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Say what you like about 'how they don't make them like they used to', I say I agree and amen, hallelujah.

When I was little, I can remember my father cranking the car to make it start, while my mother sat inside, fiddling with the choke knob. She was slender, a wisp of a thing; there was no way she could have cranked it herself. No man in the house, no one to start the car, she stayed home.

I can remember her fussing, worried that the crank would slip off and hurt somebody (i.e., my father), because it happened all too frequently. There was a lot of kick when the engine caught.

I can remember cars, one after another, that were hard to start, even with an 'automatic' starter. Always left the house early, not knowing how long I'd have to work on the car to get it to start. I'd have to pump the gas pedal (aka accelerator) a few times to get gas into the carburetor. Too many times and the carburetor would flood, and I'd have to wait till it was ready.

I'd pull out the choke halfway and turn the key and hope it would catch. Dead batteries were a common problem, especially in cold weather.

In the extreme heat, once I stopped the car, it often wouldn't start again until the engine had cooled down.

Then, in 2002, I bought a new car. With power windows! And best of all, reliable starting, every time. I didn't have a problem with a car not starting (dead battery) for 10 years. A decade, problematic startups, gone. No cranking to get the engine to turn over. No need to let it idle to warm up.

To tell you the truth, I still rejoice every time I get in the car, turn the key, and it starts right up and I'm good to go, even at 11 years old.

Some things weren't better in the old days.

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