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WHAT EVERY DRIVER SHOULD KNOW!--Chapter Six: Battery Care & Starting!       DFO 851-6       3 December 1979

       1. (MARIA: CAN YOU START A CAR EVEN IF THE BATTERY'S DEAD?) Of course you can, once you get it going enough to turn the generator over fast enough to generate enough electricity to operate the ignition. (Maria: So it's the electricity that runs the car?) Well, it's the electricity & gasoline & a few other things. (Maria: But what's the battery for?)

       2. THE BATTERY IS SOMETHING THEY DIDN'T HAVE WHEN I WAS A KID. Well, they did have some electric battery-powered cars, but most cars didn't have batteries & there were no self-starters. Our lamps were oil lamps. (Maria: I always thought you had to have a battery to start a car.)

       3. YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A BATTERY TO START A CAR, nor even a self-starter. When I was a kid they cranked them or pushed them. The battery's just an emergency thing for starting, & to operate your ignition & lights when the engine's not running fast enough to generate enough electricity to do so.

       4. THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE BATTERIES OR STARTERS EITHER ONE IN MOST CARS WHEN I WAS A KID. That was a new thing later on, on swanky cars. I can remember my Dad cranking our old Ford many a time by hand.--Broke his wrist crankin' it once when it kicked back. So a car can run without a battery if you get it going.

       5. (MARIA: SO WHAT DO YOU DO IF A CAR WON'T START?) Well, there're all kinds of things you could do. If the car won't start, for a simple little car like a stick-shift, if the battery is down & it won't turn the engine over,

       6. THE SIMPLEST THING IN THE WORLD TO DO IS PUSH IT! That's the next thing you think of. The only time you use jumper cables to start them is when you can't push them, when you're in a position that you can't push them or they're too heavy to push, or have automatic transmissions.

       7. GOOD NIGHT, WHEN I WAS A KID I CAN REMEMBER PUSHING CARS ALL THE TIME TO START THEM! That was the easiest way to start a car, to push it. Everybody gave it a shove, & then everybody jumped in. That was the way to start them, if you didn't want to bother to crank them.

       8. IF THERE WAS JUST THE ONE GUY DRIVING THE CAR, HE COULDN'T GET OUT & PUSH the car & then jump in & start it, too, although some of them tried & ran over themselves & a few other things. If it's light enough for one guy to push, & one guy to steer & start it, why that's good, but it's better if there's at least three or four people to push while the driver stays in & gets it started when the pushers get it moving.

       9. IT DOESN'T TAKE A LONG DISTANCE TO START IT. You can start a car right in the driveway. All you have to do is be able to push it a few feet or a few yards to get it going fast enough to get it started with no battery. The generator will turn over fast enough to generate enough electricity to operate the ignition, & that's all you need.--Especially in the daytime when you don't have any lights.

       10. WHEN I WAS A KID THEY USED TO HAVE WHAT THEY CALL A MAGNETO. That was the first great innovation. You'd turn it on when you got in the car, & somehow or another it generated just enough spark to start the engine. You'd turn on the magneto & then turn it over by handcrank or you'd push it. Now they have generators & alternators & self-starters.--But:

       11. YOU CAN RUN A CAR WITHOUT A GENERATOR OR AN ALTERNATOR IF YOU HAVE A GOOD BATTERY! But it won't go very far or last very long till the battery goes flat. But I've driven a car for an hour or two, even at night with the headlights, on just the battery, when the generator's gone out completely!

       12. YOU CAN DRIVE A CAR ALL DAY WITHOUT A BATTERY IF YOUR GENERATOR'S WORKING GOOD. If the battery's plum shot or you don't have any battery, you can drive it all day if you keep it running fast enough! You don't dare slow down to idling speed, or it's apt to stall, & then you have got to push it again. That's what the regulator's for, to switch the current back & forth from the battery to the generator.

       13. THE REGULATOR'S JUST A SWITCH. When the generator's not running fast enough to generate enough electricity to run the engine &, for example, to keep the lights on & also charge the battery, then the regulator switches the whole electrical load of the car over to the battery.

       14. IN OTHER WORDS, WHEN YOU SLOW DOWN TO A SLOW IDLING SPEED, THE REGULATOR FLIPS THE SWITCH & turns the electrical load over to the battery because the generator's not running fast enough to handle it. Then when you pick up speed & you reach driving speed again, the regulator flips the current back over to the generator, & the generator carries the load.

