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meadowrun
18th Dec 2014, 17:31
There are sooo many these days. My first thought when presented with one is "Well, that's something else expensive to break." Some are:


Rain-sensing wipers.
Soda can cool zones.
Power sliding doors.
Multi-manual owner's booklets
iDrive
Voice turn by turn navigation
Heart rate monitor
Massaging driver's seats
Auto adjusting seat side bolsters
Electric side mirror folding

Lonewolf_50
18th Dec 2014, 17:36
UH, electric windows are useless to start with.
Your list is a pretty good one, however, to which I'll add
Power sun roof. A small hand crank was all I needed in my VW back in the 70's, why the electrics?

funfly
18th Dec 2014, 17:42
I have a new BM where you don't have to put the key into a slot, it just 'senses' you have a key.
So what do you do with the key Fob? Put it in the ashtray or back in your pocket?
Useless idea.

funfly
18th Dec 2014, 17:48
My car also turns the engine off every time I stop at lights!
Bloody annoying at least there is a switch to stop this but you have to switch this every time you get in the car.
Over £30,000 for a car and you're worried about saving two drops of petrol for which you have to be prepared to have the engine stop every time you do then start up again with a judder when you want to move off.

Romeo Oscar Golf
18th Dec 2014, 17:51
Automatic lights
Cruise control.....OK I live in rural Scotland and rarely use motorways
Stop/Start engines.....fine until it doesn't fire up when expected.

airship
18th Dec 2014, 17:55
Soda can cool zones. - I wish I had one (the glovebox in mine is A/C cooled - but too far across to reach when driving). And of course, once opened, the can cannot be safely stored upright back in the glovebox!

Power sliding doors. - But probably useful for taxis and disabled drivers etc.

Electric side mirror folding. - I wish I had them (especially on passenger side), very useful when squeezing through narrow spaces, say when a delivery vehicle is double-parked. airship always manages to get through where other road-users fear to tread...!

However, I offer another useless feature to the list:

Self-illuminating headlights. Perhaps OK for 'normal' day-dusk situations, but absolutely useless for tunnels... :ok:

west lakes
18th Dec 2014, 17:55
Rain sensing wipers
Had them on the last two cars and like them, they adjust delay and speed dependant upon vehicle speed and amount of rain
(the same system also operates the automatic lights)

Electrically folding mirrors,
these are standard on the next one, could be useful in narrow space supermarket car parks. Fortunately they are not the automatic type..

Auto stop/start
essential to reduce the tax burden on UK company car drivers by reducing emissions. It also reduces the road tax chargeable

Other useful bits are: -
heated seats
heated steering wheel
auto dipping rear view mirror
auto lights (already mentioned)

ExXB
18th Dec 2014, 17:55
Oh I like the electric wing mirror folding. Not on my car, they would be a waste. But in a country of small parking spaces it makes those Stupid Ugly Vehicles slightly less irritating.

Edited to add: And headlights are mandatory at all times, just like Canada and Sweden, and a bunch of other places.

Mechta
18th Dec 2014, 17:56
Electric handbrake
Hill start function
Driver's side electric mirror

UniFoxOs
18th Dec 2014, 18:03
Poxy all-in-one light switches that mean you must have headlights on when you want foglights, which completely defeats the purpose of foglights.

mixture
18th Dec 2014, 18:04
meadowrun,

You forgot self-parking.

funfly
18th Dec 2014, 18:10
Driverless, now what's that all about?

What's the point in an empty car going anywhere. If I go out in the car for any reason I want to drive - I love driving.

airship
18th Dec 2014, 18:11
Steering wheel (over-sized).

fujii
18th Dec 2014, 18:33
An electronically-actuated line lock applies hydraulic pressure to the front brakes, but not the rears, letting the engine freely spin the driven tyres while the car itself stands still. Of course, line lockers are nothing new; professional burnout artists (is that a thing?) and drag racers have been using them for years. A line lock is used to activate only one pair of brakes on a car — locking the front brakes while letting the rear wheels spin freely, making for an impressively stationary burnout.

airship
18th Dec 2014, 18:51
funfly, I agree with you about the 'stop-start' feature - surely that must eventually wear-out the starter-motor prematurely?

PS. "age 76": You don't want to complain 'too loudly' about anything too much at your age! Some busybody (probably an EU one if UKIP have got it right) might one day insist on you having to take an annual driving test. Nigel Farage could joke about it over a few pints at the local: "It's the new EU anally-retentive driving licence initiative...!" ;)

ExXB
18th Dec 2014, 18:56
OK, you've got one of those magical key fobs. What happens if your travelling down the motorway at 130k/h and you throw the fob out he window?

Guy on the radio posed this question today and nobody had an answer.

TWT
18th Dec 2014, 18:57
Couple trapped in keyless car for 13 hours - National - NZ Herald News (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11376218)

Fox3WheresMyBanana
18th Dec 2014, 19:03
From a car hire/borrowing a friend's car point of view

Any f#cking new feature that isn't intuitive.

And could all manufacturers standardise on indicating which side the fuel filler cap is? Just a discreet little printed arrow next to the gauge will do, as long as they all do the same thing. Could be in for Xmas 2015 if they tried.

Checkboard
18th Dec 2014, 19:12
OK, you've got one of those magical key fobs. What happens if your travelling down the motorway at 130k/h and you throw the fob out he window?

Guy on the radio posed this question today and nobody had an answer.
One Top Gear episode (the one where they do speed tests on the salt pan in the USA) had the boys sitting in a Cafe, and Hammond had a keyless car parked on the other side of the window.

Carckson went outside, got into the car, started it (it was close enough to the key in Hammond's pocket on the other side of the window) and drove off.

He got about 50 meters before the key was out of range and the car stopped.

funfly
18th Dec 2014, 19:20
I might even give that a try sometime.

VP959
18th Dec 2014, 19:21
I'm going to be the voice of dissent here, I fear.

Auto wipers are the best thing since sliced bread, in my view, and in my last two cars have worked flawlessly.

The same goes for auto headlight switching, except I wish it was intelligent enough to not dim the display when the lights come on in poor daytime light.

I love electric windows, and have done for years. The joy of being able to quickly wind the two front ones down to get a crystal clear view to left and right at a junction, then rely on the auto-up function to close them removes a distraction and enhances road safety.

Hill start assist is brilliant, I never have to either use the handbrake or heel and toe to wait at the top of the steeply sloped T junction at the end of our road, but can rely on the hold facility to hold the car perfectly in place, ready to go.

The remote air con switch on from the remote control to get the car cool before getting in is real boon in summer, too.

I have no problem with the engine turning on an off either, as at least 50% of my daily commute is made on battery power, with the engine off anyway (which has helped me get the 150mpg I get on a 16 mile each way commute).

There is some useless stuff. Far too many options on the display controls, and an awkward to use voice recognition system for the sat nav and phone. The car beeps at minor misdemeanour's by the driver that can be annoying, it beeps a no seat belt warning if there is a briefcase on the passenger seat, and needs some setting up with either the factory software or something like a Scanguage to reprogramme some of the settings.

Other than that, most of the innovations seem great to me.

OFSO
18th Dec 2014, 19:22
My humble Ford Mondeo has:

Rain-sensing wipers - brilliant.
Soda can cool zones - no. Don't drink soda.
Power sliding doors - no. In fact no UN powered sliding doors.
Multi-manual owner's booklets - whats that ?
iDrive - no (thank God)
Voice turn by turn navigation - Yes it has voice readout which integrates the local Spanish or Catalan traffic radio - messages - and tells me in English. Displays little overturned cars on the screen if there's an accident ahead.
Heart rate monitor - no.
Massaging driver's seats - no.
Auto adjusting seat side bolsters - no.
Electric side mirror folding - no (and I'd like that)

and

Automatic headlights - work perfectly in tunnels etc
Traffic messages - in Spanish/Catalan displayed in English
Closing air vents when parking
Twin channel Bluetooth


and a lot of other stuff which after 90,000 klicks I'm not going to say work perfectly because if I do they won't tomorrow morning so I'm keeping schtum. However everything on the car is useful and functional. Didn't cost an arm or a leg either and at 60 mpg I'm happy.

Mechta
18th Dec 2014, 19:27
funfly, I agree with you about the 'stop-start' feature - surely that must eventually wear-out the starter-motor prematurely?Not necessarily. Mazda's I-Stop system detects which cylinder is on a firing stroke, then sends a spark to that cylinder to get the engine going. Presumably if the compression has leaked away or none of the pistons are in quite the right position, it does revert to the starter motor.

VP959
18th Dec 2014, 19:34
funfly, I agree with you about the 'stop-start' feature - surely that must eventually wear-out the starter-motor prematurely?
Not necessarily, I've heard that some diesels (maybe not on production cars yet though) detect which cylinder is on a firing stroke, then inject fuel into that cylinder to get the engine going. Presumably if the compression has leaked away or none of the pistons are in quite the right position, it does revert to the starter motor. Whether there something similar for petrol engines, I don't know. I would imagine it needs injection into the cylinder to make it work.
Mechta is online now Report Post Reply

Not a problem for my last three cars, none of which have had a starter motor, but use a directly crank coupled brushless motor/generator to restart the motor, and that has no additional moving parts to wear (it's effectively the engine flywheel).

airship
18th Dec 2014, 19:37
Automatic headlights - work perfectly in tunnels etc

Unless they're very well-lit tunnels, 'by the time the headlights come on' (admittedly within several 100 milliseconds I imagine) @ 90-110kph, you've already travelled (how many metres?) in the dark...?! :confused:

So far as Closing air vents when parking are concerned: I have a (manual) switch which closes the external air supply and recirculates the air inside the cabin. Very useful especially when going through the long tunnel down into Monaco in the busy summer period with consequent traffic jams. Perhaps there's a way to inter-connect the 'automatic headlights' with the 'recirculating air' system (either manually or automatically)...?! :ok:

ExSp33db1rd
18th Dec 2014, 20:15
Auto-lights. I've already ranted about this, how do you get them to auto turn on in daylight heavy rain ? Mine won't, but it is a simple twist of the selector switch to Manual, so what' the problem ? In Manual they don't go off with the ignition, so I frequently find myself with a dead battery on dismal wet days, and yes, we do have those in NZ.

Also ... I don't need a computer to constantly tell me how many miles per gallon ( Km per litre in NZ ) I'm using. Waste of time and distracts my vision, can't turn it off, tho' I can switch it to another function, but it is still there large as life and twice as nasty in the middle of my speedo readout.

I believe the next model will implant the fob in the driver's skull.

Or the salesman's skull next time I buy a car, I want a MANUAL car that I have control of, not a bloody computer thing. Bring back my dad's 1935 Morris Eight, with a starting handle in the event of a flat battery, and a starter control knob that pulled a cable attached to a starter motor.

KISS.

