ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Car Has a Compass

Updated on August 29, 2012

Don't Let the Battery Die on THIS Baby!

Who Thought This Up?


My car has a compass. First impressions would make you believe this is a good thing to have. I believed this. I truly did. Most of the time, I am pleased to have a compass, because you never know when you might need to know which way north is. I am also intrigued when the direction shifts slightly. Why does it thrill me to know I'm suddenly driving southwest instead of straight south?

Once upon a time, the battery in my car died and needed to be replaced. This happens to all of us at one time or another, and is taken in stride by anyone with a minimal mechanical aptitude (which doesn't actually include me). Not trusting my feeble mechanical inclinations, and also not wanting to risk blowing myself to the moon by hooking up a new battery myself, I had the local Goodyear dealership do the job for me. (I know, I know, it's not a tough job. Still...) After a short while, I picked up my car with a smile on my face and a somewhat emptier wallet, and was reunited with my auto assuming all was right with the world.

I was deceived.

To my shock and consternation, I discovered both the radio and the compass no longer functioned correctly after the old battery had died. (The radio was protected by a pass code to protect it from theft. Well, gee, I bought the car used, and knew of no code to key into it. The used car dealer sure didn't mention it when I bought the thing. I called Mitsubishi and asked them what to do. The mechanic on the other end of the line, in his infinite wisdom, advised me to "pop out the radio, check the serial number, and call him back". "Pop out the radio?" I asked. "How do you suggest I 'pop out the radio'?" The voice on the other end of the phone could not answer my question, so I mumbled a quick thanks for absolutely nothing and hung up. I never succeeded in popping out the radio, and in desperation I ended up buying a new one, instead. Installed by Goodyear, who was preparing to give me my own reserved parking space after so many trips to their establishment.)

But the radio isn't my tale tonight. I consulted my owner's manual for procedures on how to reset the compass. In the interest of complete accuracy, I will list the instructions here.

1. Press the adjustment switch (1) for about one second, and the display window (2) will indicate the symbol (S) at all the divisions of the scale. Continue to press the switch, and all the symbols (S) except one will disappear. (S) and the remaining (S) will revolve around the scale, first clockwise and then counterclockwise. NOTE: The clockwise and counterclockwise rotations of (S) are repeated alternately.

2. In this state, turn the vehicle slowly through 360 degrees in a safe, open space with no vehicle or building around. This will automatically complete the adjustment, showing the correct point on the compass. When there is no appropriate space for turning the vehicle, give one turn to the vehicle by steering clockwise and then counterclockwise or vise versa.

NOTE OF DECLINATION ADJUSTMENT. In some areas, north on the compass (magnetic north) deviates from north on the map due to the inclination of the earth's axis. This deviation angle is called declination, and declination between 20 degrees west and 20 degrees east can be adjusted in increments of 5 degrees.

Huh????????????? What did that thing say??????????

I decided I was being instructed to press a button and drive around in circles. Failing that, I could press the button and take a sharp left followed by a sharp right, perhaps on the Interstate passing other cars. Rather than test my skills on the highway and intent on taking the manual's advice not to hit any cars or buildings, I went to a public school's parking lot. To ensure no youngsters were injured due to my efforts at auto maintenance, I arrived well after all the kids were at home. I calmed my breathing, pressed the button and began.

I made a complete circle in the parking lot. Didn't help. I did it again. Nothing. I decided to improvise and pressed the button again, much like Moses striking the stone with his staff a second time in his efforts to supply the multitudes with water in the desert. Maybe if I held the button down while making the loop it would work. I tried that twice.

At this point, a police officer came to see what I was doing, and was likely preparing to subject me to a sobriety test. After all, I was about 25 years too old to be doing doughnuts in the school parking lot, even if I was circling at a speed normally reserved for a child's Big Wheel. Rather than get gunned down while trying for a quick getaway, I surrendered without a fight. I told the officer I wasn't an overaged juvenile delinquent, but rather that I was trying to fix the compass in my car. I offered him a look at the alternately rotating (S) as proof of my harmless intent, and told the officer I would be glad to have him stay until I accomplished my task if he wished. I also told him I would accept any help he offered in solving my problem. Laughing out loud in my face, he told me he trusted me and wished me luck. Must have been my honest face.

