Kickass and smart cars

Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that repeated indignities heaped upon him by a vehicle that is light years ahead of him technologically and intellectually, has prompted the keeper to the diversionary tact of unearthing old vehicular information, such as the method of using a slope to “pop the clutch” in starting a standard-transmission car that has a low battery.

The advent of automatic transmissions eliminated this very useful car-starting technique to the chagrin of the keeper’s generation, particularly as the keeper remembers the ‘32 Chev—his first road worthy vehicle, that usually had to be parked on the farmyard incline or the keeper wasn’t going anywhere.

Unfortunately, the ’32 had so little compression that sometimes if it was parked on the slope with a warm engine, it would run away, going down the driveway by itself to crash into the silo, which put distinctive bends in the ‘32’s front fenders.

The keeper finally learned the necessity of putting a block of wood in front of a rear wheel to prevent the runaways, and he passes along that tip as something for car owners of his age to think about when they find themselves unable to turn off the heater as they drive down the freeway at 70 mph on a scorching hot day, or there is an unexplained dinging that signals something is not right—with the driver, of course.





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