Tips From the Owner’s Manual

You know, they say that life doesn’t come with an owner’s manual.  But I’m no longer sure that’s true.  I believe that <insert name of  automaker, which Fakename has excised to prevent getting sued, in case they don’t have a sense of humor> has covered every possible scenario a human being is likely to encounter in the matter of car ownership, but much of their advice is applicable to other aspects of life, no matter how long and disaster-filled that life may be.  I’d like to share some of their advice with you, as a public service. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, becoming involved in an accident can cause death or serious injury; therefore, you should avoid them.  You probably knew that already.  But what you may not realize is how very many seemingly innocent things you can do that will greatly increase your chances of having an accident.  Driving a car is one of those things.  Therefore, you should avoid driving a car.  However, if you insist on doing so, <name withheld> is committed to keeping you safe, for a small fee, such as $373 per month for the rest of your natural life. 

Some things are self-evident, such as, you shouldn’t drink or text while driving.  But it turns out that many accidents are caused by trying to adjust things in the car while driving.  Do not, under any circumstances, try to adjust the position of the tilt steering wheel, the headrest, the position of the seat or the seat back.  And don’t open the doors while driving.  If we find out you’ve done any of these things after the fiery crash that results in your death or serious injury, we guarantee your family will not get one red cent out of us.  <Okay, so they didn’t really say that last part.>

How, you may be asking, is this relevant to other aspects of life?  Consider this:  in addition to auto accidents there are many other types of accidents, for example, falls, and falls are caused by walking.  It is extremely rare for a person to fall while standing in one place, unless that place is at the bar after your 14th shot of Jose Cuervo.  Therefore, you should avoid walking. 

It turns out that one of the most dangerous things you can do with a car is put fuel in it.  Therefore, I advise against it.  When you buy a new car, they will give you a full tank of gas before you drive off the lot.  When that runs out, you should time it so the car ends up in your driveway, where you can admire it each day for a small fee, such as, $373 per month. 

If you absolutely insist on putting fuel in it, the best thing to do is hire an expendable person to do it for you–say, your mother-in-law.  If you have to do it yourself, at least heed the following warnings: 

  • First, touch the vehicle or some other metal surface to disharge any static electricity (sparks may cause fuel vapors to ignite).
  • Turn the fuel tank cap very slowly.  If you hear a whooshing sound, wait until you can no longer hear it before fully removing the cap.  (In hot weather, pressurized fuel may spray out and cause injury.)
  • Do not allow anyone who has not discharged the static electricity in their bodies to come close to an open fuel tank. 
  • Do not inhale vaporized fuel.  <These people are no fun.>
  • Do not smoke while refueling the vehicle. 
  • Do not return to the vehicle or touch any person or object that is statically charged. 

That last one is another good reason never to refuel.  Since you can’t return to the vehicle, you have to leave it at the gas pump and walk.  We have already noted the dangers involved in walking. 

The refueling process is comparable to another life activity:  eating, or the refueling of the human body.  Eating is very dangerous, so I advise against it.  Food contains all sorts of bacteria, dirt, pesticides, fat, sugar, and various chemicals with names you can’t pronounce to “preserve flavor and freshness”.  If you insist on eating, the safest way is to hire someone to do it for you. 

I’m not even halfway throught the manual yet, so I’m sure I will have other handy tips to pass along at a later date.  I really started reading it to find out how to set the radio stations.  There is only so long a person can press “Seek” to get from one station to another without exploding.  Especially since changing the radio station constitutes an adjustment, which requires pulling over into a safe area and waiting for the vehicle to come to a complete stop.

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6 responses to “Tips From the Owner’s Manual

  1. Be sure to set the parking brake after coming to that complete stop in a safe area so you can change the radio channel! And just wait ’til Daylight Saving Time starts again and you get to reset the clock.

  2. Did you have to remind me? Now I will experience ever-increasing anxiety until April. By which time I will have lost the owner’s manual. My first service appointment is in May, though, so I can always get to do it for me, and mentally add an hour in the meantime.

  3. …can always get anonymous automaker to do it for me…

  4. Leave owner’s manual and maintenance record in glove box. At least the Durango has one of each (OM, MR, and GB, that is). That way you can always find it when it’s time to change the channel, I mean clock.

  5. Sorry to hear about the Camaro. Was the Yaris that much cheaper than the Corrolla?

    I didn’t get on the Internet again after my post while in San Juan, so no T-shirt. Besides, they were some of the worst ones I’ve ever seen. Most just said “San Juan” and/or “Puerto Rico” with a generic graphic, like a sailboat. No imagination….

    I got lucky and found me one in a store near our condo. It says: Lucky Louie’s Poker Lounge. I never saw it again in any other store.

  6. Welcome back! Too bad about the T-shirts. I thought for sure the rainforest might have some good ones, at least with a parrot or something.
    And yes, pretty sad about the Camaro. But oh my yes, the Yaris is way cheaper. As you go up in price I think the Matrix and the Scion are next, then the Corolla. Then of course you start getting into the Camry and the Prius.

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