OFSO
18th Dec 2014, 20:26
The auto closing of air vents is to prevent triggering of the car alarm system by air pressure changes. Which alarm, mine doesn't have ! But the vents still open and close when parking/unparking. This is NOT the same as recirculating air.

Auto headlights, can't answer that question as to how they work but they do and perfectly whether in lit/unlit tunnels, in a rain shower etc. A main road I use here on a weekly basis thru the mountains has a succession of short tunnels and the facility works just great.

Fuel consumption, outside temp and a lot of other stuff all selected by mode switch on steering wheel. NOT on all the time as too distracting.

Other great gadgets: Via-T transponder for toll roads and parking. >Never have to stop and take a ticket or push a credit card in a slot. GPS radar warner. What would one do without them ?

P6 Driver
18th Dec 2014, 20:30
My Honda has no temperature gauge.
The idea is that when you start it, a symbol shows a blue coloured thermometer. When the engine is up to temp, the light goes out. A red symbol will illuminate if the engine overheats. The idea is that I don't need to know if it's in the normal range.

scotbill
18th Dec 2014, 20:59
What about the ludicrous fitting of low profile tyres to family saloons and off-road vehicles?

Such tyres are:

Much noisier inside and outside the car (stand by a busy road and you don't hear engine noise - just tyre noise)

More vulnerable to punctures

Give a much harsher ride

Are much more likely to lead to damage to expensive alloys from potholes and kerbs.

Confer no performance advantage at legal speeds.

Are much more expensive to replace.

On the plus side:

They are the 21st century equivalent of the 70s "go-faster" stripes.

G-CPTN
18th Dec 2014, 21:04
My 2000 model-year Peugeot had automatic wipers, which were adjustable (manually) for frequency - excellent. The selector stalk could be left in the automatic position.
My 2012 model-year Volvo has automatic wipers which have to be selected by pressing a button each time before they will work and (are supposed to) adjust their frequency and speed according to weather conditions - but aren't as pleasing (to me) as the Peugeot ones.

I still miss my 2000 Peugeot - it was only the fear of a possible breakdown of a 12-year-old car that prompted me to change (and a £5000 discount from Volvo). The Peugeot only let me down once when the power-steering pump collapsed @ 120,000 miles. It never failed an MOT - each year I feared the worst, but it never materialised. I always sought a possible replacement whilst the MOT was due, but Peugeot's models were not acceptable to me when I tried them out.

airship
18th Dec 2014, 21:17
Ladies, gentlemen (and OFSO): Point of order?!

If the car features are truly new, how can they (yet) be useless...?! :8

Talk about thread drift...?! Why not talk about tread drift? I understand some Japanese models are global champions in drifting...?! I'm assuming that this doesn't involve bald tyres. But why would anyone want a drifting car? Is there a switch to press to activate? Or do you merely have to turn off the ABS?

Greek God
18th Dec 2014, 21:36
Two of my niggles
VW Tiguan with electric seats including foward and back function. Getting in after the Mrs I need to move the seat back to get in but have to wait while the seat slowly ambles to the rear. Get really wet when its raining! Completely unecessary.

New cars with no spare wheel & just a small can of sealant and a compressor. Neice just been stranded in Manch on a Sunday after curbing a wheel and splitting the tyre. Game over!

Kerosene Kraut
18th Dec 2014, 21:42
Tyre repair kit instead of a spare wheel.

Effluent Man
18th Dec 2014, 21:45
Different size tyres front/rear. Mine has 245/45 on the back and 225/55 front. It means you cant switch diagonally to even the wear.

innuendo
18th Dec 2014, 21:45
Yeah, bring back the starting handle and manual spark advance. :hmm:

GROUNDHOG
18th Dec 2014, 21:50
cruise control - wouldn't be without it.... electric folding mirrors wouldn't get through the garage door without folding the mirrors and I am not getting out every time to do it.....

Useless, I used to have a winnebego with reverse park assist, the sort that beeps at you, except when you reverse up to a barbed wire fence which is higher than the detectors...... new one has a permanent camera which works as a rear view mirror as well - much better!

Lady Groundhog's Z4 has run flat tyres, awful things, tramline and ride like a brick, trouble is the car only does 500 miles a year so I doubt they will wear out anytime soon!!

handysnaks
18th Dec 2014, 22:00
Two things on my Audi that are feckin useless
1. Indicator stalk, what the **** do I need an indicator for!
2. Headlight on switch, I operate it and the feckin light stays on, I don't need it to be permanently on, I need it to permanently flash so it will save me a bit of effort gettin the idiot in front out of my way!

PinkusDickus
18th Dec 2014, 22:03
Having owned a few cars with advanced technology, essential features for self and partner (in no order of preference) are:

Heated seats
Active cruise control
Head up display
Rain sensing wipers
Rear vision camera with guidance
Parking sensors
Auto lights

There are a few cars on the market with options I would choose for my next car:

Panoramic vision display
Lane Divergence Sensor
Blind spot monitor

And to finish with, the best car I've ever owned and driven was a 2002 Saab 9-5 Aero which lacked a few of my desirable features (but it was reliable).

Shaggy Sheep Driver
18th Dec 2014, 22:11
Crikey, if you lack the metal ability to decide when / if to put the lights on, or the physical ability so to do, should you be driving?

Mechta
18th Dec 2014, 22:21
Fuel consumption, outside temp and a lot of other stuff all selected by mode switch on steering wheel. NOT on all the time as too distracting.Driving a relative's Renault Scenic which had the instantaneous MPG readout, I decided to give it a go. At the point I selected it, it was showing around 33.5, but as it warmed up and I got onto a dual carriageway it was steadily improving and was soon into the low 40s. I kept the speed down to 60mph, and it got better and better.
By the time it got to 55mpg, I began to have my doubts. OK, it only has a 1400cc engine, but its a tall, draggy car. A closer look at the digital display revealed the tiny letters 'ODO' in the corner. Another push on the stalk and the letters 'MPG' came up, at the same time as the value displayed dropped to 39.3! :ugh:

DType
18th Dec 2014, 22:23
They must have inproved recently. FType's 2001 P**geot would wipe dry screens and then stubbornly stayed off in monsoons.
So they changed it on her 2011 Pug to speed sensing intermittent frequency - nothing to do with the rain intensity - they even pause on "continuous" when the car is stationary. And don't restart when you restart the engine, you have to turn them off and then on again. And give an unwanted wipe after you've turned them off.
Wish it would just do as its told.

Ancient Mariner
18th Dec 2014, 22:27
My car has pretty much all the features mentioned and then some. I love them all, and quite a few of them will allow me to focus on the what I like the most; driving!
Same with wife's car, she's happy as well.

EeXB: OK, you've got one of those magical key fobs. What happens if your travelling down the motorway at 130k/h and you throw the fob out he window?

Guy on the radio posed this question today and nobody had an answer.


In my case, absolutely nothing. I started the car for my wife one day in the mountains when it was cold and iced down, being the perfect husband and all, but forgot the keys in my pocket when she left. Realised half an hour later, called her and told he not to to stop the car under any circumstances before she got home where we keep a spare key. She drove nearly 150 kms, no problem.
Per

cumulusrider
18th Dec 2014, 22:32
Built in sat nav that wont let you manually select day or night. Cetain countries in europe insist on headlights at all times so the sat nav dims the display so you cant read it. Grrrr.
Good
Heated front screens and wing mirror

I believe in the KISS principle - less to go wrong. I cant afford a car less than 10 years old so most of the electronic wizardry dosnt apply

Capetonian
18th Dec 2014, 22:37
Electric windows that have a switch so that they go all the way up when you only want them half way up, or vice versa.

A A Gruntpuddock
18th Dec 2014, 22:51
"Yeah, bring back the starting handle and manual spark advance."

Being lazy, used to just back off the ignition then advance it again to save changing gear sometimes!

Romeo Hotel
18th Dec 2014, 23:01
Plastic engine covers that deny access to the bit that makes it all work! Then when you have finally succeeded in removing the incredibly annoying plastic clips you either loose them and end up with an incessant rattling or break them.

Take me back to the days where you could see what was happening and standardised bolt sizes!

Ascend Charlie
18th Dec 2014, 23:02
I LOVE my massaging seat back, as I am the unhappy owner of a Bell Back after 45 years of flying helicopters. Hop in the car and smooth those knots out.

Also love the folding mirrors (tight garage) keyless startup, instant consumption readout, tyre pressure readout.

Never use the wipers in rain-sense mode, and the auto side of it is too slow or too fast.
Steering headlights - YES
Rear camera, with guidelines that move with the turning of the steering - brilliant, but didn't stop my wife from reversing into another car - neither did the squawking of the sensors.

It is a true multi-national car - a French Renault Latitude, based on a Japanese Nissan body, made by Samsung in Korea. Love it.

superq7
18th Dec 2014, 23:05
A friend of my wife (a woman btw) has just bought a new Fiesta, she said to my wife 'it's not as good as my old car it doesn't like it when I pull away in fourth'

TWT
19th Dec 2014, 05:27
What was her old car ? Diesel Landcruiser ? :p

SOPS
19th Dec 2014, 07:09
I was in Joberg this week and I read a review for a new car. One of its features was 'follow me home headlights ' I age never heard of them, can anyone explain what they are?

oldpax
19th Dec 2014, 07:48
Most cars show this as the handle of a small petrol dispenser icon.Which ever side the handle is on is the side your filler cap is on!!

meadowrun
19th Dec 2014, 07:59
"follow me home headlights"


The headlights stay on for a number of seconds after engine shut-down so that if you're parked in the driveway, they illuminate your way to the door.


Nevermind you may be parked on the road, in an off-set driveway or backed in.

Ascend Charlie
19th Dec 2014, 07:59
Sorry Oldpax, that is an urban myth.

VP959
19th Dec 2014, 08:09
Fuel filler cap indication(fox3 wheres my banana)
Most cars show this as the handle of a small petrol dispenser icon.Which ever side the handle is on is the side your filler cap is on!!

Sorry Oldpax, that is an urban myth.

Not quite. I've checked a few cars recently, including mine, and although the filler pipe on the little petrol pump sign doesn't always show which side the filler cap is all I've looked at where the pump handle on the sign wasn't right have had a small arrow pointing left or right, next to the pump sign, that does show which side the filler cap is on.

SOPS
19th Dec 2014, 08:11
Thanks Meadowrun.:ok:

ShyTorque
19th Dec 2014, 08:13
It's not a myth if it's correct, and it usually is.

joy ride
19th Dec 2014, 09:18
The thing I hate most about several cars I have driven recently is what electronics designers have done to radios and CD players.

I set the radio/CD player to whatever radio station or CD I want to listen to.

A few minutes later I find that the designer has decided that I no longer wish to hear my selection, and the blasted thing switches to what the designer wants me to listen to: the radio rather than the CD I have selected, or another radio channel, or Traffic Announcements concerning traffic the other end of the country. I press the TA button to turn off Traffic Announcements, but few minutes later I find that the equipment has been carefully designed to switch TAs back on.

