Monday, July 18, 2005

my brother's truck

My brother drives a 96 Ford Ranger. That vehicle has been through hell and back, and across the country twice. It seems like a very reliable, sturdy truck, capable of handling all of the abuse my less-than mechanically inclined brother can dole out. He lived here for a while, and I would borrow his truck if I had to make large or many purchases. I’m not sure what really has been replaced on the truck, I suspect the clutch has been replaced, and the brakes worked on, but for the most part, like most vehicles, functions with some quirks.

One of these largely annoying quirks is the “door is open” notification. It is an ear piercing high pitched “BOING…BOING….BOING…BOING….” over and over again. Apparently, a deer ran into his truck late one night when he was driving down a rural Georgia back road. The deer, unharmed, sat stunned for a moment after slamming into the driver side door, got up, and bolted away. My brother didn’t even get his identification (deer waving hoof…”we don’t need to see your identification”…). After the deer departed, my brother was left with a big dent in his door, and his open door notification chimed, regardless if the door was open or not.

Fast forward to a few years ago, my brother pulled into my town, and recounted the incident which led to the mechanical annoyance. It seems that the notification would intermittently stop, until you started the car up next, and there was no telling which combinations of events caused the electric glitch to function properly. Believe me, we tried everything: opening and shutting the door several times, turning the lights, windshield wipers and radio on and off, jiggling the key…nothing seemed to work. My brother’s solution was to pull the fuse that controlled the notification out. That seemed to solve the problem, except in addition to stopping the open door notification, the fuse controlled the speedometer, windshield wipers (and we live in a spontaneously rainy environment) and indoor dome light (a real inconvenience at night). When I drove his truck, I would keep the fuse in, but the maddening BOING would drive itself into my skull, and no matter how loud you would turn up the radio, it wasn’t enough to drown out the BOING. I’m surprised my brother didn’t have more occurrences of road rage.

Other “quirks:”

--When you use the stick shift, the knob would fly off, under the driver’s seat, into the netherworld.

--The detachable radio face would not attach fully, and whenever you go over a bump, it would drop off, under the driver’s seat into the netherworld with the stick shift knob.

--The A/C only blew moldy hot air at you.

--The turn signal fuses would blow out, but when you used it inside the vehicle, it would make the “ticktickticktick” noise as if it was operating properly.

--The topper on the back of the truck didn’t lock—I think my brother lost the key or broke the lock (or both). Usually if he had personal items in the back, and was parking in a questionalble neighborhood, he would fake like he was locking it. So far, that's worked well (that I know of).

Perhaps the key to the topper is in the netherworld with my socks, the stick shift knob and the detachable radio face.

1 comment:

Curt Kirkwood said...

Deer are easily starteled, but they will soon be back and in greater numbers.