Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wise Caution

Basically, car ownership is a new, or at least unfamiliar experience for me. For many years I lived in places where a car was the least of necessities. Still, I did own two different cars during the few years I spent in Los Angeles. With both those cars the investment was small, and I didn’t give a lot of time over to pampering either of the cars. Can’t recall spending much on anything other than gasoline, or an occasional minor part.

Different time, different place and now my song has changed. With the still new Toyota I bought not long ago, I’ve decided to make an effort toward maintaining it wisely. At this stage of using the car, problems are still something more likely in the future, so my maintenance for now is mostly cosmetic. The dashboard falls into that category, so I’m concerned now about long exposure to hot sun.

Never really liked those silver foil-looking windshield shades and had no notion of getting one for my car—until recently. To be completely honest, the blast of hot air coming from a car long in the sun doesn’t bother me a lot. I like hot much more than cold, and can bear heat well. But then someone told me that the sun will eventually crack and warp the dash console.

That put things in a different light and a windshield shade started sounding like a good idea. Lucky enough to have a friend nearby with an extra, new and unused shade, I got one for nothing. Problem is, the clumsy thing doesn’t fit very well and putting it in place is hardcore troublesome. I was told by one person that they are a one-size-fits-all item, but advised later by someone else to choose from several sizes to get the best fit.

That is the first of my negative impressions. Spending five minutes wrestling the cheaply designed and cheaply manufactured shade into position, I return two hours later to find both interior space and dashboard console furnace hot. To my senses, it isn’t serving the slightest purpose.

So, it looks as though a visit to the auto store is upcoming. A good chance to look for another sun block I heard about, a Wet ’n Wipe type of throwaway cloth that uses a protective chemical much like sun screen for the beach, but for vinyl, not skin. According to the story, if you wipe down the console from time to time, it will prevent heat damage.

For now, I want to thank the unknown manufacturer of my current windshield screen for including the wise caution: ‘Do not drive car with sun screen in place!’

1 comment:

  1. My new wicker rocking chair had a label that said "not to be used as a stepladder". Duh...


About Me

My photo
Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America