Electronics designers, it's Room 101 for the lot of ya, clear off!

(And breathe...)

UniFoxOs
19th Dec 2014, 09:37
Yes - all the cars I've been in for years have indicated the side for the filler on the fuel gauge, I even found it mentioned in the manual for SWMBO's Mundaneo.

I also tend to get distracted by a changing LCD display of MPG or whatever, so now I leave it on the OAT (as it won't turn off).

Charlie - I also have a massaging seat back, and also a massaging seat bottom, gearstick, pedals, door etc. - a 1973 L.and R.over

ian16th
19th Dec 2014, 09:47
I also tend to get distracted by a changing LCD display of MPG or whatever, so now I leave it on the OAT (as it won't turn off). All these displays are an option on my Mazda, the alternative is have the time displayed! Which of course is my default setting.

Of the variables I leave it set to 'Km left in the tank', so I have a one press option to display this, and another one push action to switch back to the time.

MagnusP
19th Dec 2014, 09:56
I must admit that I like most of the auto features in the Merc as it lets me concentrate on how close I can get to the rear bumper of the [email protected] doing 55 in the overtaking lane (joking!). I find the "multimedia" menus a bit impenetrable, though. I've also developed a tendency to switch on cruise control rather than indicating left, as the stalks are close and my fingers have a tendency to go to the position of the stalk in the Audi. Life's hard.

UniFoxOs
19th Dec 2014, 10:08
the alternative is have the time displayed

That's obviously more advanced than our old banger - we have no option for the clock as the car has an analog clock on the dash. It switches itself to "miles remaining" with a beep at 50 miles to go and remains on that until I change it.

That would be a useful feature except we hardly ever get low on petrol as most of the time we run on LPG so have to use the LPG control display to know when to fill up.

OverRun
19th Dec 2014, 11:17
Rather enjoying the full auto driving of my car. Auto acceleration, auto braking, auto cornering and auto lane keeping. The system requires a steering input every 500m or so, but a twiggle with a finger is enough. It is amazing how refreshed I am after a long 4 hour drive, but then I only drive for about one hour and the rest is just systems monitoring. Took about 12 months to get comfortable with the systems. Traffic lights are the only weak spot, because then I have to manually brake and steer. Of course all the other systems are automatic such as lights (with cornering/turning/high-medium-low beam), wipers, climate control, sound volume, door locking, changing TV/radio stations to the strongest transmitter, and even adjusting the clock to the correct time.

I can't seem to find the magenta line, but it's probably hidden there somewhere; the GPS only has a blue line.

UniFoxOs
19th Dec 2014, 12:59
Just fallen foul (again) of another of these - the automatic self-locking. This re-locks the doors if you haven't opened one within a set time after unlocking.

This works as follows. You have a big awkward pile of Christmas shite to put in the car. You unlock the car remotely from inside the house and put the key in your pocket to leave a free hand. You then gather up all the packages with great difficulty, wishing to make it to the car in one trip as it's farking cold outside. You open the front door with your elbow, sidle into the porch and close the front dorr. Repeat with the porch door. Totter over to the car trying not to drop the parcels -several of which contain liquid for internal or external application. You finally make it to the car, reach for the door handle with one little finger, and just as your finger touches the handle you hear the doors all locking.

OFSO
19th Dec 2014, 13:30
the automatic self-locking.

NEVER ! It all pales besides human frailty:



Unlock car

Wife says she has forgotten something and goes back indoors

Drive car out from under carport roof

Wife emerges then says she needs a 'pee' and goes back indoors

Drive car onto road

Wife emerges and then finds she hasn't got her keys "could you come and lock the front door please".

This sort of thing is why butlers and chaffeurs were invented.

Ancient Mariner
19th Dec 2014, 13:31
UniFoxOs, may I suggest that you run faster? ;)
Is not not possible to re-program the time to shut down? I have not checked on my car, but I know I can adjust the timers for the "follow me home lights", interior lights, the diesel heater and some other stuff.
Per

Ancient Mariner
19th Dec 2014, 13:33
OFSO, you know that you can now can buy remote locking of your front door?
Per

Blacksheep
19th Dec 2014, 13:37
Hmm. You need a car with keyless access - but others have condemned this as a useless bell or whistle.

Personally I love all the bells and whistles on my car. For the past eight years I have enjoyed the pleasure of the electrically adjustable, heated seat. The heated, elecrically folding wing mirrors come in very handy on the 14 foot carriageway of the Lower Luton road, when a National Express 737 bus or a continental juggernaut approaches. Having the nearside wing mirror tip down when reversing lets one see the kerb properly - not to mention the rear view parking camera. I bet that feature has saved a few toddlers and/or pets lives. Voice control of the audio, navigation and air conditioning systems saves fumbling around with one hand when trying to make an adjustment. Oh, I could go on, but of all the new bells and whistles on my latest Honda, there isn't a single one I would call useless. The powered tailgate is the best!

OFSO
19th Dec 2014, 13:38
Not my front door, you can't. Steel pins all round forced into housing, require mammoth strength to close. Nor the steel grill (obligatory in Spain) which closes over the front door, triple locks, and keeps the baddies out. Besides at Spanish labour prices a butler's wage would be cheaper !

OFSO
19th Dec 2014, 13:39
A Honda ? And you live in Luton ? Surely a misprint for Eastbourne ?

Blacksheep
19th Dec 2014, 13:44
I live in Hatfield, not Luton.
Eastbourne would be nice, but it's full of old retired people.

[I'm only 67 on the outside and about 25 on the inside.]

UniFoxOs
19th Dec 2014, 13:50
Is not not possible to re-program the time to shut down?

I don't think this is possibles, it's an oldish motor - all the extras are the very basic versions with no complexity. An example is that this feature only works on the doors - if you get to the car with a big item, put it in the boot then shut the boot you might just get to the door before it locks again. There does seem to be an automatic adjustment - the heavier it's raining the shorter the re-locking time.

I do find the folding mirrors useful. These are operated from the mirror adjustment switch and are a real boon in car parks with narrow spaces where the only space left to you by the [email protected] in the SUV in the next slot means you have to let SWMBO out before reversing in, then squeeze past the mirror to get out.

baselb
19th Dec 2014, 13:53
On the keyless ignition thing and throwing the key out of the window;

I once had a play in my uncle's R8 and got out so he could drive to work. After about an hour, I realised that I still had the key in my pocket, while he was 40 miles away. Fortunately he'd not had to stop for fuel or anything, so the car was in his company carpark.

So, for the R8 at least, once it's started it'll keep running.

Ancient Mariner
19th Dec 2014, 14:42
OFSO:Not my front door, you can't. Steel pins all round forced into housing, require mammoth strength to close. Nor the steel grill (obligatory in Spain) which closes over the front door, triple locks, and keeps the baddies out. Besides at Spanish labour prices a butler's wage would be cheaper !

Sorry, forgot that you live in Spain.
Per

OFSO
19th Dec 2014, 14:52
you live in Spain.

Houses like fortresses. Always appalled when I visit the UK and see flimsy doors 'n locks 'n sash windows.

However: general comment on car gadgets. When you haven't had a car with them you sneer at them. When you have, you don't. And when you switch back to an un-enabled car, you miss 'em. Driving the mem's car I always have to remind myself it hasn't got parking sensors, and you have to turn lights on in tunnels and watch the posted speed limits.

Miss that old cranked handle for starting also, although with a compression ratio of 22:1 and no pre-heating I don't think I'd be able to.

dazdaz1
19th Dec 2014, 15:04
Blacksheep........ "Eastbourne would be nice, but it's full of old retired people"

But great for pulling!! I'll have you know I cruise the seafront in my Peugeot 207cc top down and chat the widows up while their eating the usual fish&chips they are mostly coach parties staying at the hotels.

My best chat-up line.... I tell them I'm Vera Lynn's nephew, never fails:cool: Few games of bingo, couple glasses of shandy, Bob's your uncle!!

Next spring/summer I insist you join me for fun and games:E You won't be disappointed.

OFSO
19th Dec 2014, 15:16
I tell them I'm Vera Lynn's nephew

So it was you, was it ? I was visiting my dear old mum and dad, sadly now RIP'd, in Eastbourne, and I heard that chat line. Funny because with my German accent I usually claim to be Marlene Dietrich's uncle.

(Eva Braun's uncle with UKIP members of course).

Ancient Mariner
19th Dec 2014, 15:25
OFSO:Miss that old cranked handle for starting also, although with a compression ratio of 22:1 and no pre-heating I don't think I'd be able to.

All you need is a decompression lever. I've hand cranked quite a number of fairly big diesel engines, crank them up to speed and hit the lever. Sometimes good to be two, or have arms like a monkey.
Per

mini
19th Dec 2014, 17:13
However: general comment on car gadgets. When you haven't had a car with them you sneer at them. When you have, you don't. And when you switch back to an un-enabled car, you miss 'em.

+1.

A lot of it is down to how well the "gadget" has actually been designed, I once had a renter (French) with auto wipers that mistook dead flies for rain...

Current car has a collection of "gadgets" that work quite well and I've grown to appreciate them to be honest. Most can be adjusted/turned off etc by your dealer.

MG23
19th Dec 2014, 17:21
And could all manufacturers standardise on indicating which side the fuel filler cap is? Just a discreet little printed arrow next to the gauge will do, as long as they all do the same thing. Could be in for Xmas 2015 if they tried.

That does seem to be standard in the Japanese cars I've driven.

Of course the British solved that problem decades ago. Triumph Spitfire, gas cap in the middle. Jaguar XJ, gas cap on each side.

Keef
19th Dec 2014, 17:40
I like the gadgets in my car.

I'm delighted with the adaptive cruise control which means I can "set" the speed limit and concentrate on looking where I'm going without the need to refer back to the speedometer at regular intervals.

The parking assistance devices (beepers, rear camera) make parking easy without getting a crick in the neck.

I wouldn't want to be the owner years later when these things all start to go wrong...

DType
19th Dec 2014, 17:46
"And when you switch back to an un-enabled car, you miss 'em."

The principal reason I bought my TVR was being utterly fed up with "civilised" cars always knowing better than the driver how much brake/accelerator/etc should be applied.
At least in the TVR if it all goes wrong I will know exactly who is to blame.

OFSO
19th Dec 2014, 17:57
'if' ?

Meanwhile here's a nice picture for all you lovers of automotive beauty.........

http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu287/ROBIN_100/AmericanCarsareBest_zpsb822e5f8.png

(I apologise to anyone who is offended by this picture; I know the colour of the car was not one offered as standard when it was sold. Also the hood latch needs some adjustment, although it might be the weight of the young lady which is causing an uneven shut line. Oh, you didn't notice ? I did.)