       15. WHEN YOUR ENGINE IS OPERATING AT NORMAL DRIVING SPEED, THEN THE GENERATOR CARRIES THE ELECTRICAL LOAD for the whole car, including at night; the ignition, lights & battery-charging. It charges the battery at the same time. But when you' are operating at a very slow speed or standing still or idling, quite frequently the generator's not turning over fast enough to generate enough electricity to operate the ignition, much less the lights or charge the battery, so the regulator flips the load over to the battery. The battery has to carry the whole load, & it can't charge itself.

       16. THE BATTERY IS ABLE TO CARRY THE LOAD FOR A SHORT WHILE without a generator. If you're operating in the daytime, the battery, if it's a good battery, can operate the ignition, which doesn't take an awful lot of juice, for two or three hours. It'll carry the load of just the ignition, the spark of the car, but I wouldn't try it at night when you get those headlights going!--Those headlights take more juice than the engine!

       17. HEADLIGHTS ARE THE BEST BATTERY-KILLERS THERE ARE! That's why these people who drive little tiny short trips around town at night all the time with their headlights on, kill their batteries so easily.

       18. YOU'VE GOT TO DRIVE ABOUT FIVE MINUTES OR FIVE MILES TO RECHARGE YOUR BATTERY from one start. You've got to have the engine going at a driving speed, like 25-35 miles an hour, or the engine operating at that speed, at least 2000 or 3000 RPMs, in order to charge up the battery back to where it was just from one battery start.

       19. IN OTHER WORDS, WHEN YOU START YOUR CAR IN THE MORNING, YOU START IT WITH BATTERY JUICE. The battery juice turns the starter over & the ignition, & once you have done that, it discharges the battery partially, & you have to drive your car 5 miles or 5 minutes to charge the battery back up to where it was--& with some old worn out batteries, more than that!

       20. IF YOU START THE CAR AT NIGHT, & THEN YOU TURN ON YOUR HEADLIGHTS & take off, your headlights use so much juice you've got to be really driving at a good clip to generate enough electricity to run the headlights, ignition & recharge the battery.

       21. YOU SHOULD NEVER TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS, NOT EVEN YOUR PARKING LIGHTS, UNTIL YOU HAVE GOT YOUR ENGINE IDLING AT A GOOD SPEED. I've seen some stupid idiots get in the car & turn their headlights on even before they start the car, so that the battery has to carry the headlights & the starter & the ignition, all three for a few moments while they're starting the car, & that's how they kill the battery.

       22. IT TAKES A LOT OF JUICE TO START A CAR. That starter has to turn over that big engine or little engine, either one, & it takes a lot of juice. And if you keep making little short trips, not even five minutes long, at night with the headlights on, each time you start it, it's going to discharge the battery a little further & a little further till it's dead!

       23. HEADLIGHTS MAKE SUCH A DRAIN, IT CAN HARDLY RECHARGE UNLESS YOU'RE DRIVING AT A GOOD SPEED. All these little short stops around town, slowing down for lights, standing at lights & driving slow, immediately the car drops to idling speed, & this normally is not enough to ever run your headlights. It's hardly enough to even run your ignition much less your headlights, & it discharges your battery.

       24. YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE YOUR LIGHTS ON ANY TIME WHEN THEY'RE NOT NEEDED. The minute you start maneuvering to park, you should switch off the headlights & just leave your taillights on, because you're still sticking out a little bit into the road or into the street. If you're parking, switch your headlights off & use parking lights.-That's why they're called parking lights!

       25. THEN, THE MINUTE YOU GET THE CAR SITUATED, SWITCH OFF ALL LIGHTS & RUN THE ENGINE ABOUT TWO OR THREE MINUTES at a good fast speed with no lights on to recharge the battery from the drain they've been having on that battery. Even while parking, the engine's operating so slowly that the lights are draining the battery. The lights are running on battery & not on generator. So the minute you start parking you should shut off the headlights, & shut off all lights as soon as you can. Never use any lights unless you absolutely have to.

       26. WHEN YOU'RE BACKING OUT OF YOUR DRIVEWAY, YOU DON'T NEED HEADLIGHTS! Most cars nowadays have backing lights, & they are so bright they use almost as much juice as headlights! You certainly don't need your headlights on--just put on your parking lights. In fact, you don't even need your parking lights on if you have backing lights, until you hit the street, then turn on your parking lights & back on out into the street. Then, when you're ready to gun it & take off, turn on your headlights.

