Most of the story is in preterito indefinido like I expected when telling about events that happened and concluded, but these two are in preterito imperfecto - is this because it can't be determined for how long they were broken/dirty (and that they may still be)?
Freeform Writing Exercise A2
Yes, there is a clear contrast in this exercise between precise completed actions using the Indefinido and descriptive actions/settings using the Imperfecto. Those two cases that you are mentioning (funcionaba and estaba) are descriptive. Here is a lesson that talks about this usage of the Imperfecto. I hope this is useful.
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