March 3, 2005

Drive Safely

I’m posting this now rather than in the shotgun because it has the potential of helping someone survive the winter.

Winter Driving Tips

Winter is supposed to be almost over, but we know better after being repeatedly hammered with lousy driving condition this year. Can’t count on anything. And some conditions, like black ice, can creep up on you.

The best advice, given at the top, is that when things are really bad just stay off the road. If your employer doesn’t understand, then you have to wonder whether your job is worth losing your life. What gall some employers have.

Another good bit of advice that I haven’t heard widely repeated is how to avoid a collision once you are in an a near-collision situation. Sometimes you’re sliding out of control, or someone else is sliding and you are in their path. The tendency in these situations is sometimes to stare right at whatever you’re about to crash into (or what is about to crash into you). You’ll have better luck avoiding collisions if you don’t fixate on the other car/pole or whatever. Instead, focus your attention to one side of the object or, if it’s moving, behind the object and work to steer your vehicle out of the way.

It works. The deer-in-the-headlights reaction often makes people more of a target, or steers them right where they shouldn’t be going. I’ve been in both situations — transfixed and headed for a crash and of a more calm mind and focused away from the dangerous obstacle. Guess which situations turned out better.

Drive safe, folks!

Posted by James at March 3, 2005 9:29 AM
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Great website, James. Thanks.

Of course, I'm in no immediate danger as I am once again without a car. It's been in and out of the shop for just over a month (mostly in).

I think I finally impressed upon the Service Manager that I am not pleased and that he had best be sure to fix the damned thing this time.

I'm considering telling him to wax and buff my car before returning it to me. Hmm...

Posted by: Patti M. at March 3, 2005 1:56 PM

A month!? for that aggravation he should wax and buff your home! :P

Posted by: Jay at March 3, 2005 10:48 PM

It's been towed 5 times in the past 5 weeks or so.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at March 4, 2005 9:04 AM

Jay--good one!

Yesterday's update from Service Man was that they're cleaning my car. Good.

Today's update is that he drove it home, let it sit, and drove it in from Haverhill this morning with no problems.

He's keeping it over the weekend to drive around and check for trouble. I hope to have it Monday. I also hope not to have it towed again.

Lord, it's been a trial.

Posted by: Patti M. at March 4, 2005 11:55 AM

So, what's the problem been? Stalling? Refusing to start? Sounds like it's doing one or the other and stranding you places.

A couple of different cars in my past had problems like that which were very mysterious. I had a Toyota that seemed to need a whole new starter every couple of years. Luckily, I finally found someone who would rebuild starters, which was much cheaper than buying the part from Toyota.

The winter is rough on a car.

Posted by: James at March 4, 2005 12:08 PM

It's been a progression of problems. 1st 2 tows were misdiagnosed as frozen fuel (it's a diesel). Third tow to a different shop found that problem (dying while driving, it was the valve that keeps fuel in the line) but discovered a new one (running fine for 2-3 days then not starting).

We then took it to VW because it sounded like something that might be under warrantee. They adjusted the injector pump adn gave it back.

It still had no power and failed to start a couple of days later. Towed back to VW, they replaced the turbo and gave it back. Failed to start a few days later. Towed back to VW where it is now. This time they've said it was a poorll installed fuel filter combined with frozen fuel. We'l see if mr service manager gets his ass stuck in Tewksbury and has to have the car towed back to Belmont!

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at March 4, 2005 12:51 PM

whoops Allston not belmont

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at March 4, 2005 12:52 PM

Then he can wax and buff my car AND my house. Perhaps my ass as well.

Hey now!

Posted by: Patti M. at March 4, 2005 2:12 PM

Dear Sirs,

When you are done with my friend's car, please buff my white ass. And I want to be able to see my reflection in it.

And please send me any movie with Heath Ledger in it on DVD. He's dreamy. The DVD you sent me of "A Knight's Tale" was "defected" because it was covered in girl drool. Please advise.

Posted by: James at March 4, 2005 2:24 PM

Hmm...this Netflix thing is really getting to you, isn't it?

Posted by: Patti M. at March 7, 2005 12:26 PM

By the way, Service Manager Man called to say my car behaved over the weekend and I can pick it up any time before midnight. Ah, the witching hour. Wonder if my car would turn into a pumpkin. Or, better yet, if it would come with a hood-mounted rocket launcher.

Anyhow, cross your eyes for me--I'll be leaving around 3:30 to pick it up. We'll see how it goes tomorrow morning.

Posted by: Patti M. at March 7, 2005 12:29 PM

Don't you wish Klick and Klack were your personal mechanics?

Posted by: briwei at March 7, 2005 12:46 PM

Good luck with that. The good ole Tappet brothers used to actually recommend mechanics in the area. You're up near them, Patti. But, better still, let's just hope you don't need to speak to a mechanic for quite a while after you get the car back.

Posted by: James at March 7, 2005 12:50 PM

James, from your lips to God's ears.

Bri, believe me when I tell you I've thought of calling the Magliozzi brothers many times in the past month and a half. I kind of have my own version, Tat at Beetle Bug III. He and his brothers fix VWs only. The only reason I'm back at the dealership is because Tat thought one of the problems I've been having is related to my turbo and he didn't want to void the warranty.

After being told no no no, your turbo's fine, Service Manager Man replaced the turbo (under warranty) because it wasn't working properly.

Serenity now!

I'm leaving at 3:30 to pick up my jalopy. We'll see how things go. I will make it abundantly clear _again_ that if this car dies, even if I'm in Kalamazoo, I'm having it towed back to them and they will foot the bill.

Posted by: Patti M. at March 7, 2005 2:45 PM

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