       27. YOU SHOULD NEVER TURN ON YOUR HEADLIGHTS UNTIL YOU'RE READY TO REALLY TAKE OFF! As long as you're along the sidewalk or you're near the curb, like you're parking, you don't need your headlights. (Maria: Does it make that much difference?) It sure does! Most cars nowadays have so many lights in the parking system!...They've got two to four parking lights up front & two to four different kinds of parking lights in the back. Besides that, you're standing there with the engine running with your foot on the brake & you've got two very bright red brakelights going too!--8 to 10 lights!

       28. YOU'VE GOT EIGHT TO TEN LIGHT BULBS RUNNING ON THE BATTERY WITHOUT THE HEADLIGHTS! Then you turn on these high, high intensity headlights! It's a wonder a battery can carry them for even a few minutes without the generator running! And I tell you, it won't carry them very long! The lights of a car knock the battery flat quicker than anything else besides starting!--And then,


       Headlights (high beam) 18
       Headlights (low beam) 14
       Taillights 8
       Total 40

       Emergency brake light 4
       Emergency flasher 20
       Turn signals 20
       Windshield wipers 6
       Horn 20
       Brake lights 20
       Running lights 8
       Total 98

       Winter Starting 225-500
       Summer starting 100-400
       Approx. Avg. 300

       Cigarette lighter 25
       Interior lights 25
       Trunk light 25
       Instrument panel lights 4
       Total 79

       Radio 10
       Stereo Tape 10
       Electric antenna 20
       Total 40

       Air conditioner 15
       Heater 7
       Defroster 25
       Electric seat 20
       Electric windows 20
       Total 87

       29. IF YOU SIT OUT THERE FOR MINUTES-ON-END GRINDING AWAY WITH THE STARTER, THAT WILL REALLY RUN YOUR BATTERY DOWN, because that starter takes the most juice of anything in a short length of time. (Maria: How can you prevent that?) You can prevent having to do that by keeping a good battery & keeping your car in good tune so it starts quickly.

       30. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER TO CHARGE UP YOUR BATTERY BEFORE TURNING THE ENGINE OFF, especially at night. You usually bring your car home at night after dark, & you've been running your lights & the battery hasn't been charging much. So before you shut off your engine, you should:

       31. SIT THERE FOR TWO OR THREE MINUTES WITH ALL LIGHTS OFF & THE ENGINE RUNNING AT A GOOD CLIP of 2000 or 3000 revolutions a minute, like you were driving about 30 or 35. Get the engine running at a good fast speed, about two or three minutes while you're sitting there with your lights out. This is enough to charge up the battery, so that the next morning your battery will have plenty of juice to get it started again. Besides that,

       32. THEN WHEN YOU SHUT IT OFF YOU SHOULD GUN IT A MOMENT & SHUT IT OFF RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of that fast gun. Turn the key off just as it's gunned. Go Vrrroommmm!--And shut it off, & this causes the engine to coast to a stop with the ignition off, continuing to pack the cylinders full of the combustible mixture. So in the morning when you get out there to start your car again, the cylinders are already packed with gasoline, & all they need is (snaps fingers) just a spark like that to go bang & start exploding!--It starts!

       33. OF COURSE, WHEN YOU START IN THE MORNING YOU SHOULD ALWAYS GIVE THE GAS PEDAL A QUICK TAP, one or two times, sometimes three, to loosen up the automatic choke & to set the fast idle, so that right away the car will be in a cold starting condition. Even when you're driving around town, every time you shut off your car you should gun it, & then shut it off like that. Then when you come back, usually while the car's still warm, you can start it just (snaps fingers) like that, you just barely hit the starter & it starts, easily.

       34. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TAP THE GAS PEDAL BEFORE YOU TURN ON THE KEY or step on the starter, tap the gas pedal first thing. This loosens the automatic choke & puts it in the proper position. We used to have to choke our own cars & estimate how much they needed choking. But for all the stupid idiots who don't know how to choke a car, they have automatic chokes now; but if the stupid idiot doesn't know enough to tap the gas pedal first before he even turns on the key, in order to put the automatic choke into operation, then it won't work!

       35. IF YOU JUST GET STRAIGHT INTO A COLD CAR WITHOUT TOUCHING THE GAS PEDAL & you turn on the key & try to start it without touching the gas pedal, it'll be difficult starting ....Because last night when you were driving, the car was hot & warm. You stopped when it was warm with the choke wide open, so the choke will still be wide open in the morning, & it won't choke it enough to pull the gas in to get going, particularly if you didn't gun it before you shut it off. Such simple little things people can do, but apparently very few people know them. (Maria:--And so many kids getting cars now, & trailers!)

