New Kitchen Gadget? Read The Instructions First!

How To Make A Bad Situation Worse!

new kitchen gadgets read the instructionsAbsolute proof that when you get a new kitchen gadget you should always read the instructions first, was handed to me by myself recently, ultimately saving hundreds of dollars!

I’m a computer specialist by trade and now a high school teacher – you’d  think old and wise enough to know that by now, but which one of us bothers to read before plugging in the new mixer or juicer? Not me until now that’s for sure.

Our car engine blew two weeks ago, not a minor thing, the con rod broke, came through the engine block and the oil sump – just a bunch of scrap metal from that awful loud and expensive bang, not to mention all the oil everywhere.

So, a new car, (second hand  – I prefer pre-loved) was now essential, and in a hurry. We got an absolute bargain – though with what happened next, it really didn’t seem that way…

The car had been traded in by its one ‘careful lady owner’ and it had been sitting around for a while, to cut a long story short it needed anew battery and a service. Our mechanic is a family friend – we all went to school together – you know how it is? Anyway he changed the oil, did a full service, test drove it then finally replaced the battery and I picked it up.

It broke down on the one mile drive home, every time the rev’s reached over 2000, the engine went into ‘safe retarded mode’ meaning you can drive at 15mph! Argghhh. Back we crawled and I walked home with a disappointed greyhound – she loves car rides.

Well look as he might he couldn’t pin-point why it kept doing this – and other odd things like random error messages.  Derek knew what was happening and a sophisticated  diagnostic machine told him where to look, but there was nothing to see.

That evening, I picked up the drivers handbook  to have a skim through – I was more looking how to reset the clock and programe the radio than anything else, but there it was, the answer to what was about to become an expensive problem – we’d changed the battery.

gadgets for the kitchenWhen you change the battery on a car with an on-board computer, some recalibrate automatically while others need a mile or two before things work normally.

This car it seems, needed up to five miles to realign everything and the manual clearly states “Switch to speed controlled mode and disregard any odd computer readings after replacing the battery as it can take up to 5 miles for everything to recalibrate” Oh Yes!

Trusty mechanic Derek had not met up with an on-board computer that insists on running in speed controlled mode to recalibrate – from a human computer interaction point of view, it sucks, but thankfully the answer was right there in the driver handbook.

I was right on the phone and sure enough, after all that and a lot of worrying we’d bought a problem car – I’m back on the road with a happy four legged passenger in the back – just look at all that happy greyhound smile!

The moral of the story is that with any gadgets for the kitchen, read the instructions first… it isn’t the first time I’ve been taught this lesson, but I swear it’s going to be the last!

There are some kitchen gadgets that you really do need to take extra care with,  anything with a motor and blades for a start –  and even the best deep fryers for use at home have instructions you need to read and then stick to, if you don’t want the fire department paying a call…

Never mess with mandoline slicers (lethal to pinkies) and never put your fingers too far down a juicer chute – you wouldn’t think it could happen, would you, but it does every day and keeps our ER’s busy.

Keep safe in your kitchen – please read the instructions first!