Romeo Oscar Golf
19th Dec 2014, 20:11
This thread has forced me to leave the warmth and comfort of my wee office and check out the "new" features in my car. There's far more than I can remember ever using....in fact I'm not too sure that I can use them. Reminds me of the time my company got an aircraft (HS125-800 GTSAM I recall) with the new fangled "glass cockpit". We spent many a happy hour saying "I wonder what that does?" and trying the multi options available. Looks like I'll have to do the same in the Galaxy.:eek:

ian16th
19th Dec 2014, 20:18
We spent many a happy hour saying "I wonder what that does?"

You could always try the old fashioned RTFM.

Mechta
19th Dec 2014, 20:40
According to 'Uncle Roger' in his Flight International 'Straight and Level' column, the two most common phrases to be heard on a flight deck are:

'She's new', with reference to the stewardess, and, 'What's it doing now?' with reference to the glass cockpit.

India Four Two
19th Dec 2014, 22:14
For the last three months, I have been renting cars - a Toyota Camry, two Chevy Malibus, which these days pass for a "full size" car and a small Chevy, whose name I haven't even bothered to look at.

All of them have most of the modern gadgets, but for some reason, the designers at GM have managed to design these gadgets to function in stupid, irrational and irritating ways. They don't even have an excuse - all they have to do is look at the Camry and copy its features!

I genuinely don't know how GM manages to sell such appalling cars. It must be on price alone.

Pappa Smurf
19th Dec 2014, 23:12
Why would you have a Hill Start function in an automatic.

spekesoftly
20th Dec 2014, 00:22
Of course the British solved that problem decades ago. Triumph Spitfire, gas cap in the middle.Same with the 1960s Ford Zephyr/Zodiac. Filler cap neatly concealed behind the hinged rear number plate.

gupta
20th Dec 2014, 04:33
Pappa Smurf

So you can take your foot off the brake when you're stopped at uphill traffic lights - saves blinding the driver behind you.

Very useful when the handbrake's electric

ExSp33db1rd
20th Dec 2014, 06:55
saves blinding the driver behind you.

Looks like you and me are the only ones who even think of that?

Dr Jekyll
20th Dec 2014, 09:52
According to 'Uncle Roger' in his Flight International 'Straight and Level' column, the two most common phrases to be heard on a flight deck are:

'She's new', with reference to the stewardess, and, 'What's it doing now?' with reference to the glass cockpit.

Or increasingly 'Oh look, it's doing that again'.

G-CPTN
20th Dec 2014, 10:29
My very first driving lesson I encountered 'kangaroo petrol' as I tried to drive away from a junction.

"Don't do that!" said my father - but I hadn't the foggiest idea what was causing it or how to avoid it. :ugh:

gemma10
20th Dec 2014, 13:16
Run flat tyres are a bloody nuisance. Drive over a pothole and lose 5psi. Then the auto tyre pressure monitor tells you the pressures are wrong but stupidly doesnt tell you which wheel. 5 series Touring. :}

mikedreamer787
20th Dec 2014, 14:13
Meanwhile here's a nice picture for all you lovers of automotive beautyOFSO you wouldn't have a pic of the same female standing up next to, or slightly bending over, the vehicle's bonnet would you?

Its not for me but for a friend (RGB) you understand. :O

wowzz
20th Dec 2014, 14:14
After stopping at a Spanish service area, the tyre air pressure monitor on my car [bog standard Renault Laguna] showed a flat offside rear. I managed to reverse back up the slip road to the service area and changed the tyre, much to the chagrin of the dubious looking types behind me, who had stuck a knife in the sidewall, and were planning on following me and 'assisting' when I stopped on the hard shoulder.

Gargleblaster
20th Dec 2014, 15:09
Discovered that the display in my Mercedes suddenly shows the heading (compass mode) after having reversed a few times, or similar, can't figure out what exactly triggers it, but the car has decided that i must be lost!

OFSO
20th Dec 2014, 15:33
OFSO you wouldn't have a pic of the same female

Sorry, cannot help your....friend. The picture was sent to me by a car (if not woman) lover in the US. No doubt in the mighty archives of Slasher there's one, but sadly those portals are now closed to us for ever. Rotating the snap 90º to clockwise might help.

dazdaz1
20th Dec 2014, 16:39
Nice photo OFSO looks like the photographic studio might have been a bit chilly:E As to slasher, his off line activities were his down fall, built up a number of chargers relating to theft of ladies underwear from washing lines in back gardens. He refused a brief in court.

Krystal n chips
20th Dec 2014, 18:06
The trip "computer".....superfluous as all you need is some basic mental arithmetic to calculate fuel consumption.

The "OAT" complete with amber and red warning when it's cold.

You might thunk that it's rather bleedin obvious when it's cold......

Might as well add drivers to the list....notably those who, seemingly, cannot cope without being cosseted and provided with so much non essential information it makes you wonder how some coped before these sales gimmicks were introduced.

One is firmly of a less than humble opinion, that, a car is purely to transport people around, as safely, comfortably and as cheaply as possible. The more so called "high tech" information displayed and available to a driver, the more potential distractions.

Xenophon
20th Dec 2014, 20:13
I too am truly" blessed" in having automatic tyre pressure monitor . It went off the other week and, Lo, front nearside was well down . Pumped it up & reset. Went off again 2 days later. Aha says I - must be a slowy. And it was so and was fixed forthwith. Later get furious beeping & message that tyre pressures are not being monitored. Reset. Reset again & again. Ring dealer (Ford) bring it in (for a full day !!). I could ignore it but it beeps & flashes every time I start up. :ugh: Bring back crash gear boxes & double clutching : always thought syncromesh was for girlies.

TWT
20th Dec 2014, 20:30
I have a 3 year old Mitsubishi.The fuel pump icon on the display shows the pump handle and hose on the right.The fuel filler cap is on the left of the car.No arrow.

G-CPTN
20th Dec 2014, 20:40
The "OAT" complete with amber and red warning when it's cold.
You might thunk that it's rather bleedin obvious when it's cold......

Consider a journey when the ambient temperature is close to freezing.

When you climb to a higher altitude the temperature can easily fall below freezing whilst the temperature in the cabin remains 'cosy'.

I regularly make such journeys (though not frequently).

Rosevidney1
20th Dec 2014, 21:50
It must be traffic indicators. Hardly anyone seems to use them these days. Whatever happened to the old slogan 'Indicate your intentions'?

TWT
20th Dec 2014, 21:59
It must be traffic indicators. Hardly anyone seems to use them these days

Where I live,I estimate that no more than 50% of motorists use their indicators,ever.And I've only ever seen motorists indicate their intentions on departing a roundabout once in the last year

Capetonian
20th Dec 2014, 22:03
The most useless feature of most cars, and certainly the one that causes the most accidents, is the one that occupies the driver's seat.

Thomas coupling
20th Dec 2014, 22:14
Anyone else own an SL55 AMG:

Red caption came on yesterday in the outside lane of the M6: Stop car. Oil level overfilled!

Another annoying piece of kit: Distronic. This is where the radar slows your car down if you get too close to the car in front????

The car also does NOT have a dip stick. You check the oil level by checking on the sub menu on the speedo? Very very annoying. IF by chance the level is too high you have to siphon it out of the damn dipstick hole???

:ugh:

M.Mouse
21st Dec 2014, 01:16
I have automatic wipers, automatic gearbox, automatic headlights, tyre pressure monitoring, climate control and various other bits and pieces. They all function as designed and are a delight.

Must be fun being a luddite.

mikedreamer787
21st Dec 2014, 01:26
automatic headlights

They work fine Mr mouse until the headlights decide to stay on indefinitely. Found autolights to be a real pain.

luddite.

Finally prompted me to look up what that actually means. Always thought it was some undesirable mob St Paul wrote a letter to, like the Hermaphrodites.

p.j.m
21st Dec 2014, 02:43
funfly, I agree with you about the 'stop-start' feature - surely that must eventually wear-out the starter-motor prematurely?

I agree its a stupid idea, but my understanding is it doesn't use the starter motor to restart the engine. The engine is "stopped" with the pistons in a compressed state, so when the engine needs to restart, it basically starts itself.

Stanwell
21st Dec 2014, 03:32
p.j.m,
I hadn't heard that one before..
I'd like that technology explained to me - it doesn't follow any auto-mechanical principles that I'm aware of.

p.j.m
21st Dec 2014, 04:19
p.j.m,
I hadn't heard that one before..
I'd like that technology explained to me - it doesn't follow any auto-mechanical principles that I'm aware of.

have a look here:

MAZDA: Idling Stop Technology | Environmental Technology (http://www.mazda.com/technology/env/i-stop/)

MG23
21st Dec 2014, 04:57
I agree its a stupid idea, but my understanding is it doesn't use the starter motor to restart the engine.

That implementation sounds pretty clever.

I believe our Subaru has automatic start/stop in Europe, but not in North America.

In the summer, I use about a quarter more fuel on my drive to work if I hit lots of red lights than I do if I get lucky and they're all green. So I could probably save around 10% on my fuel consumption.

In the winter, it might be worse, because the fuel consumption is much higher until the engine and transmission are warm, so letting it cool down at stop lights wouldn't be a good idea. Particularly when it's forty below zero outside.

MG23
21st Dec 2014, 05:02
Another annoying piece of kit: Distronic. This is where the radar slows your car down if you get too close to the car in front????

Oh, I'd so love to see that become standard equipment around here. Finally, an end to the idiot tailgaters who cause most of the accidents I see on the city roads...

Capetonian
21st Dec 2014, 05:12
I use about a quarter more fuel on my drive to work if I hit lots of red lights than I do if I get lucky and they're all green.That would be more to do with the extra fuel burn when you accelerate away from a standing start than what you burn on idle.

MG23
21st Dec 2014, 06:24
That would be more to do with the extra fuel burn when you accelerate away from a standing start than what you burn on idle.

That's a good point, but then you also have to allow for a few seconds using no fuel while rolling up to the light.

From a quick web search Ford apparently claim an average of 3.5% consumption improvement, and up to 10% in city driving:

DailyTech - Ford Says 70% of its Cars Will Have Start-Stop Tech by 2017 (http://www.dailytech.com/Ford+Says+70+of+its+Cars+Will+Have+StartStop+Tech+by+2017/article33934.htm)

The obvious downside is that you probably have to replace the battery more often.

DType
21st Dec 2014, 08:30
I read somewhere reputable (and it was NOT April 1st) that British government policy is to maximise red light encounters in cities, so as to maximise fuel tax revenues. The article said they were thinking of maybe changing the policy.

So crazy it must be true???

AtomKraft
21st Dec 2014, 08:34
Our Fiat 500 has 'start stop'. It definitely uses the starter motor, and it definitely doesn't always start....

gruntie
21st Dec 2014, 09:18
Automatic headlights should be banned

They don't come on when they should: ie, fog in daylight, so they have to be manually checked.