       36. THEY DRIVE AROUND AT NIGHT SLOWLY WITH A LOT OF STOPS & ALL THEIR LIGHTS ON & all this dragging down the battery. Then they start parking with their headlights still on! I've watched them do this so many times with all their lights on, parking lights, headlights, brake lights, backing lights, squirming into a parking place, headlights still on when they don't need them, even parking lights on when they don't need them. I've been dumbfounded to watch people do this!

       37. THEY NOT ONLY DON'T GUN THE CAR BEFORE THEY SHUT IT OFF, THEY JUST SHUT IT OFF WITH ALL THE LIGHTS STILL ON! In the few moments when the car is running slow while parking, all those lights are dragging down the battery. Then they shut off the engine before they turn off their lights, & that just can virtually kill the battery right there! I've seen people do it time & time again.

       38. IN FACT, SOME PEOPLE WILL WALK OFF & LEAVE THEIR LIGHTS ON! Some people do it deliberately because, of course, they have parked where they shouldn't, & they've got to have lights on to keep somebody from running into them. But if the car's standing still, the engine is off or at a very slow idling speed, everything's working on battery & dragging down that battery just pitifully! It's just pitiful what they'll do to a battery, the abuse they give a battery, & then they wonder why it doesn't have enough juice to turn the starter over! They'll actually shut the car off before they even turn off their headlights!

       39. WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE WAS SHUT OFF ALL THEIR LIGHTS & RUN THE CAR AT A GOOD CLIP FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES before they shut it off, then gun it as they shut it off, & they'd have no problem starting, because they've charged the battery back up, enough at least for a good start. They've packed the engine with gasoline vapor, ready to explode, & all they need is a spark from the ignition & a little tiny shove from the battery to get the starter to turn the engine over.

       40. BUT IF THEY RUN WITH HEADLIGHTS AT NIGHT ON SHORT TRIPS, slow driving & lots of stops, & not turning off the lights soon enough, of course they're going to drain the battery. So when they try to start it the next cold morning, the battery's low. It's at its lowest when it's cold, when you need it the most.--You need a strong battery for a cold start!

       41. THEY DIDN'T CHARGE IT UP THAT NIGHT BEFORE THEY SHUT IT OFF, they left the lights on, they didn't hot-shot the engine by gunning it before they shut it off. The next morning, the poor battery's weak, & they don't know how to tap the accelerator to make it choke or anything, & they grind & grind & grind away!

       42. I'VE HEARD PEOPLE JUST KILLING THEIR BATTERY BY GRINDING AWAY TRYING TO GET THE ENGINE STARTED because the battery's so low, & especially if the engine's not in good shape & kept tuned up good. If it's hard to start, for one thing, they shouldn't just keep on grinding & grinding.

       43. THEY SHOULD JUST TURN IT OVER TWO OR THREE TIMES, & THEN STOP & TURN OFF THE IGNITION for a minute & let the battery rest for a minute. A battery has to rest, believe it or not, & it gets its strength back up if you sit there two or three minutes & wait, & then try again.

       44. DON'T EVER JUST GO ON GRINDING & GRINDING & grinding & grinding, this absolutely kills the battery! Batteries are a lot like people: They need rest, they need recharging, & they can't stand too much draining. You've got to take care of them, you've got to take care or your car.

       45. I'VE SEEN PEOPLE GET IN THEIR CARS AT NIGHT & TURN ON THE LIGHTS BEFORE THEY START THE ENGINE, WHICH IS HORRIBLE! It puts the load of the lights & the starter both on the battery! The rule is that lights should never be on at all unless the engine is running at a good clip, otherwise they're draining the battery. So shut off your lights when you don't need them, & if for some reason you've got to park it someplace where you've got to leave your lights on: Well, just don't park at such places! Don't double park, don't park on a traffic lane!

       46. OF COURSE, IF YOU'RE STALLED ON THE HIGHWAY HAVING AN EMERGENCY, then you've got to have some lights on, so keep your parking lights on. If it's on a busy highway, & you're really on a lane of traffic, you better put on your emergency flashers! That really drains your battery, but you're already in trouble, so it is not going to make much difference; the mechanic & the wrecker are coming anyhow, so they'll have to tow you or get you started anyhow, so light your flashers!

