wisdom, they ran the exhaust pipe right below the oil filter, but left just enough room for you to get your arm through to the filter.

As I usually would, I grabbed the Kevlar burn-sleeve that we have, so that I wouldn't get my hand and arm burned on that nearly cherry-red exhaust pipe. I got the filter broken loose, and tried to pull the filter wrench back out of the tight space, and something gave way. When it did, my whole arm fell down, as did the burn sleeve, leaving my hand exposed. Where it all stopped, my hand was trapped against that hot exhaust pipe for what seemed like hours, but probably was no more than 10 seconds.

This burn was worse than any burn I've had before. I mean, I slipped and put my hand in a deep fryer that was boiling water at about 300°F, and walked away without even warm skin. This burn today, however, burned deep, and I felt it almost as deep as the bone.

After regaining my composition from nearly passing out and almost urinating myself (literally), and wiping the tears from my eyes, I finished the car out. When the car left, I headed straight for the bathroom, held my hand under cold running water for about 5 or 10 minutes, then sprayed it with some first-aid spray for burns.

Luckily, the skin didn't break (yet), but it has formed a nice blister about the size of a nickel. Tomorrow, after I get home from work, I'll take some pictures of it to show everyone. I'm just thankful that the burn is in a place that still allows me to function as I normally would.

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