They do come on when they shouldn't: ie, in shadows, sunken lanes etc, and on full beam if that's how it was the previous night. So they have to be manually checked.

If they have to be manually checked all the time they're not automatic are they?
So why have we got them, Mercedes? Are you listening?

(and also Vauxhall/Opel with their electronic indicator stalk. Talk about an expensive solution to a non-existent problem).

India Four Two
21st Dec 2014, 09:41
The obvious downside is that you probably have to replace the battery more often.

MG23,

The Ford article is not clear, but I suspect the system is similar to the GM one that I recently experienced in a Malibu:

https://fastlane.gm.com/2014/07/25/stop-idling-start-saving-chevrolet/

The starter motor is not used. After stopping the car and keeping the brake pedal depressed, the engine stops and the tachometer needle moves to a special "Engine Stopped" position.

When the pedal is released, the engine restarts with a very slight hesitation, which is a little disconcerting at first. If the brake pedal is then immediately reapplied, the engine will continue idling and will not stop again.

ian16th
21st Dec 2014, 10:54
Thomas

Red caption came on yesterday in the outside lane of the M6Motorways in the UK do not have an 'outside lane'.

Were you by any chance in the overtaking lane?

cattletruck
21st Dec 2014, 11:08
Get the nerd out of my car!!!!

I have a 14 y/o car and am looking to update, but I don't like half the stuff on offer.

I don't need autolights.
I usually use the street lights as a legal indicator, failing that, darkness itself.

I don't need autowipers.
If I can't see out the window I can do something about it myself.

I don't need park assist.
Having driven plenty of fleet cars you get the knack of the dimensions of the vehicle when you approach it.

I don't need auto stop/start.
I usually pop it in neutral or even turn the engine off if caught behind train boom gates. Having driven in peak hour for many years I imagine the delay caused by auto stop/start will make every weekday feel like a weekend for drivers caught behind such a vehicle.

I don't need autothrottle.
Sheesh, the old cable system just controlled a butterfly valve - pure and simple, why complicate it.

I don't need electric handbrake.
The manual system is really simple and I can tell just how worn the pads are by using it.

I don't need day running lights.
They are for poofters.

I don't need to put my foot on the brake and seat belt on to start a car.
In winter I like to warm up my car by starting it and going back to the kitchen to finish off my coffee.


When I first ordered my car I told them WITHOUT ABS, they looked at me in surprise, but it's since been proven I can do a better job of it.

gemma10
21st Dec 2014, 11:20
According to my local garage, every new car made by 2020 will have auto stop-start. Bring back the Ford Zodiac with its three in the front bench seats:D

Keef
21st Dec 2014, 12:15
I watched the testing of with and without ABS on our test track, years ago.
The cheaper hydraulic versions weren't as good as our test drivers (by a long way). The electronic ones consistently did better than the test drivers could.
The split-mu surface made it reproducible and measurable.

In the ice and snow a few years ago, M and I with our 4WD-with-ABS were the only two in our road to get to the shops for the first week. We ran a shuttle service.

Agree that techie features that don't work as they should are a pain.
The auto-headlamps in my car work right. I'm not so sure about the auto-dip (yet).

Stanwell
21st Dec 2014, 12:18
cattletruck,
The thing is, these days, we don't have drivers - just motorists.
We need those sheeple to keep the economy going, don'tcha understand?

One previous poster commented, I just love all these conveniences - "it allows me to concentrate on my driving".
Oh dear!

Bring back the crash gearbox, I say - Definitely improves one's anticipation and awareness, qualities in short supply amongst today's 'motorists'.

Blacksheep
21st Dec 2014, 12:25
Voice control wasn't very good in the early days, but now it works fine. Controlling the audio and the heating/air conditioning systems without taking one's eyes off the road or hands off the wheel are great safety advances. I also find the fingertip paddles and auto-clutch function a far more practical way to change gear than fiddling with a lever. Another advance derived from F1. :ok:

Crash gearboxes, heavy clutches, vacuum windscreen wipers, huge steering wheels to help turn without power assist etc. were fine in the days before motorways. In today's nose to tail crowded roads, where "motorists" whinge about slow moving trucks doing "only 60 mph" getting in their way, we need all the aids to concentration we can get. Not to mention electronic engine controls that maximise fuel efficiency.

ShyTorque
21st Dec 2014, 12:30
Motorways in the UK do not have an 'outside lane'.
Were you by any chance in the overtaking lane?

Ian 16th,

Sorry to say, you are out of date. There is now no reference in the Highway Code to the "overtaking lane". It's now described as the right hand lane.

Keef
21st Dec 2014, 12:39
Round here, the two lanes are called the 56.0mph lane and the 56.1mph lane as the lorries on the A14 with the faster speed limiter overtake those with the slower ;)

Stanwell
21st Dec 2014, 12:39
Basil.
Yup. 2nd and then into first.

ian16th
21st Dec 2014, 12:52
Sorry to say, you are out of date.

Oops, sorry. :O

The bad news is that it isn't only the UK Highway Code that I'm out of date with.

Growing old ain't for sissies.

Ancient Mariner
21st Dec 2014, 13:32
Stanwell:One previous poster commented, I just love all these conveniences - "it allows me to concentrate on my driving".
Oh dear!

Not having to bother with lights and wipers does, dear chap.
Allow me to invite you on a drive between Skien and Gaustablikk via Valebø and Tuddal.
I suggest you bring a barf bag, two in winter if you please. ;)

Check these out, sedately driven in my diesel pick up.
Per

watch?v=yRaJ08vc-RY
watch?v=Tz9QPO1TpH0

ShyTorque
21st Dec 2014, 13:47
Quote:
Oops, sorry.
The bad news is that it isn't only the UK Highway Code that I'm out of date with.
Growing old ain't for sissies.

It might be better if it were still described as the overtaking lane. So many drivers hog the lane when it's obvious they could move over and let others pass.

ehwatezedoing
21st Dec 2014, 15:33
I don't need day running lights.
They are for poofters.


If by that you are talking about not wanting to have your head lights on during day, I disagree.

They will make you visible to "poofters" :p
Like the one crossing the middle lane of a 90km/h road, Face to face with me.
I saw both her hand on top of her steering wheel holding a cell phone.
She swerve back into her North band lane a spit second before i was about to fly into the South band ditch!

Anything esle I'm like you, old school.

Metro man
22nd Dec 2014, 02:37
All these toys are great until they go wrong and you are looking at a bill in the hudreds for some electronic sensor which may make the car uneconomic to repair. Planned obselence. With current manufacturing and improvements in rustproofing and other materials, a car could easily last much longer than the 1970s stock which dissentigrated before your eyes, after 60 000 miles you were on borrowed time.

Manufacturers make their money by limiting the life of their vehicles in the same way computer printer cartridges and multi blade razors drain your pocket.

A seven year old car these days would be a gamble once out of warranty.

Stanwell
22nd Dec 2014, 03:05
A young girl I know recently bought a second-hand BMW 530i with 240,000km on the clock and no dealer's warranty.
I had tried to explain to her some of the facts of life regarding car ownership, but no, she'd fallen in love with it.

Now, three weeks later, the thing is off the road until she can save up enough to fix the first of many gizmo failures headed her way.

Any bets on how long she'll be keeping that car?

chevvron
22nd Dec 2014, 03:27
The only 'display' in my 2010 Polo is OAT and it's so wildly innaccurate it's useless (always overeads by between 1 and 3 deg, never consistent). It also has a 'bluetooth' connection (whatever that is) and what looks like a USB socket, neither of which I'll ever use, even if I knew what they are for.

nonsense
22nd Dec 2014, 04:54
Manufacturers make their money by limiting the life of their vehicles in the same way computer printer cartridges and multi blade razors drain your pocket.
As a (now retired) test engineer for a major car manufacturer, I can assure you that this is complete rubbish, on the level of chemtrail conspiracy nonsense. But I no more expect you to believe me than you expect the chemtrail nutters to change their minds.

mikedreamer787
22nd Dec 2014, 04:59
Yeah but what manufacturer did you work for Mr nonsense?

That'll have a bearing on your statement.

I still know of one '64 Falcon in Oz still running strong 50 years on.

Stanwell
22nd Dec 2014, 06:07
Anybody remember those vacuum-powered wipers?
My '56 FJ Holden has them - that's one reason it only goes for a spin on nice sunny Sundays.

Metro man
22nd Dec 2014, 06:10
Gillette learnt the hard way about their products lasting too long and patents running out. Their safety razors from the 1960s are still available on eBay, and once the patent ran out on the double edge blade, others started making them. Profit on simple blades was only a few cents anyway.

Enter the modern cartridge razor whose handle will only take refills from the same manufacturer, is of such low quality it is guaranteed NOT to last and will be replaced by an "improved" model within a few years anyway, once the patent on which ever fantastic new feature it has expires.

The public lap it up and rush out to waste their money as soon as the next model with an extra couple of blades and a pivoting, lubricating, vibrating, universal jointed handle hits the shops. All backed up by a multi million pound advertising campaign telling us how we can't live without it. Add in a few cans of chemical laden, multi coloured shaving gel and profits roll in.

I've bought a Merkur safety razor, built like a tank and will probably out last me. Blades are available from a wide variety of manufacturers and cost a fraction of the price of a FUSION cartridge. Aerosol foams and gels were replaced by shaving soap and a brush. I get a better shave for far less outlay than before.

Some improvements in car technology are worth having, but would you rather repair a climate control air-conditioning system or a standard A/C once the car reaches middle age.

Fuel injection and electronic ignition beat carburettors and distributors but I don't really need a complicated engine management system.

I now buy automatic transmission over manual but four speeds is quite enough, I don't need the bill for a computer controlled seven speed system going wrong, likewise computerised suspension.

Also I don't need to be stranded because specialist parts need to be ordered in or a small town garage hasn't got the correct diagnostic machine.

Ten years ago, a ten year old car may have been a decent buy. I wouldn't chance it today, I'd look at a new/nearly new car with a long warranty remaining and plan on scrapping it once the guarantee was up. Any years of service once out of warranty are taken as a bonus and not counted on. Avoid falling into the trap of spending more on repairs than the car is worth, easily done with just a few bills.

sitigeltfel
22nd Dec 2014, 06:24
Cars can have as long a life as you wish, as long as you have the money to keep them going. That is why 70% of all Rolls Royce's ever made are still on the road. Manufacturers work to a model life dictated by fashion and current technology, once these have been surpassed it is time for a refresh. Apart from a handfull of enthusiasts, who would want to open their garage door every morning and gaze lovingly at their Austin Maestro! ;)

UniFoxOs
22nd Dec 2014, 06:59
USB socket, neither of which I'll ever use, even if I knew what they are for.