       47. SO DON'T EVEN HAVE YOUR LIGHTS ON UNLESS THE ENGINE'S RUNNING, & always try not to turn them on until you absolutely have to, turn them off as quick as you can when you don't have to have them, & then keep the engine running for little while afterwards to charge the battery back up.

       48. IF PEOPLE WOULD JUST FOLLOW THOSE SIMPLE LITTLE POINTERS, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE NEAR SO MUCH TROUBLE with batteries & cars not starting. They blame it on the car & they think it's something wrong with the car, but it was something wrong with the driver, not the car! Most car troubles are not the car's fault, they are the driver's fault, just like accidents!

       49. (MARIA: REMEMBER WHAT YOU GOT ABOUT THE CAR BEING SAD & feeling bad?) No, I don't remember, when was that? (Maria: When it was going through all those repairs, you got that it was sad.) No, I don't remember that, you never told me! No, really?

       50. (MARIA: SO THEY MUST HAVE FEELINGS.) What...what did I get? (Maria: Just that it was sad, I can't remember the exact it was sad, I can't remember the exact circumstances. It was after he brought it back & we were taking it to those various places to try to get it fixed & they weren't doing a good job, & you said you had the feeling that it was sad that we subjected it to all that.)

       51. WELL, I'LL SAY A CAR IS CERTAINLY SAD & WILL CERTAINLY FEEL BAD IF YOU DON'T TAKE GOOD CARE OF IT, that's for sure! You'll be sad, too, & feel bad if you can't get it started & it won't run! But it's not the car's fault, it's your fault for not taking care of it!

       52. (MARIA: THE OTHER DAY ONE OF THE BOYS WAS KEEPING HIS FOOT ON THE BRAKE WHEN HE SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN, when was that?) While we were standing still, parked, he had his foot resting on the brake, & day or night, if you stick your foot on the brake, it turns on those big bright heavy duty brake lights, & it's draining the battery. Here we were sitting there parked with the engine off, he didn't need brakes, he didn't need anything. He should've just had the emergency brake on, the hand brake.

       53. YOU SHOULDN'T BE SITTING THERE WITH YOUR FOOT RESTING ON THE BRAKE & those bright brake lights draining the battery ...ever! Once you're parked or even if you're sitting in the car waiting for somebody & you're parked & the engine is off, don't sit there with your foot resting on the brake!

       54. WHEN I START OUT DRIVING AROUND TOWN WHEN THE BATTERY'S LOW & I HAVE TO SLOW DOWN & COME TO A STOP LIGHT, even as I start to slow down, I'll immediately shift out of gear, put my left foot on the brake or use the hand brake & keep my right foot on the gas to keep the engine turning over rapidly to keep the car going fast enough to generate enough electricity to keep it going so it doesn't stall & die, & to keep the battery charging up. Just remember, every time you slow down & stop, your battery has to carry the load, & at night is the worst time of all to drive, because the lights just kill your battery!

       55. YOU OUGHT TO TRY TO PLAN NEARLY ALL YOUR DRIVING IN THE DAYTIME IF YOU CAN. Driving at night is an emergency, & it used to be something we never did if we could possibly help it when I was a kid. You had oil lamps on the cars & buggies, you had to start your car by either pushing it or cranking it.--No batteries & self-starters! But if people would just remember those simple little pointers, especially cold-starting in the morning:

       56. PUSH THE ACCELERATOR DOWN AT LEAST HALFWAY WHEN YOU'RE READY TO COLD START in the morning, & if you tap it a couple of times, that shoots a little extra gas into the carburetor. It's apt to drift down into the cylinders, especially a you begin to turn it over, & then you've got a good explosive mixture ready to fire! First thing when you get in the car in the morning, even in hot weather, tap the accelerator a couple times.

       57. THEN TURN ON THE KEY & THEN THE STARTER, & if it turns over several times without starting, stop, turn off the key & let the battery rest a minute, & then try again. That's how to start the car in the morning.

       58. THEN AT NIGHT WHEN YOU COME HOME, TURN OFF YOUR HEADLIGHTS the minute you start coming into your parking place or driveway, the minute the horse is headed for the barn, & as soon as you get off the street, turn off all your lights right away. Stop the car & get your foot off the brake as quick as you can, because that runs your brake lights, & set your hand brake.

