I don't lend my car out very often. It makes me nervous every time someone has to drive my car. Not because it's such a wonderful car and I am worried that any other driver wouldn't treat it properly. I am mostly concerned that other people will kill themselves while driving my little green car.
Before handing over my keys (they're very fancy keys. Colourful. Oompah Loompah keys, one might say), I give a warning:
The trunk doesn't open. It used to. I know this because there is something in the trunk that bangs about. This banging should not be confused with the other "normal" sounds of the car. Just ignore it, or if you want you can play "Guess What's In The Trunk". My typical guess is paint thinner, because I know that I bought some, but I can't find it anywhere.
When you get into the car, you will notice that the inside panelling is separating from the doors. That's just cosmetic, it doesn't effect how the car actually drives. Don't worry about it.
The instrument panel doesn't work. At all. This includes the speedometer, the RPM gage, and the "how hot your car is" thingy. You're going to have to "wing it". Just go with the flow of the traffic and you should be fine. The gas gage seems to work, but I measure gas by the trip odometer. Don't go more than 400km. That's my guess. The lights on the radio/CD controls work... periodically. I always feel a little bit blessed when they do work. It's kinds like it's a sign that I am going to have a good day.
The engine warning light, for the longest time, was constantly on. It was like a little reminder from the car saying "In case you forget, your vehicle sucks". I chose to confront the problem head on. I would shout back at the warning light, saying "Car, heal thyself!". One day it did! The light simply turned off! I was sooooo pleased. I called Dan right away to share my glorious news. He said, "The fuse for the light probably burnt out". Ugh. Dan was most likely right, but I still hold out hope that my little green car is trying to please me. So, if the engine light comes on, don't panic, but do tell me. I want to prove to Dan that the car heeded my advice about self-improvement.
The side mirrors leave lots to be desired. When driving, at any speed, they wobble and shake. At first you feel a bit dizzy, or like you're drunk, but then you get used to it. If they happen to fall off, don't worry. It happens all the time. Just shove them back on again.
Steering is a bit tricky. First of all, the steering wheel isn't at all straight. When you are driving straight, the wheel appears to be making a sharp right turn. It does pull to the right a bit, but that is easily corrected when driving. Try to avoid turning though. When you do have to turn, the steering wheel kind of fights you, and the car makes a rapid "gung, gung, gung" sound as if in protest. Just drive through it... but not quickly.
That brings me to the brakes. The car does have working brakes, but they don't work exactly when you want them to work. The brakes seem to be activated not by the pedal, but by the feeling of your heart dropping into the pit of your stomach. The brakes eventually "kick in", but not without a BANG!, BANG!, BANG! noise. This occurs at about 15km/hr or more. A little "fish tailing" when braking is normal and can be expected. Keep this in mind when you have other cars and/or people directly beside my braking car. Whatever you do, don't brake hard! Even if that's the only thing you remember about this warning. DO NOT BRAKE HARD. Dan did once. Now he refuses to drive the car.
The car is pretty banged up. Thank you, Dan. It no longer bothers me. I have gotten used to phone calls from Dan telling me that he has been in an accident. He says, "Do you want the good news or the bad news?". I opt for the good because I know where this is heading. I'm just hoping against hope that the bad news won't be what it always is. He says "I'm fine". At this point, I know what he's going to say next. A knot forms in my stomach. I start to sweat. I ask about the bad news. He says "The car is a little banged up but it's still drivable". DAMN IT! If I've told him once, I have told him a hundred times! For the love of God, just total the damn car!
At this point during my warning, most people express an interest in borrowing my van instead of my car. My van, as luck would have it, comes with a warning, too! It is as follows:
This vehicle comes with three children.
See why I prefer my car! It may be falling to pieces, but it doesn't have enough room for three car seats!