Blogging pal Grandma L. of Pet Peeves and Other Ramblings posted her frustration with technology failure, wondering if there is something in the atmosphere that could account for it. It set me to thinking about my screaming yellow 2002 Dodge Neon. Over the past couple of years it has developed some idiosyncrasies for which there seems to be no easy fix.
About two years ago the tachometer in the Zonker (as in Screaming Yellow) began to act erratically. When it’s been working perfectly well while I’ve been driving it will spin around and hit the top peg when I turn off the car. This can last several minutes. Nine times out of ten the tach won’t work when you restart the car for as much as two weeks, then suddenly one day you start the car and the tach is back. On a long trip it will work until I stop for more than five minutes. Leave it more than that and it will just lay there. It works about four days per month. It’s okay since I know when to shift, but it is kind of weird.
Then there is the radio. I like the sound system in the Zonker. I can pull San Francisco at night with the radio and the CD changer has four slots. I fill it when I’m headed on a long trip and there’s no need to change a CD until I get to the beach. It’s really very cool. Not only that, but it has a tape player which is nice because I still own tape cassettes. The problems started out with the volume control. If I have the volume cranked up to listen to tunes as I fly down the road, turning it down when someone else gets into the car proves difficult. When you turn the volume control to the left, which ought to be down, it is just as likely to go up and continue doing so until at some point it begins to go down. You might think that turning it to the right would make it go down if left makes it go up. Wrong. Right just makes it go up no matter how much you twist the knob.
And then there is the sound system and the weather. It does not like the hot. If it gets hot and stays that way for more than a day or two the sound will cut out and you will be left with nothing. It may not work for days and days and then suddenly start working again and not be a problem for a year or more. Finally my husband took it to some shop in Tacoma who said that it would have to be replaced. Since our sound system was an upgrade after market we are unlikely to find one that fits the car from a wrecked Neon and the chances of finding one with a tape player and 4 CD changer is remote. After not working for a couple of weeks it appears to be working now. Maybe our rainy cool weather was just what the doctor ordered.