Thursday, February 08, 2007

More Festiva

My speedometer is dysfunctional. I don’t know which plays the biggest role, the recent cold weather or the age of my car, but it is becoming harder and harder to gauge with accuracy the speed at which I’m driving. After I drive for a while the problem is less extreme.

The speedometer continuously makes a noise like a raspy, squawky version of the opening synthesized notes of Van Halen’s cover of “Dancin’ in the Streets.” Also, as soon as I accelerate to about 35 m.p.h., the needle squeals hoarsely and rockets up to 85 or 90 m.p.h. It will stay there for a few seconds and bounce back down, the shoot back up again.

This is merely the latest. Let me try to think of some of my car’s other little quirks:

-Most or all lights in the dash don’t work. Sometimes a few come on.

-Shoulder belt no longer opens or shuts automatically. I must sit down and then pull it over my head.

-Horn only works occasionally, and sounds very sputtery and feeble when it does.

-The windshield washer fluid squirters only work some of the time. They stopped working altogether for a few years, then started again, although if the temp is below freezing they won’t work.

-The driver’s side window won’t roll up or down without lots of assistance (putting my hand on the window and rocking it back and forth while jerking the handle) if the temperature is below 50 degrees.

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