I’ve been driving for 25 years, many of those years with junk cars over a decade old when I got them, plus a number of years with cars that were no longer new, even though I purchased them that way.
I know a lot about what can go wrong with cars & am fairly good at diagnosing them.
I know the difference in sounds between a car not turning over because the battery is dead and a car not turning over because there is a problem with the fuel pump.
(correctly identifying this in DH’s truck last month as soon as at failed to start)
I know that that horrible grinding noise you hear sporadically while driving is probably caused by your brakes. Either the pads have worn off or there is a problem with the rest of the braking system, probably the rotors.
I know how to repair a problem with the radiator hose with a box cutter & duct tape.
I know the terrible sinking feeling the engine makes as the transmission suddenly goes out on you while you are driving. (having experienced it 3 times!)
I can correctly identify the timing & alternator belts and know what happens when they break while you are driving. (Not in the mini van or the Cruiser, but in any pre-1995 ford or chevy auto)
I know that if the CHECK ENGINE light comes on and stays on, with no accompanying ‘strange noise’ from the engine, that it really means CHECK BANK BALANCE
I not only know how to change a tire, I can do it on the side of the road on rainy night while wearing a dress and heels. Or in my own driveway while DH sleeps off the meds from having 2 teeth pulled. I have AAA now, but short of being in a life threatening position, like on the side of a busy highway & the flat being on the road side, I will probably get impatient waiting for them to show up after 30 minutes and change the tire myself.
I have done so as recently as 2 years ago.
I can change my own oil and transmission fluid (again, not in the mini van. We were given lifetime free scheduled maintenance as an incentive to buy, so I actually have no idea where the oil is added. Though I do know how to jump start it)
Speaking of jump start it. The jumper cables in my mini van have been with me since 1988.
So I am not a novice when it comes to automobiles.
But there is one thing that has always eluded me about every single one of the cars I have owned except the 1972 Dodge Dart
I cannot for the life of me ever remember how to change the time on the clock. (the Dart had no clock)
I just keep punching combinations of buttons until I get fed up or the time changes. Should the time actually change I tell myself I will write down what I did and put the note in the glove compartment.
There is never a note in the glove compartment 6 months later and once again I just push random combinations of buttons and hope.
Sunday the clocks went forward. But so far, not the one in the mini van.