Monday, December 7, 2009

I Grew Up in ARIZONA!

I woke up this morning to the sight of several inches of snow on the ground and the sound of our neighborhood being plowed. I got my kids and myself bundled up before trudging off to school. It was a balmy 3 degrees out, by the way. The snow was thick and still falling. The roads were slick, but I drive a BIG four-wheel drive Chevy Tahoe, so it took me a little longer, but I got to work in one piece.

I came home at lunchtime. The snow was still coming down pretty heavily. I had to leave again at 2:00 for an after-school meeting. The snow had accumulated and I live on a hill, so I decided to shift the car into 4-Lo. For those of you who get to drive fun little roadsters and rear-wheel drive racing machines, or who live on completely flat, paved surfaces, there are three 4X4 driving options:

1) 2HI - for normal driving, on-road, dry conditions
2) 4HI - for when you need some extra traction in the snow or off-road
3) 4LO - for when you're climbing steep hills and/or are driving in deep snow or mud

Like I said, I live on a steep hill, the snow was half-way up my tires, and I prefer driving as opposed to sliding. Okay. So I made it down the mountain in 4LO to a regular, mostly plowed road. I was ready for 4HI. I pushed the button to shift the transfer case but nothing happened. I tried again, still nothing. You can't drive much over about 10 mph in 4LO because it will tear up your front axle. So I had to pull over, take out my owner's manual and learn how to properly shift out of 4Lo. And I quote:

(It begins with a warning, of course)
"Shifting the transfer case to NEUTRAL can cause your vehicle to roll even if the transmission is in PARK. You or someone else could be seriously injured. Be sure to set the parking brake before placing the transfer case in NEUTRAL.

To shift from 4LO to 4HI, your vehicle must be stopped or moving less than 3 mph with the transmission in NEUTRAL and the ignition in RUN. The preferred method for shifting out of 4LO is to have your vehicle moving 1 to 2 mph. Press and release the 4HI switch. You must wait for the 4HI indicator light to stop flashing and remain illuminated before shifting your transmission into gear. If the 4HI switch is pressed when your vehicle is in gear and/or moving the indicator light will flash for 30 seconds but will not complete the shift unless your vehicle is moving less than 3 mph and the transmission is in NEUTRAL."

Are you kidding me? It's snowing! I'm driving! 10 and 2! 10 and 2!