       59. LET THE ENGINE RUN AT A GOOD CLIP, 2000 OR 3000 RPMs WHILE YOU JUST SIT THERE for a couple minutes & recharge your battery with the lights all off. Then gun it & cut it off while it's gunning, to repack the cylinders with gas. Then the next morning your battery's got enough juice & your cylinders have enough gas. It'll start almost instantly, even on a cold morning, if you tap the accelerator first, which releases the automatic choke which helps to suck more gas in. It's very simple, praise the Lord!--Try it!

       60. IT WAS THE STUPIDEST THING FOR THEM TO HOT-SHOT THE CAR & TAKE THE BATTERY OUT & all kinds of stuff to try to get the car started. Even the dumbest kid, when I was a kid, knew that if the battery was too low to get the car started, the next best thing to do was push it!--Go back to the old-fashioned method when everybody pushed theirs or cranked it. They don't have cranks now so you have to push it. That's the easiest way & the safest, you don't break an arm doing it, like my Dad did cranking his by hand.

       61. IF THE BATTERY'S TOO LOW TO START IT, THEN THE NEXT THING TO DO IS TRY PUSHING IT: One guy sitting at the wheel, ignition off, two guys behind if you can push it forward, or two guys right in front if you can push it backward, & for God's sake know which gear you're in! If you're going to push it backwards, stick it in reverse & put your foot on the clutch, make sure it's out of gear. If you're going to push it frontwards, put it in first gear & push it forward.

       62. BE SURE YOUR GUYS ARE BEHIND THE CAR IF PUSHING IT FORWARD or directly in front of the car if pushing backwards, otherwise you could run over yourself! Guys running along side the car pushing have frequently slipped & fallen & a leg has gone under the car & one wheel went right over the leg! It might break your leg, it usually doesn't, but it sure hurts & kind of messes them up for awhile, & you can't even walk on it!

       63. SO IF, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU'RE GOING TO PUSH IT FORWARD, you have the driver get in, step on the clutch, put it in first or low gear with at least two guys behind to push it.--Behind the car, nowhere along side! With the clutch pedal pushed to the floor, get them to start pushing.

       64. AS SOON AS THE CAR STARTS ROLLING, THE DRIVER SHOULD SWITCH ON THE KEY, quick!--Not clear over on the starter & tear out the starter! Just switch on the ignition & let the clutch out quick, & that'll usually kick the engine over enough to start it.--If, of course, he's depressed the gas pedal & given it a little gas, especially if it's cold in the morning, & that's when you have the most trouble trying to start a car. You've got to kick that pedal at least once to liberate the automatic choke.

       65. AS SOON AS THE CAR'S STARTED, TAKE IT OUT OF GEAR & RACE THE ENGINE to get it going good, get in warmed up & the battery charged up. In which case you're going to have to put your left foot on the brake pedal or use the hand brake to stop the car, because you can't take your foot off the gas, you've got to keep it going to keep the engine going.

       66. AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION WITHOUT A GEAR SHIFT & WITHOUT A CLUTCH CAN'T BE STARTED BY PUSHING, that's only stick-shift cars. Any car that's got a stick-shift, you can start easily be pushing, because just a little rolling will turn the engine over, but with an automatic transmission you can push it even 25 miles an hour & it still won't turn the engine over sometimes.

       67. YOU USUALLY HAVE TO GET GOING ABOUT 30 OR 40 MILES AN HOUR BEFORE AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION WILL TURN OVER THE ENGINE. So, in the case of a car with an automatic transmission, you can't start it with just a little push. A car with a gear shift & a clutch you can usually start within a few feet or at least a few yards, forward or reverse, either one.--But,

       68. WITH AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION YOU HAVE GOT TO GET ANOTHER CAR TO PUSH YOU, that's the next best thing to do. Get another car to push you out on a straight-away somewhere, certainly not around town if you can help it, with lots of stops & starts & lights & turns. If you can get on a straight street or down a hill, or even if you have at least one block distance, you might be able to get up enough speed, if nobody's in the way, to have another car push you fast enough to get it started.

       69. THAT'S ONE OF THE DISADVANTAGES OF AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, if your battery goes dead or your starter goes out, they're pretty hard to start. (Maria: But you prefer automatic, don't you?) Well, for driving, of course. You keep your car in good shape & your battery in good shape & you've got no problems. But for these dumb idiots that don't know anything about how to take care of a car or a battery or how to start them or stop them or anything else, I certainly would not recommend automatic transmissions, because they're probably going to have to be pushing their car a whole lot of times to get it started. (Maria: But why do you prefer it personally?)