USB socket would be useful for charging various gadgets on the move (mobile phone the most important for me) unless you don't have any such appliances.

I now buy automatic transmission over manual but four speeds is quite enough, I don't need the bill for a computer controlled seven speed system going wrong

I thought the same - until I drove a 7-speed double-clutch diesel MPV. The performance, both in terms of 0-60 and mpg was astonishing.

John Hill
22nd Dec 2014, 07:03
That is why 70% of all Rolls Royce's ever made are still on the road.

Did the others make it home then?

Pinky the pilot
22nd Dec 2014, 07:20
Anybody remember those vacuum-powered wipers?
My '56 FJ Holden has them - that's one reason it only goes for a spin on nice sunny Sundays.

Certainly do! I can still remember back in the late 60s when as a teenager, along with several mates I used to ride my pushbike out to the local drive in theatre of a Saturday night and sit just outside the projection room to watch the movies.

On a rainy night you would hear all the older Holdens start their engines just so they could use the wipers.

Think some of the early 'Henrys' had the same trouble.:hmm:

Stanwell
22nd Dec 2014, 07:45
Pinky,
Yeah, well the problem wasn't just that.

The dangerous bit came when driving through rain.
If you needed to put your foot down when overtaking or climbing a windy hill, the manifold vacuum was just not available to keep the wipers operating effectively (they almost come to a stop) - when you most need them.

The issue was mostly to do with with American-designed cars of that era, including Henrys.

Ancient Mariner
22nd Dec 2014, 08:16
Metro Man:Also I don't need to be stranded because specialist parts need to be ordered in or a small town garage hasn't got the correct diagnostic machine.

Buy one, costs next to nothing. The cheap ones will not show all parameters like the pros, but good fun and may be useful.
Per

VP959
22nd Dec 2014, 08:24
Metro Man:
Also I don't need to be stranded because specialist parts need to be ordered in or a small town garage hasn't got the correct diagnostic machine.
Buy one, costs next to nothing. The cheap ones will not show all parameters like the pros, but good fun and may be useful.
Per

Very true. I bought a Scanguage around 5 years ago. Around £80 IIRC and i've used it for everything from resetting annoying "features" on my cars (like turning off seat belt warning beepers and the internal reversing beeper) to diagnosing faults on cars owned by several friends, allowing them to go to get the car repaired knowing which sensor or whatever has thrown a fault. These work on any car with an OBDII diagnostic connector, which is pretty much industry standard on all new cars now.

Mine sits in the central armrest storage compartment, ready to plug in and find out what's going on if any of the warning lights come on for any reason (they never have, but it's paid for itself just by letting me customise the annoying "features" of the car, rather than pay the dealer to do it).

Simplythebeast
22nd Dec 2014, 08:32
The most annoying 'feature' in my car are the front and rear passenger seats. The front one is just a platform for the SatNag (Her indoors) and the rear ones are only used when transporting freeloaders.

UniFoxOs
22nd Dec 2014, 13:16
Was reminded of another annoyance last night when SWMBO ran over a kerb and I had to change a tyre in the freezing dark.

Stupid "moneysaver" spare tyres. They call them "space-saver" but they don't save any space as they only occupy half the spare wheel well in the boot and have to sit on a spacer to bring them up to boot floor level.

onetrack
22nd Dec 2014, 14:21
Ahh, yes. The fabulous advances in modern vehicle technology.

Dual-mass flywheels and DSG transmissions. Google the stories of woe by adding "problems" to your search words. Not unknown to need repairs running into thousands.

ABS, Anti-Skid, Anti-Sway, Anti-Swerve, Traction Control devices. All designed to work beautifully until the operating mechanisms become rusty with road grime, chemicals, dust, moisture and age, or the sensors fail or the wiring connections become grotty with verdigris. Then comes the $2000-$3000 brake repairs.

Electronic accessories galore inside the cabin. Bluetooth, Entertainment Systems, Voice-Activated Controls, Climate-Control, Radar-Controlled Reversing Beepers, Auto-Activated wipers and lights. Great when they work, but unfortunately, if they stop working, look at thousands in repair costs as mechanics tear your vehicle apart looking for the fault. Of course, once it goes back together again, nothing ever works the same, either.

I note a few online AAA and RAC reports about vehicle breakdowns indicate that electrical faults are being registered with increasing frequency in breakdown figures.
The breakdown levels (as a %) are the same as they were, 40 yrs ago - it's just that engines and transmissions have become more reliable, but the sheer increase in, and the complexity of - and the multitude of interactions in electronics systems in vehicles - is just leading to more problems of a different type.

Give me the KISS principle every time. There are some advances in modern design that are worthy - but many accessories and sales features of new vehicles are just plain ludicrous, unnecessary, and lead to early "electronic death" of the vehicle.

wings folded
22nd Dec 2014, 14:30
Anybody remember those vacuum-powered wipers?

My Citroen 2 horses had wipers which ran off the speedometer. So when you stopped to wait for oncoming traffic before turning, the windscreen got jolly damp. But, oh stroke of genius, you could turn a knob to move 'em manually.

MG23
22nd Dec 2014, 16:14
Cars can have as long a life as you wish, as long as you have the money to keep them going.

The problem is the electronics. Mechanical parts and bodywork can be built from scratch if you need to replace them, but you can't make a 68020 to replace the one in the ECU in your thirty-year-old car if they're out of production.

Yes, if it's a popular old car, someone may have produced a compatible ECU, but you're pretty much out of luck if it's not.

DType
22nd Dec 2014, 16:35
Then there was the vacuum operated screen wash - exactly the same problem as the vacuum wipers when overtaking a spray generating lorry. I eventually learned to push and hold the button in advance (thus locking in the vacuum), releasing the button when I needed the wash. Great safety feature that - one handed overtaking (or no hands if a gear change required)

Fareastdriver
22nd Dec 2014, 17:14
The Series 2 Ford Zephyr had a vauum pump twinned above the mechanical fuel pump. This was there to continue the vaccuum to the wipers under acceleration. Not very good at low engine speeds but rev the engine a bit and the system was quite good.

A friend of mine had one and he took it to the local Ford dealers because the oil consumption was getting stupid. They told him he needed a reconditioned engine and there wasn't going to be any change out of £400.

I had my suspicions so I had a look under the bonnet. There on the right hand inner wing was the tell-tale sheet of oil that had been deposited there by a faulty oil seal on the vacuum pump.

It took me forty-five minutes and the seal cost 9d.

bugged on the right
22nd Dec 2014, 17:34
I am looking forward to somebody producing a car which is simple and can be fixed by the owner. Computers, yes but readily available standard boxes. Just dial in the make and model. Light bulbs which can be changed without taking the front bumper off. No sat navs or anything more than a basic trip computer. I have owned my new car for 18 months and have not had the courage to read the manual. There is so much information overload and I won't use features that there isn't a clear control for. My regular fixer has told me he is getting to the stage where he no longer has the ability or authority to repair modern cars. what about the 3rd world? I can't imagine somebody in deepest darkest taking his Peugeot to a main dealer when the computer goes on the fritz.

vulcanised
22nd Dec 2014, 17:38
Icons!


I find a lot of them really obscure. What's wrong with labels?

MG23
22nd Dec 2014, 18:29
Icons! I find a lot of them really obscure. What's wrong with labels?

You have to use different labels for different countries, whereas you can use the same icons everywhere. A few cents on every car adds up when you're selling millions of them around the world. When I worked for a company that made mass-market add-in cards for PCs, there were guys who could pay for their entire year's salary by figuring out how to replace a couple of resistors with slightly cheaper ones.

A A Gruntpuddock
22nd Dec 2014, 18:38
"you could turn a knob to move 'em manually".

Wipers on pre-war cars had a little lever (not more than 1" long) to move the blades manually - no self parking.

Oh, the joy of leaning over from the passenger seat and and operating one for about an hour when the motor burnt out in heavy rain...........

Shaggy Sheep Driver
22nd Dec 2014, 19:43
Fuel injection and electronic ignition beat carburettors and distributors but I don't really need a complicated engine management system.

Injection never seems as smooth as carbs on a motorbike, especially a single or twin. The pick-up on opening the throttle can be hesitant with an injected bike engine, which is not nice in the twisties when correctly timed application of power makes all the difference.

Engine management systems are required to enable emissions to satisfy the tree huggers.

Capetonian
22nd Dec 2014, 21:13
No handbrake on the car I've just driven tonight. No handbrake control lever anyway, but an automatic one. Most disconcerting on the steep hills of Tamboerskloof/Gardens.

Flash2001
22nd Dec 2014, 21:20
SSD

I've a Harley XR1200X with EFI etc. The throttle response, particularly coming off idle, is spectacular maybe even too much of a good thing.

After an excellent landing etc...

superq7
22nd Dec 2014, 21:22
Re Capetonian.

The electronic handbrake will automatically disengage when you pull away.

Capetonian
22nd Dec 2014, 21:27
I know, but I find it very uncomfortable not to be able to set and release it myself, just a question of getting used to it I suppose but I am most uncomfortable with it.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
22nd Dec 2014, 22:18
Hi Flash, yes my Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 8V is just fine with injection, but I had a Honda VFR that was awful. Had a carbed Blackbird that was smooth as silk, but my mate's later injected Blackbird was hesitant on pick up. Maybe it's just Honda?

Ancient Mariner
22nd Dec 2014, 22:58
Superq7:The electronic handbrake will automatically disengage when you pull away.

Not in my wife's MB A-Klass, impossible to make handbrake turns and like everything else in that car, an ergonomic nightmare.
Handling is good, everything else sucks vacuum.
It also has the only thing I don't like (read hate) with modern cars; electric power steering. :hmm:
Per

meadowrun
22nd Dec 2014, 23:35
Interesting responses here. I wonder if anyone in the automotive industry is reading this? If they were, would they give a damn what anyone thinks?

innuendo
22nd Dec 2014, 23:39
impossible to make handbrake turns

Something that we all really need to do. :hmm:

peterpallet
23rd Dec 2014, 06:05
i wonder if anyone here has a Hyundai Accent-11 years old with 133,000 Kms on the clock. I bougkt it when it was 3 years old and (asides from the airbag warning light which comes on about 3days after its annual ITV test - fuse removed until the next ITV test) it has not given any problems. I like it -well it's what I can afford to run.

Ancient Mariner
23rd Dec 2014, 06:08
Since when has "need" anything to do with fun?
I'll be downhill skiing today, not because I "need" to, but......
Per

Bull at a Gate
23rd Dec 2014, 06:20
Has anyone else noticed this? Page after page of complaints about modern technology, many of which must come from pilots. Do these same pilots lament the introduction of things such as autopilots, weather radar and ailerons (to select a few "modern" inventions at random? Do they really want to go back to the days of hand flying for hours, not knowing what weather is ahead of you and wing warping for roll control?

meadowrun
23rd Dec 2014, 06:46
Commercial pilots, in well run airlines, have seas of spares stretching to the horizons and teams of people like me supporting the maintenance of their workplaces. It is not like some bloke and his garage. And, they don't get the bill for the work.

