Monday, August 25, 2008

Don't Tell Her I Told You

A long time ago, Jeff (the 2nd husband of my step-mother twice removed, if you can follow that) taught me something about cars. I don't remember the circumstances beyond the fact that we were passing the old department store in downtown Hartford which is now a community college, and I was driving a stick-shift while he was in the passenger seat - which is actually a highly unusual set of circumstances. Anyway, he said that if the car is moving at all, even rolling gently down an incline, do not shift into first gear. First is for shifting out of, not in to. I have no idea why that stuck with me.

So I think I've mentioned that Tasha has been having frustration as she masters her manual transmission. She generally tries whatever she can to swap cars with someone else, or get a ride, or talk someone into driving for her - anything to avoid having to deal with the clutch. But this week is her call to glory; she has to get some places on her own, and has to use her own car to do it. Apparently she made it to her class meeting okay this morning, because she called to let me know that her engine light is on. (It's been on; Rick thinks its just an electrical short and he'll get to it as soon as possible.) Also, she had a lot of trouble shifting into first a few times, and really had to push it. I suggest that she double clutch - put it into neutral, let out the clutch, put the clutch back in, and then shift to first. She said she'd tried that, but still had trouble getting into first gear. Besides, she didn't think she should be messing around with the clutch too much on the highway. It seems our baby girl was trying to shift into first gear at about 35 mph, coming out of a 55 mph speed zone and slowing down for a roundabout. I explained to her about not ever trying to shift into first when the car was already moving, and that the car had been trying to tell her this when it balked.

I think I should get extra credit for not laughing until I hung up.

1 comment:

Christylea said...

Stupid extra pedals anyway. Tell Tasha I still cannot drive a stick either. Tractor, yes. Car, no. Three pedals kicks my butt every time!