       70. AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION SAVES YOU ALL THAT SHIFTING y CLUTCHING. That was one of the most difficult things for new drivers to learn when I was a kid, how to shift & clutch. That's quite a clever operation that you really have to learn to do.

       71. YOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO OPERATE THREE DIFFERENT THINGS WHEN YOU'RE SHIFTING GEARS BY HAND: The gear shift, the clutch pedal & the gas pedal. Once you have learned that sequence & how to do it, it becomes automatic.--You become the automatic transmission. (Maria: But you still prefer automatics.) I prefer automatics by far!

       72. WHY DO ALL THAT WORK YOURSELF, WHEN IT CAN BE DONE FOR YOU AUTOMATICALLY? You don't have all that shifting & clutching & gas pedaling & all that. It does it all completely automatically, & much better than you can do it, more efficiently. It will change gears when it ought to, instead of waiting until too late or do it too soon, like some drivers do. (Maria: Would that ruin the car?) Yes.

       73. THE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION IS A GREAT GEAR-SAVER & ENGINE-SAVER because it shifts the car better than the human being can. It knows when to shift, it knows at what speed to shift & whether to shift up or down. An automatic transmission is by far the best thing to have. If you keep your car in good condition & your battery up & your starter working OK, you'll have no problem. But the one drawback to them is when it comes to having to try to push one to get it started. You've got to have another car to push it fast to get it started.

       74. ANOTHER THING, WHEN YOU START A CAR IN THE MORNING, YOU'VE GOT TO LET IT WARM UP. I've seen ladies especially, who don't understand mechanics, get in a cold car & start it, & just because it starts, they try to drive off. The car's running, but it's dead cold, & when a car is cold if it even misfires once, which it's apt to do when it's cold, it's apt to kill it or stall.

       75. BUT INSTEAD OF SITTING THERE FOR AT LEAST A COUPLE MINUTES WITH THEIR FOOT ON THE GAS WARMING UP THE ENGINE, they try to drive right off &, of course, since the car's not warmed up enough, it stalls. So then they start it again, another battery killer, & they try to take off again, & again it stalls, & then they start again.

       76. I'VE SEEN THEM START THE CAR FOUR, FIVE OR SIX TIMES, & STALL IT EVERY TIME the minute they'd let out the clutch or start to pull out, because the car's not warmed up enough yet to carry the load of the power that it takes to move the car, & they kill the engine every time. Then they have to use the starter again, & they have just absolutely knocked the battery for a loop with four or five starts, when one was all that was necessary. It takes them just as long to keep starting & stalling & starting & stalling as if they had sat there for two minutes with the engine racing at a good speed to get the engine warmed up before they take off.

       77. YOU SHOULD NEVER TAKE OFF IN A CAR WITHOUT GETTING THE ENGINE WARMED UP TO OPERATING SPEED. Every temperature gauge has a place that shows where it should operate. In the Centigrade districts it's usually around 40 or 50 degrees or more that it should be up to before you start driving, & it's marked on the temperature gauge. In Fahrenheit areas the normal operating temperature of the engine usually should be up about 120 to 180.

       78. IF IT DOESN'T SHOW ANY WARMTH AT ALL, DON'T DRIVE OFF! Sit there until the engine warms up enough to start that needle moving up the temperature gauge before you take off, because that just ruins an engine to take off a at full speed on a cold engine!

       79. YOU SHOULDN'T IDLE IT TOO FAST EITHER ON A COLD ENGINE: A nice gentle driving-speed idle, I'd say around 2000 RPMs is best. A lot of American cars don't have tachometers, so you can't tell your RPMs, but it's just like a good fast clip of the engine, like you're driving 25 or 35 miles an hour. Don't race the engine like you're doing 80! You can tear up a cold engine by racing too fast on a cold start!

       80. YOU SHOULD NEVER TAKE OFF WITH A COLD ENGINE! You should sit there at least a minute while it warms up, & not only diesels. Diesels you have to sit there a minute while it warms up before you can even start it! But gasoline engines should sit there at least a minute or two & warm up at a good fast idling speed before you take off.

       81. IF YOU'VE BEEN DRIVING AROUND TOWN & YOUR ENGINE'S WARM & you park at a store & then come back in a few minutes to start off again, the engine's already warm, so you don't have to sit there & warm it up anymore. It's only cold-mornings or night-starts when the car's been off for hours & the engine is cooled off completely, that you have to be careful about starting it & not abusing it.

