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Weird - Qualified Perceptions
It really seems like our van doesn't like other people. eric_the_ted and shumashi borrowed it, and now it is sulking and won't start. It did that the time chenoameg and ringrose borrowed it too. Or the time justom borrowed it and it refused to release the parking brake and let him drive it. It seems to be okay with tirinian driving it occasionally, but it knows he's family.

I had no idea my stuff was this tempermental.
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jadia From: jadia Date: October 19th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
...now I'm glad I got you to drive your van when we moved the fuzzy purple couch. :-)
cfox From: cfox Date: October 19th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
"No really, put the clutch all the way to the floor" was the answer last time I saw a problem like that.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: October 19th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is an automatic, so it's not that particular failure mode. It might be "Don't turn the key all the way to the left to turn off, that's the 'leave the radio and other electrics on' setting" but I don't know for sure, because we never think to do forensics on all the settings before trying to get it to start. :)

On the other hand, our *old* van had a short circuit in the door/light sensor that we had to cut the wires for to keep the door from generating blue smoke, and later it mysteriously healed itself and the lights started working again, so I'm not really sure that our electrical systems are entirely causal.
cfox From: cfox Date: October 19th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I admit that the parking brake on my car (manual transmission, so we use it) gives me constant stress - when the brakes are a little worn, "tight enough to hold it" and "so tight that I can't release it" are very close together. The one thing I love about the minivan is that "Park" is enough to hold it, even on our sloped driveway.

I did once lend the minivan to somebody, and get a phone call with "help, we can't open the back anymore" - it locks everything at 7mph, and I learned to live with it[*] when my first try at reconfiguring things failed.

[*] the other driver of it has a weird security obsession, and believes this to be a feature.
cfox From: cfox Date: October 19th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
The need to apply counter pressure on the steering wheel to start the vehicle when the wheels are curbed, fooled me once, too.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: October 19th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
That one would fool me too - I wouldn't think the steering wheel was involved until later!

Oh, the old van also fooled someone with "There's no fuel injection, you have to give it a little gas when you start it or it dies again", which at the time was true of all cars for me, so I didn't think to mention it.

cfox From: cfox Date: October 19th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
You need little enough pressure that if you get out, look confused, then get back in and try again, you've probably shaken it loose by grabbing the wheel on your way in and out. It only applies when the wheels are either against the stops, or under positional pressure, and my usual habits (starting to lean on the steering wheel before being ready to go) were enough that I never noticed it for several years.

I thought it was an anti-theft feature, but now that I think about it, I don't know what makes me think that.

I've never driven a car made before the mid-80's, so lack of fuel injection would surely confuse me, too.
fredrickegerman From: fredrickegerman Date: October 22nd, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait, I thought this was true to a greater or lesser degree of every power-steering vehicle.
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: October 19th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
And in fact, was the problem this morning with 76trombones' car, which doesn't like our housemate A.
mathhobbit From: mathhobbit Date: October 19th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
My old Geo would go dead any time I carried a passenger. I think there was a leak in the passenger door electrical system that was only triggered by closing the passenger door on the seatbelt.
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