Skip to main content

Bye Bye, 5th Gear

It had to have been within 10 minutes of my staring at the odometer, marveling at the nearly 199,000 miles I had wracked up on my VW Golf and thinking how trouble-free the car had lately been, when my cruise control disengaged, and the car started to do the all-too-familiar "death coast".  Without thinking or trying anything else, I immediately turned on my four-way flashers and started moving into the breakdown lane -scoping the distance to the next rest area.

Once the car was safely into the breakdown lane, I pressed the gas a little and watched the tach to see if the engine was still running, clutch out.  It behaved like I was in neutral; no power came to the wheels of the car as the tach jumped up like the finger of a protesting hippy facing riot control at an anti-war rally.   As I neared the rest area ramp, I got a little more bold and tried shifting to 4th.  I pressed the gas pedal, and it was clear that I had power.  Shifted back to 5th - again nothing but rev.

I pulled over and inspected for visible damage or smoke.  I didn't see anything that prevented me from driving the car, so I proceeded on my way with gears 1-4.  Got home fairly uneventfully.

I have had no time to get into it, but some research has led me to believe that my 5th gear has physically broken.  This is apparently not uncommon.  After debating my position on getting a new car for a couple of days, I decided to bite the bullet and just buy the parts.  All things must come with a reward, and in this case, if successful, I will transplant the broken gear (if that's in fact what it is) with a "taller" ratio.  This will provide better mileage and less wear and tear on the engine during highway driving.  A little less power, but with all the power upgrades I have done, this should not be a problem.

More to follow.


Popular posts from this blog

Timbaland rips off a Demoscene artist

I knew this day would come. The new Timbaland/Nelly Furtado song "Do It" uses a song made in 2000 by Finnish demoscene artist "Tempest" (Janne Suni). It's a 4 channel .mod (the ripoff is from a playback using the C64 SID soundchip). The song was hosted on's servers (the main repository for all everyones demos and tracked music, etc.). As you might expect, no permission or royalties were paid to Tempest. Just to clarify, we're not talking about some kind of coincidence here. There is no question that this track was used to create the song "Do It". In an interview, Timbaland tries to downplay it, saying things like "he sampled it from a video game". (This track was not written for a video game- it was actually written for the 2000 demoscene music competition, in which it won 1st place). Regardless, he basically claims he has no legal obligations because it's just like all the other pop artists that sample other m

Reaper, Linux, and the Behringer X-Air - Complete Studio Solution, Part 1

Introduction and Rationale This is part one of a major effort to document my experiences with recreating my home studio, entirely using Linux.  Without getting into too many of the specifics, a few months ago I decided that I was unhappy with Windows' shenanigans - to the point that I was ready to make a serious attempt to leave it behind.  For most in this situation, the obvious choice is to switch to Mac OS.  With its proven track record, support, and options for multimedia production, it is naturally the first alternative to consider if your goal is to simply use something other than Windows. For me the choice was not so simple. I despise Mac OS and, in general, the goals and philosophies put forth by Apple in an effort to ostensibly provide users with an "easy" working environment.  It does not help that I have also failed to find any aspect of the Mac OS UI intuitive, but I realize that this is a subjective matter. With my IT background and user-control* favori

Windows 8 audio clicks and glitches narrowed down to Malwarebytes

Ever since I got my Windows 8 PC, I have been having serious problems with audio.  Basically all sound playback on my system experiences a brief  but frequent click, skip, glitch, stutter, whatever you prefer.  I can reproduce the issue on any sound card or firewire sound interface (devices tested include the onboard Conexant SmartAudio HD, my external Phonic Helix 12, and my Edirol FA-101).  All of them seem to have audio clicks, with the firewire interfaces' clicks seeming more harsh for whatever reason.