Blacksheep
23rd Dec 2014, 08:16
That last sentence is the key.

We had a problem with headset reliability. Endless write-ups by pilots of broken headsets or microphones that didn't work. The workshop opinion was that they were all caused by "mishandling". Solution? Every pilot received a new headset on personal issue. Fair wear and tear - i.e. replacement ear pads - were free, all other repairs to be paid for. Result? Headsets became one of the most reliable components on the aircraft.

I think we need a thread about how awful old cars were. Take the Ford Capri for example, nice looking but the most dreadful roadholding ever imposed upon an unsuspecting public. The Landrover. If you could drive one of them you could drive anything. Bedford van with its column change. Keep stirring, you'll find one in a minute. The problem was that sometines it was reverse! :eek:

No, modern cars with modern technology are great. My family car is smoother and more comfortable than a 1980s Rolls Royce - no complaints, no worries.

Hydromet
23rd Dec 2014, 08:48
The Landrover. If you could drive one of them you could drive anything.
Yep. Learned to drive in a Landie on the ball-bearing roads of Weipa in the early '60s.
Also learned that the hand throttle was not the air vent!

ShyTorque
23rd Dec 2014, 09:03
Oh the irony
Has anyone else noticed this? Page after page of complaints about modern technology, many of which must come from pilots. Do these same pilots lament the introduction of things such as autopilots, weather radar and ailerons (to select a few "modern" inventions at random? Do they really want to go back to the days of hand flying for hours, not knowing what weather is ahead of you and wing warping for roll control?

The thread title includes the word "useless" as well as "modern". Most issues are caused by designers thinking they know what drivers want, rather than asking what they want.

Btw, I've not used ailerons for roll control for decades. Cyclic pitch suits me better. ;)

M.Mouse
23rd Dec 2014, 09:34
Take the Ford Capri for example, nice looking but the most dreadful roadholding ever imposed upon an unsuspecting public.

Not true, it handled beautifully.

Well, unless you went round a corner.

BOAC
23rd Dec 2014, 09:54
May I add ''Motorway Function" on Citroens - 3 flashes of the indicator when you move the stalk a tad? No way to turn it off on Citroen unlike other makes and mine is so sensitive it indicates every time I dip.....and I am capable of indicating 'normally' when I want to, obviously unlike French drivers:ugh:

How do you bring a car to a standstill with brake failure and an electric handbrake?

Stanwell
23rd Dec 2014, 10:04
Blacksheep,

1. A mate bought a Capri and thought it was just the 'duck's guts' - until the thing nearly killed him.

2. The Army Landy IIAs we had in the late 60s were considered to be "best front-wheel drives around - the rear axles snapped with monotonous regularity.

3. When GM-H imported the Bedford CF vans into OZ (to compete with the Ford Transit) they told Vauxhall to leave their sh1tty little mechanicals behind and fitted them with Holden stuff (3.0 litre engine and a choice of transmissions).
My one's been around the clock five times with no undue problems.

onetrack
23rd Dec 2014, 10:14
There is no comparison between aircraft and motor vehicles when it comes to comparing electronics and control mechanisms. It's comparing apples to oranges.

Aircraft are built to a standard of reliability that has to approach 100% reliability. Reliability is the primary design parameter.

Motor vehicle reliability is not an issue. If some unreliability is found in the vehicle design, it's left alone, because parts sales are needed to ensure car manufacturers profitability.

Aircraft components are built to strict standards with intensive research and testing, and triple systems backup. Cost is a distant secondary factor.

Motor vehicles are built to standards that allow for regular non-critical failures, particularly with regard to accessories.
Vehicle components are regularly examined so cheaper ways of making them can be found.
If reliability suffers as a result of the change to a cheaper design, then so be it.

The only items in a vehicle required to have sizeable inherent strength factors and major reliability, is in critical components such as steering, braking, suspension, wheels, etc.

Everything else in a vehicle regarded as non-critical for safety reasons is a target for cost reduction and resultant unreliability.

Stanwell
23rd Dec 2014, 11:01
onetrack,
Agreed.
Still not sure about electronic steering, though.

seacue
23rd Dec 2014, 12:08
It was explained to me that steering boost changed from hydraulic to electrical to increase fuel efficiency. The hydraulic pump was working all the time and its output bypassed most of the time. The electrical boost only draws major power when boost is needed. But I noted a dead-band when I got my first electric-boost-steering car.

Blame it on striving for mpg.

Ancient Observer
23rd Dec 2014, 12:38
My Golf has auto-everything. It even has "park-assist". (It steers for you based on sensors) It has no physical handbrake. It is just a point and go car. A bit like the dodgems.

I rather like all this auto-everything. All it needs is a young model Julie Christie in the passenger seat, and I'd be all set.

gemma10
23rd Dec 2014, 13:57
All this automation, no wonder there are so many accidents, drivers only have to concentrate on the steering wheel these days, and I suspect even that will be gone in a few years. Probably like the controls in an Airbus. Rather have a younger Joanna Lumley though sitting next. I know-sad bastard.

Stanwell
23rd Dec 2014, 14:33
seacue,
OK, thanks.
I drove my brother's new car (Holden Commodore) the other day and it didn't make me feel at all comfortable.
Perhaps it might improve with development.


Oh, well then chaps, the only accessory I'd need in a Jaguar SS would be Susannah York (ref her role in B.O.B)

Metro man
23rd Dec 2014, 14:52
Improvements in aircraft technology have been demanded by the airlines that operate them and necessitated by increased air traffic.

Modern aircraft are more reliable, cheaper to operate and more comfortable than previous generations. Whilst economy is packed tighter, you now fly with greater safety and tickets are affordable, cabins are quieter and inflight entertainment the norm.

An aircraft can easily have a twenty year life span with replacement being made on the basis of major improvements provided by the new models. Compare the comfort and reliability of a new B777 compared to a B707.

I drive a nine year old Hyundai and have been very impressed with its reliability compared to the 1980s European cars I've had in the past. Korean or Japanese for me from now on.

G-CPTN
23rd Dec 2014, 15:02
The change from hydraulic power steering to electric power steering is, indeed, beneficial to fuel economy.

Buses are about to go through a similar revolution (some companies have started by offering rework packages - known as mini-hybrid systems).

Most buses are now rear-engined and employ hydraulics to power the cooling fans for the engine. The pumps and motors (and the associated fluid and pipework) are heavy and expensive to maintain, and considerable savings can be made by replacing these with electric motors that only draw power when needed (bus hydraulics typically run from engine-startup resulting in over-cooling until working-temperature is reached - electrical cooling fans can be thermostatically-controlled to allow more-efficient warm-up) - so it really is a win-win situation for electrics (and repairs and replacements are quicker to fit).

I must say that, as an engineer, I was opposed to the concept of electric power-steering for cars, but the replacement of hydraulics with electrics for cooling management is a no-brainer, saving weight (and, thereby, fuel) as well as reducing engine 'drag' losses from constantly driving hydraulic pumps and motors - even when they are not needed.

KBPsen
23rd Dec 2014, 15:03
no wonder there are so many accidentsThe number of deaths and injuries on the road is at the lowest level since records began, despite the number of vehicles on the road is at a record high.

Donkey497
23rd Dec 2014, 16:34
Onetrack makes a very good point, especially here in the darker regions of the northern hemisphere at this time of year.


Can you seriously contemplate the chaos that would ensue is every single car, van, truck and bike rider around the globe had a MEL checklist to do before they set off on every journey. Not to mention the chaos that would ensue when virtually 100% of the vehicles were deficient, especially in the area of headlights?


The garages would be very happy, but we'd be forever applying for ferry permits to take our transport of delights back to the garage to get the tweak for the MEL, or hire our own personal, licensed mechanic.


Automation of itself can be useful in reducing fatigue, task loading, fuel consumption etc. [much cheaper and easier to run], but has implications of reduced field maintainability, replaceability / substitution and higher standards of initial construction (more expensive to buy) and regular in-service maintenance (more expensive to keep). It's a balance we all have to reach on a personal basis.

MG23
23rd Dec 2014, 18:21
Interesting responses here. I wonder if anyone in the automotive industry is reading this? If they were, would they give a damn what anyone thinks?

Not so long as motorists continue to say 'hey, I'm going to trade my two-year-old car in for the new model, because it's now got automatic cup-holders!'

One of the reasons we bought a new vehicle this year--other than because the nineteen-year-old one it replaced was falling apart--was to avoid some of the fancy new stuff that's likely to prove problematic until it's debugged. But most people don't feel that way. And, frankly, I don't think we could now go back to a vehicle that doesn't have heated seats and a rear-view camera (unless it has much better visibility than most modern ones).

victor tango
23rd Dec 2014, 19:59
Had to change headlight bulb in my Astra recently........
Was appalled at how stupidly difficult it was.
Groping around in the wheel arch to access the rear of the headlight.
When everything was "lined up" ie removing old and getting the new one in place had to remember the note on replacement "do not touch the bulb glass"
There aint room enough for my hand and a cloth:ugh:

seacue
23rd Dec 2014, 20:50
Replaced my 2002 VW Golf with a 2010 Honda. 2002 was NOT a good year for the Golf. Niggling VW problems. The Honda has been the most-trouble-free car I have ever owned.

Touch wood.

ShyTorque
23rd Dec 2014, 20:58
On the other hand, my Volvo's headlight bulbs were extremely easy to replace. Opening the bonnet and pulling out a simple stainless steel locking strip behind the light unit from above, allowed the entire thing to be slid forward and removed from the car. The bulbs could be replaced on the bench. It took less than five minutes and little danger of getting it wrong.

ExSp33db1rd
23rd Dec 2014, 21:34
Was appalled at how stupidly difficult it was.So many items appear to be the first part used, around which a motor car is then constructed, like the battery on my Honda motor bike, just a simple task like topping up the (distilled) water is a days job of major motor bike dismantling. I know, I should invest in one of the new sealed units, but why should I, the present one works well, If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It but the present procedure to top it up, admittedly only occasionally, is driving me to it as age - mine - takes effect.

I once replaced the exhaust system on a Morris Minor, front to rear, the whole job, and declared that they had started with an exhaust assembly and built a car around it, and not long after toured a Ford factory in Dearborn (?) Michigan. Down the assembly line first appeared a vehicle chassis - these were the days when a chassis was still in existence - and guess what was the first item thrown on to it by the next stage operator ? Point proved.

VP959
23rd Dec 2014, 22:18
The move is clearly towards parts that do not need replacement. I well remember the contortions needed to replace the headlight bulbs in my other half's old Clio. Thankfully both my car and hers now have LED headlights that will probably outlast the car.