After three or four more circles around the lot, I did indeed accomplish my goal, but I break out in a cold sweat whenever I think about the inevitable day I need a new battery. I think I would prefer the car gave out first.

And I thought I had troubles with the radio.................


A 2012 Update


I still drive this vehicle. It's older now--in fact, it was made fourteen years ago. The compass no longer works. The radio antenna no longer raises. It leaks oil and shudders a bit in second gear. None of that matters. I love this vehicle, and I've never enjoyed driving as much as I have sitting behind the wheel of my Mitsubishi. I don't know how many more years it has left in it, but I hope to be able to drive it for many years to come.

This is now the vehicle I drive when I am dreaming of sitting behind the wheel. It is not my dream vehicle, but it is the vehicle in my dreams. In its own way, a vehicle can't get much better.

I hope you all drive the car, truck, van or bike of your dreams. Take care, my friends.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mike Lickteig profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      stricktlydating, you said it exactly! So much for the convenience of technology. How could anyone have even conceived of such an odd process? There had to have been a more convenient way to set the compass!

      Well, thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments.

      Mike

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 

      8 years ago from Australia

      That is such a funny story! I can't believe the process of resetting the compass in your car! So much for the conveninece of technology!

    • Mike Lickteig profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Thanks, Ben. The boat analogy is an interesting one. If I were the captain of a ship, could I find another continent with nothing going for me than a compass? I dunno.... I could probably find land somewhere eventually, but would it be what I set sail to reach? That's the big question.

      Anyway, I had a little more luck the next time I had to fool with the compass, but it still didn't go that well. I think I have trouble with over-analyzing instructions. I've been accused of finding multiple interpretations of the instructions on soup can labels. So, whether it's correcting the compass in my car or dishing out a yummy helping of Campbell's sodium-larded chicken noodle soup--I can use all the help I can get.

      Thanks again for reading.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Really funny Mike. I had that compass for awhile (before I had the navigator) it was a lifesave in Chicago, where all the streets start to look the same after awhile, especially after dark. Sort of makes you feel like you're in a boat instead of a car!

    • Mike Lickteig profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Dianab61--Arming me with a GPS is a scary thought, considering my effectiveness with a simple compass. I would probably be ALL OVER THE PARKING LOT with one of those babies!

      Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      dianab61 

      8 years ago

      Imagine the fun you could have with a GPS!

    • Mike Lickteig profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      OddjobsMom, I break out in a cold sweat just thinking about having to address the issue of setting the clocks again this weekend. I think I can manage the clock in my car, but NOT the clock on the radio that was put in when I couldn't "pop out" the old one. Oh, well, maybe I won't need to know the time......

      Thanks for your comment.

    • ODDJOBSMOM profile image

      ODDJOBSMOM 

      8 years ago from North (Minnesota)

      Hee, hee, hee, you crack me up, can you remind me how to reset my car's clock when day-light savings time ends, I gave up on that when my battery went poop!

    • Mike Lickteig profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Lickteig 

      9 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Battery gave out in my car again, and guess what? There I was in the same parking lot, driving around in circles. Thanks, those of you who enjoyed my tale and commented. I appreciate it.

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      9 years ago from Florida

      I never thought about how all of those little things, those little gadgets worked. This was fun to read!!!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I don't have a compass in my car, I drive by instinct. And the kindess of strangers in a strange land helps alot, too. :D

    • brad4l profile image

      brad4l 

      9 years ago from USA

      That was an amusing antidote. When I was younger, I had a radar detector with a compass that was set in the same manner, by driving around in circles. I never thought about it, but I am sure I must have looked silly every time I reset that thing...

    • Raj kamal profile image

      Raj kamal 

      9 years ago from Guntur, A.P., India

      Very funny, thanks for sharing your experience. I wish I had a look at the face of the Police Officer when you told him what you were doing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)