       82. A MINUTE OR TWO WARM-UP WILL BE SUFFICIENT FOR MOST TOWN DRIVING, because you're not going to be driving very fast, & the engine can continue to warm up while you drive off slowly down the street. But if you live only a few yards from the expressway & you're going to hit the expressway right away & start going 60 or 80 kilometers an hour, you'd better sit there five minutes & warm up your car before you take off.

       83. THE CAR SHOULD NEVER HIT A HIGH SPEED UNTIL IT'S AT FULL OPERATING TEMPERATURE which is marked on the gauge, & that usually takes at least five minutes from a cold start. Don't hit those normal fast driving speeds until the car's fully warmed up, or you're just tearing up your engine! You have to "consider your beast."

       84. THE BIBLE SAYS TO CONSIDER YOUR BEAST! (Prov.12:10). If you want to have a good beast of burden to carry & serve you well, you've got to take good care of it. You've got to feed it well & care for it well & start it well & stop it right & drive it right & tune it & take good care of the battery & all the rest, if you want to keep a car in shape.

       85. I'M DUMBFOUNDED BY THE WAY SOME PEOPLE DRIVE & TRY TO START CARS, & the horrible way some people stop them! Leaving the lights on till the last minute even after they shut off the engine, not revving them up & in the morning, not tapping the gas accelerator before they try to start it, & then just grinding & grinding away & running down the battery, or starting it & then trying to take off right away, start & stall, start & stall! They absolutely kill the battery!

       86. THE MINUTE IT'S STARTED & RUNNING, JUST SIT THERE & PRAY! It's a good time to do your praying before you take off, while the engine's warming up. Don't take off until it's warmed up enough so it'll keep running without stalling.

       87. THAT'S THE RULES ON HOW TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF A CAR & how to save yourself a lot of time in the long run. It'll save a lot of dead batteries & no starts, & having to call mechanics or wreckers or whatnot just to try to get it going again, all because you didn't take care of your car. You didn't start it right & you didn't stop it right & you didn't warm it up right & you didn't drive it right, you used too many lights when you didn't need them, & didn't shut them off soon enough or turned them on too soon. All of these are simple little things, if people would just mind them they wouldn't have nearly as much car trouble. (Maria: What are the criteria for even using a car?)

       88. NEVER USE A CAR IF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN AVAILABLE & public transportation can do it. Never use a car, especially for only one or two people, if you don't have to use a car. You ought to try to organise your time & start far enough ahead so you don't have to hurry at the last minute & jump in your car & run.

       89. THE ONLY TIMES YOU HAVE TO USE A CAR IS WHEN YOU HAVE SEVERAL PEOPLE TO TAKE TO SEVERAL PLACES & YOU HAVE LOADS TO CARRY & it makes it really necessary to use a car. When you have at least two or more people going, & you've got a lot of stops & a lot of places to go that aren't easy to get to by public transportation & you haven't got all that much time & you have loads to carry, then a car is handy.

       90. OTHERWISE, IF YOU'RE JUST GONG TO GO SHOPPING DOWNTOWN ONE PLACE OR ONE AREA, CATCH A BUS & let your feet do the walking & not the car. Walk around, then you won't have to bother with having to find a place to park it, & you won't have to bother with driving in dangerous traffic & all that nerve-wracking, brain-strain!

       91. I PREFER PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION MYSELF, far prefer it, when it's available & accessible & fairly efficient, & comes frequently enough so that you don't have to waste too much time waiting for it. It's not too expensive & it drops you right downtown where you want to go, & you can walk from there a lot easier than trying to drive around. Once you're downtown, it's easier too walk than it is to drive or park, if that's all you're going to do.--Shop in one area.

       92. BUT OF COURSE YOU CAN MAKE EXCEPTIONS IF YOU'RE GOING TO GO SOME PLACES WHERE IT'S NOT EASY TO GET TRANSPORTATION, or late at night when it's slow or stopped, or places that are inaccessible by public transportation. If you've got a lot of people to haul, then it's going to cost quite a bit of money on public transportation, & you could actually drive cheaper in a car. But, just don't ever use the car unless you have to, that's the rule! Don't ever use a car unless you have to.

       93. SO THAT'S HOW TO USE & TAKE CARE OF YOUR CAR. Amen, Lord help them to take good care of their beasts of burden, consider their beasts! Amen, thank You, Lord! "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast!" (Prov.12:10.) Happy driving!

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family