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The Matchstick Speedometer

Posted by daveb on September 26th, 2007

The Matchstick SpeedometerThe speedometer in our bus had stopped working. We decided to struggle on, as Swiss mehanics are bound to be expensive. Later that day, we had an ‘incident’ (*cough* stalled-it *cough*) on a steep incline in which we needed to perform a hill-start, with a generous application of handbrake. SQ pulled-up the handle and took her foot off the brake. We rolled backwards. I muscled on another couple of notches and we still rolled. We eventually stopped, but only when the incline levelled-out. Off to the mechanics we went.

I checked my trusty Haynes manual for handbrake adjustment notes and, because I still haven’t found anywhere to sell me a jack, toddled off to suitably cheap-looking mechanic. Easy job, I thought. And, whilst I’m here, they can fix the speedo too.

Yoko up on ramps (again) and the back wheels came off to tighten the handbrake cable. “Funny” I thought “the Haynes just says that only a single nut elsewhere under the car needs to be tightened. Still, these guys are bound to know more than me, so I’ll just watch and learn.”

Looking at my other manual, How to keep your Volkswagon alive, suggested that the speedo fault might lie in the front-left wheel — yes, the *same* front-left wheel which I’ve mistrusted from day-one. Anyhow, the mechanic saw fit to take apart the instrument panel and–pling–the needle from a unorderable 25 year old speedometer detached itself from the dial and span off into the ether. He handed me the speedometer dial, with the words “it’s broken”.

Unfortunately, I had to go back the next day to get the handbrake cable fixed properly — this time the Haynes way. And, as you’ll have no-doubt seen from the photo above, we now have a matchstick for a speedo needle.


Comment from Andy
Time: October 1, 2007, 8:47 pm

This is a VW optional extra that many would pay for.
It’s for desperate smokers who find themselves without a lighter – All you need is the “IN CASE OF EMEGENCY BREAK GLASS” sign

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