Who knew?!

One of the things I love about my old Dodge pickup is the familiarity. I’ve been driving that truck since I was in my twenties, and I know every inch of it so well I often joke I could drive it with my eyes closed, though that isn’t really an advisable approach. All the same, lately  it was getting pretty dark inside the cab. Over the last few years more and more bulbs within the dashboard were burning out, which is understandable after eighteen plus years of illumination. But it was getting downright dim, so we finally decided to open the dash and replace the dead ones.

Ultimately we replaced all nineteen, burned out or not, considering the likelihood that any still operable ones were probably on their last days.  But aside from finding a loose screw between the gauges that appears to have fallen in there before the truck even left the factory, the Dakota had one more surprise in store. I’m driving along today and somewhere around 2000 rpm I see a green triangle light up on the tach, apparently to inform me it was time to shift.  In eighteen years, over 118,000 miles and more shifts than I could ever begin to calculate, that arrow had NEVER lit. Perhaps that bulb had been bad since day one, or perhaps it wasn’t in its socket properly. All the same, the Dodge has an ‘Upshift’ light.

It just goes to show, new surprises can lurk in the last place you’d ever expect them.

2 responses to “Who knew?!

  1. Dagnabbit! Why couldn’t that light have been working when I was trying to learn to drive a stick in that thing?

  2. You and about a dozen teenagers. That Dodge has initiated many into the world of driving stick. But it wouldn’t have mattered much either way – it’s all about feel, knowing when that clutch starts to grab and how much gas to give, and that light would offer no guidance there. And that truck is downright forgiving compared to my Jetta. Unlike the truck, which will start hesitating and bucking if your balance is off, the VW is either ‘go’ or ‘stall’. There is NO in between, no margin for error, and that car has a VERY sensitive clutch. The car is pure performance, lovely to drive but it demands perfect timing.

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