Tbug & the VDub

So last fall hubby and I bought a 1999 Volkswagon Passat to keep the miles off his truck, plus it gets better fuel mileage than what his truck does so why not, right?

We were really looking for a Jetta Diesel but this one was less than what we wanted to pay and it was still kind of what we were looking for so we were able to get it. Sweet, right?

So there’s that info… now this… So like all kids, Tbug really can’t wait to drive. I learned to drive when I was 4 years old in a hayfield and learned to drive a standard transmission when I was 12. I can’t tell you how many times being able to drive a standard has paid off in life. So I told Tbug before she’s allowed to get her drivers license, she has to be able to do 2 things… 1) drive a standard (she’ll never be stranded that way) and 2) change a tire (again, never be stranded due to that).

So the Passat we bought is actually a standard. Score, a vehicle to teach her to drive one in, right?

Yeah, about that…

So 2 weeks before the Peanut was born, hubby got a phone call about a sale. That day we happened to be out and about in the VW (VDub). Hubby wound up riding home with Robert and Tbug and I took the VDub home. Since we beat the boys to our house, I figured I’d give her a chance to start learning to drive a standard.

We pulled into the driveway, I kicked it in neutral and put on the Ebrake and told her to get in the drivers seat. She looked at me like I’d lost my mind. So she got in, we slid the seat forward and I proceeded to tell her how to take off. Woohooo, we made it down the driveway only killing the car 5 times. Not bad!

We got down by the house, I had her stop, I got out and turned the car around and told her to drive me back up to the head of the driveway. She looked at me like I was crazy again but away we went. She only killed it 5 times this way again. Not bad!

By this point the boys had gotten to the house.

So when we got to the head of the driveway I told her to turn it around. I told her to put it in reverse you have to push down on the shifter and then go to the right and down. She did what I said and we proceeded to kill the car a few more times. No big deal, turn the key off and start back up (remember push in on the clutch!)

We finally got the car going in reverse, and had it going toward the hayfield. Now we don’t have a fence separating the yard from the hayfield which is a good thing because there is a slight incline there and we wound up backing down the hill into the hayfield.

If you’ve never driven a standard, if you have the clutch pushed in and you’re on an incline, you’ll go down the hill unless you have the break on or are giving it gas while coming off the clutch. Hubby asked why we decided to back into his hayfield and I laughed and said, ask the clutch :).

So it was at this point I was telling Tbug she needed to give the car gas to help get off the clutch and back up the hill before we wound up to far into the hayfield. She proceeded to tell me, I can’t see the gas. Dear you don’t need to see the gas… the gas is the far right pedal, the break is the middle pedal and the clutch is the left pedal in a standard. You don’t need to see, just feel for it. You’ll find it easily! Do you ever see me looking for the pedals?

So we get going back down the driveway, as we got up by the house we were headed straight for the tractor that was parked under the carport. She asked me what to do. I said, push on the clutch and the brake. She said I can’t see the brake. I said you don’t need to see the brake, it’s the middle pedal and you need to press it NOW!

Luckily she had the clutch pushed in and we weren’t going that fast because about that time we ran the car right into the big tire on the tractor. Hubby and Robert came running over. I immediately looked at her and asked if she was okay and then climbed out of the car dazed and confused.

Now the reason I said luckily she had the clutch pushed in is we bounced off the tractor tire instead of slamming into it and still going as you would have in an automatic. Whew!

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