One mis-shift can ruin your day. We gleaned this harsh kernel of knowledge not long ago when out zipping around in a long-term S2000 that we'd just taken delivery on. With the wind in our hair and 240 ponies at our disposal, furthest from our minds was ruining such a fine performance machine. Then we accidentally went for fourth gear, got second instead, and momentarily saw revs shoot well past redline.
For a second our hearts stopped. We immediately pulled the thing over and shut down all systems. Upon restarting the 2.2-liter F-series motor, the extent of the damage became clearer. The dash gave us a flashing engine light and the motor sounded like it was only running on three cylinders. We towed the car to Hardin Honda in Anaheim, Calif., where the techs diagnosed a loss of compression in cylinder number three.
Cursing our bad luck, we took the car to the rescue squad at AutoWave in Huntington Beach, where the guys returned the F22 engine back to operating condition. We considered crazy head work and a full aftermarket valvetrain while the head was off and apart, but then checked our bank account online and came to our senses. Besides, we'll have the roadster for a while and can upgrade the insides down the line.