Side air vent. Can be rotated to change the direction of air flow.
Turn signal lever, nothing special about it. Must automatically return to neutral position.
Two-speed windshield wiper switch, rotate clockwise to turn on or change speed (Off – Low – High). There is no intermittent mode. Later cars had windshield washer push-button built into this switch – push for washer.
Heater motor switch, once again, rotate clockwise to turn on or change speed.
Obviously, the steering wheel. Horn button is the clear plastic bar with the name of the car on it.
Manual choke knob. It takes a good deal of time to explain in detail how to properly operate it, so I’ll just try to cover the basics. First of all, use it only when you are starting a cold engine. Don’t use it if the engine is hot, it won’t do any good ! Warm engine as a rule doesn’t need choke either, just depress the gas pedal slightly. With a cold engine: pull the choke knob out all the way and start the engine. Push the choke knob in far enough to keep the engine running smoothly. Let the engine to idle for 2-3 minutes, that should be enough for the engine to warm up enough so that you could push the knob all the way in. Do not take off if the choke knob is not fully in. It may get (much) more complicated in real life…
That’s your instrument cluster (shown in detail below).
Ignition switch (may be located on the dashboard on early cars).
Main light switch, “push-pull” type. Works in conjunction with the floor-mounted dimmer switch (26). Pull out to first notch to turn on parking lights / headlights low beam, depending on the position of the dimmer switch. Pull out further to second notch for headlight low / high beam. Rotate clockwise to increase brightness of the interior lights, counter-clockwise to decrease brightness or turn off interior lighting completely.
Rear window defogger tumbler switch. Rear window defogger in this car is not a resistive-wire heater but rather an electric blower mounted beneath the rear parcel shelf that is used to blow air onto the rear window. It does indeed work only as a defogger, as it is unable to melt frost or ice.
Radio receiver. Controls are pretty typical: left knob is On/Off and volume, right knob is for tuning. Has five radio buttons to memorize stations. Today it is almost unusable in its original form because FM was not used in USSR and it only has AM – you know, LW, MW, VHF… (on the other hand, last time I’ve heard AM was still used in some countries for radio broadcasting). Can be easily modified to work with modern players, including mobile phones (by adding an AUX in).
Cigarette lighter (and I won’t tell you how to use it because I’m a non-smoker, ha-ha). Useful as a power outlet, most modern devices work correctly with it.
Same as (1), but on the right side.
Footwell hot air vent, passenger’s side.
Power antenna raise/lower tumbler switch (usually does not work).
This lever opens and closes a hatch in the cowl area that allows cold air from outside the car into the heater to be mixed with the hot air from the heater core. Essentially it works as heater temperature control.
This lever controls the direction of the air flow from the heater. When it is in the right-most position, all air is directed up to the windshield and side air vents. When it is in the left-most position, all air is directed down into the footwells. In middle position, air goes in both directions.
This lever opens and closes a hatch in the cowl area that allows fresh air from outside the car directly into the passenger compartment for ventilation.
Gear shift lever. Shifting patter is 4RDR.
Footwell hot air vent, driver’s side.
Parking brake handle. Pull to engage, turn clockwise to release.
Windshield washer pump, foot operated (on early cars only).
Radiator louvers handle (louvers could be closed partially or fully for faster engine warm-up in winter).
Hood release latch handle. Pull it to release the hood and manually return to the initial position, or else the hood may not close fully !
Fuel gauge. “0” is for “Empty”, “0,5” is for “Half-empty” (or half-full, if you are an optimist), and the Russian letter in the right-most corner is for “Full”. Never works right (you’ve been informed !).
Amp meter. Normally, the needle should point at, or near, zero most of the time (that means that the battery is fully charged and the alternator is producing as much energy as it is spent).
Coolant temperature warning light. If it goes on, it would be a good idea to stop and check the level of water / antifreeze in the radiator.
Parking brake warning light. On late production cars it also goes on if there is a leak in the brake system.
Water temperature gauge. Temperature is in degrees Celsius. Optimal temperature is about 85…90° C; 105° and more is overheating.
Headlights high beam control light.
Odometer. Only has five digits (sixth digit displays hundreds of meters) and restarts from zero when reaching 100 000 km, so it is pretty useless today as most cars have already reached odometer rollover at least once.
Speedometer. May be either of the “ribbon” style shown, or with an ordinary needle pointer (after 1975).
Oil pressure gauge. Not all that useful because it is usually quite inaccurate. However, if the pointer moves as you rev the engine, it is a good sign.
Oil pressure warning light. This one is much more useful than the gauge. It has a different sender unit and only goes on if the pressure drops below the safe level. Now that’s serious business, if this light is constantly on – turn the engine off immediately and start from checking the oil level. May blink from time to time at idle or when you slam on the brakes, but absolutely must shut off as soon as you start revving the engine.
Turn signals control light.
Clock adjustment knob. Push in and rotate clockwise for adjustment (rotating counter-clockwise may damage the mechanism).
Clock thermal circuit breaker button (accessible from inside the dashboard).