The same goes for exhaust systems. I tend to keep cars for around four or five years, and not once have I had to replace any part of the exhaust system of any of them in the past fifteen years or so. In fact the only item I can recall having to replace was a battery and a few tyres, plus routine servicing in all that time. Nothing else has ever failed, to the point where I really don't expect modern cars to fail at all.

I'm sure a few do, and when they do the tiny minority that have problems make a lot of noise about these failures. Perhaps they need to think back to the days when cars needed daily minor maintenance, weekly maintenance that might take an hour or so and six monthly maintenance that could easily soak up a day or mores time. I can well remember the days of spending a whole weekend doing the "annual decoke", and doubt a week went by in the first years of my car ownership where I didn't have to go out and fix something on the car.

By contrast, for the past 20 odd years all I've ever had to do is check tyre pressures from time to time and top up the windscreen washer; everything else gets sorted once a year at annual (or 10,000 mile) service time.

jimtherev
23rd Dec 2014, 23:43
Support items, too, help. Take lubrication. Chatting to an engineer-volunteer a few weeks back at Beamish (or Ironbridge - cant remember) and asked him about bearing life on the 100+year-old static engines.
"Never had to worry about it" was his reply. "Modern lubricants are so good we don't see much wear at all - or have to decoke, either, for that matter."


Interesting.

Pappa Smurf
24th Dec 2014, 00:04
My car is 16 year old and hasn't got any fancy stuff on it,not even air bags.Only thing bad about it,the V6 sits east/west,and evey big service(100,000k ones) you have to take half the engine apart for the timing belt,back 3 spark plugs and rocker cover gaskets,which now cost more than the car is worth.
As long as the air-con and heater demister work,thats all I need.It goes from A to B like any other car,and even better,as its old I don't have to worry about marks and scratches.
But the time has come to get a twin cab 4x4 and buy a caravan.

G-CPTN
24th Dec 2014, 00:11
I had my Peugeot from 2 years old to 12 years old and never replaced a single bulb.
At its final MOT before I sold it the stoplamps didn't work when I did the pre-MOT - yet both bulbs were sound.
A quick check on online forums suggested that the mechanical switch on the pedal was the likely cause and I sourced one from eBay for 99p including postage.
Then I read the Haynes manual that suggested that the whole facia had to come out (including removing the steering wheel and associated air-bag) - which would have made repair 'uneconomical'.
I squirted WD40 up into the switch plunger and the stoplamps started working again.

rans6andrew
24th Dec 2014, 11:10
so called clever automatic handbrake and hill start features (VW Passat, manual gearbox) have made it nigh on impossible for a friend to use his trailer. The situation is a narrow gateway/driveway on an uphill incline at right angles to the road. The automatic handbrake doesn't allow subtle enough control and the hill start is confused. The trailer is some twenty feet long and only 2 inches narrower than the distance between the brick gate posts.

His old Passat was all manual and fine for the job.

Rans6.....

Metro man
24th Dec 2014, 11:51
Then I read the Haynes manual that suggested that the whole facia had to come out (including removing the steering wheel and associated air-bag) - which would have made repair 'uneconomical'.

Exactly my point regarding modern cars, which idiot created a design like that ? I've heard similar tales of the entire dashboard having to be removed because a bulb has blown in the instrument display. These features are time bombs set to go off and render an otherwise serviceable vehicle fit only for the scrap heap and ensure a market for replacements.

ian16th
24th Dec 2014, 12:03
Then I read the Haynes manual that suggested that the whole facia had to come out

This sort of thing isn't all new.

On my 1975 Hillman Hunter, the fuel gauge packed up, looking at removing the old one, the manual started with: 'disconnect the choke cable at the carburetor'.

I decided to carry a full 1 gallon can in the boot and always re-set the trip gauge when I filled up!

ShyTorque
24th Dec 2014, 12:25
Quite a number of years ago I bought a VW Passat and shortly afterwards realised that the lights on the radio/ heating panel didn't work. I took the panel out and saw that the problem was a couple of tiny pea bulbs had blown. I went to the VW main agent for new ones, only to be told that it wasn't possible to buy bulbs separately, only an entire fascia, at fairly huge cost. I put the original one back in. A short time afterwards, on the coldest, night of the winter, the passenger side window dropped into the door, all by itself. Around the same time, two of the hydraulic tappets stopped pumping up, making a loud clatter and reducing the power output of the engine. I got a quote for the job and decided it might be cheaper to buy a new car. I did the work myself, but the cost of the parts alone was outrageous.

I've never bought another VW.

ian16th
24th Dec 2014, 14:24
on the coldest, night of the winter, the passenger side window dropped into the door,

Sods law!

A former colleague of mine, at the SA/Swaziland border opened his drivers door window to pass the appropriate documents to the border guard type person, on getting them back pressing the 'Up Button' caused a fuse to blow!

It was raining, only as it can do in Africa :sad:

Haraka
24th Dec 2014, 16:30
Here in the third world , few paved roads, fewer engineers ( Try your luck with "fundis") chronic spares and check out equipment availability etc.
Basic philosophy has to be: KISS.
Only "Modern " adoption by the car manufacturers I treasure is Air Conditioning.
And on a hot day, up max , most of those systems barely cope near the equator.

In an earlier time in S.A , mate turned up on an off-road trip with his brand new L.R. Discovery with "low profile" tires .
Shredded in two days. After some emergency tyre repairs eventually got him out on a low-loader back to Johannesburg .
He complained to L.R.in Sandton and was informed that the PR manager for the company "Didn't speak to members of the public".

MG23
24th Dec 2014, 16:40
These features are time bombs set to go off and render an otherwise serviceable vehicle fit only for the scrap heap and ensure a market for replacements.

Only if you actually care about the bulbs and gauges. By the time we scrapped my girlfriend's Buick, the fuel gauge was only accurate to half a tank, and the gear indicator only worked when the car went over a bump. Had been like that for two or three years.

And one of my friends drove his Triumph Spitfire for the best part of a decade with no fuel gauge. He just stuck a bit of wood in the tank when he wanted to see how much fuel was left.

Haraka
24th Dec 2014, 16:49
....and wasn't it sign of those days that the standard cap was unlock able?
And you had a manual toggle pump to operate the windscreen washers on the early ones .
Laycock overdrive on 3 &4 later on a toggle switch on the gearshift ...aaaah.
:)

Keef
24th Dec 2014, 16:49
I was told (with glee) by the dealership down the road that as of next year if warning lights are fitted, they have to be working correctly or it's an automatic MOT fail.

Many warning light failures are down to glitches in the ECU. A new ECU can cost more than a car is worth.

MG23
24th Dec 2014, 16:59
Laycock overdrive on 3 &4 later on a toggle switch on the gearshift ...aaaah.

Yeah, he had the overdrive switch on the gearstick. We all thought that was pretty cool at the time, being able to 'change gear' just by moving the switch.

ShyTorque
24th Dec 2014, 17:46
Keef, that's what I've been told, too. It causes a problem for DIY owners who can repair the fault which caused the light to come on but may be unable to reset the now false warning light at home.

That, as they say, is progress.

DType
24th Dec 2014, 17:56
Had to move the one on XK from the fascia to the top of the gear lever, because I could never hit the fascia switch at 100+ due to the g loads.
And those speeds were legal, even though "feeble" was a generous description of the braking power.

G-CPTN
24th Dec 2014, 17:56
Yes, certain warning-light failures (such as low-tyre-pressure) are MOT failures if not working.
I was glad that my car doesn't have it fitted - one less gadget to go wrong.

Haraka
24th Dec 2014, 18:12
Had to move the one on XK from the fascia to the top of the gear lever,
My MGB ( GT) had a toggle switch for that on the fascia- just had to stretch your right hand fingers out from the wheel...( then wait a second) :)

Solid Rust Twotter
24th Dec 2014, 19:36
Yes, certain warning-light failures (such as low-tyre-pressure) are MOT failures if not working.


All in the interests of safety, right? Wonder how many of those warning lights will be disabled by the owners in due course. So much for safety.

John Hill
24th Dec 2014, 19:49
The first car I built for road use was a very minimal affair with a single seat 'torpedo' built of a plywood skin over a steel frame.
First day at the testing station, safety glass winscreeen "n/a" windscreen wipers "n/a", door locks "n/a", sunvisor "n/a" etc etc.

The car had brakes, steering and a seat and that was all the law required at the time.

G-CPTN
24th Dec 2014, 20:31
The car had brakes, steering and a seat and that was all the law required at the time.
You didn't even need lights unless you went out in the dark, however, if they were fitted then they had to work.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c19/GroupCaptain/Lotus3-7.jpg

John Hill
24th Dec 2014, 21:31
One of the 'features' of not-so-new cars from some makers is related to the remote locking function.

Some (most?) cars have the remote locking arranged so that should the doors be unlocked by remote they will lock again if the car doors are not opened within a short time. Obviously to provide a measure of security.

Now the problem comes about when the doors are unlocked by the remote, the driver gets in and finds the engine management system non responsive to the ignition key.

The problem is that the 'computer' only knows the doors have been opened when current flows in the interior light circuit. If the bulb blows you get to walk home!:eek:

DNAHIKT

Pappa Smurf
24th Dec 2014, 23:39
The days have gone when the good old Aussie toolkit mainly contained a roll of fencing wire.

meadowrun
24th Dec 2014, 23:43
Yes. Now replaced with a roll of duct tape.

ian16th
25th Dec 2014, 07:46
On my Hillman Hunter it was just like the indicator switch but on the other side of the wheel!

ian16th
25th Dec 2014, 07:52
One 'new' feature not mentioned, so am I to understand that it is deemed to be useful?

The move of the dipswitch from being foot operated to the hand operated.

I think the last car I had with the foot operated switch was a 1960 Morris Oxford.

Though it was my 1st car with a windscreen washer, albeit a hand pumped one.

ExSp33db1rd
26th Dec 2014, 07:07
Moving the dipswitch back to the floor isn't such a bad idea, what with buttons on the steering wheel to operate the auto-throttle speed control, and "paddles" to decide when to change down before "the computer" does, and a horn, and levers to control windshield wipers that seem to do everything except steadily wipe the windscreen as and when, and at a speed, deemed necessary by the driver then one really hasn't enough spare hands to spare for the dipswitch as well, whereas ones' left foot - and I'm assuming an automatic drive car - is well and truly idle, and might appreciate a bit of blood circulation by asked to push a dipswitch occasionally.

Bring back the starting handle, too.

JWP1938
26th Dec 2014, 10:12
Yes, and, even in a manual drive car, the less than half a second it takes to kick the switch wouldn't really delay a gear change or whatever that much.
Not so sure about the starting handle though. I'm still suffering from when I put my back out (prolapsed disc) in 1966 when the beast kicked back at me. :uhoh:

Stanwell
27th Dec 2014, 14:55
Not to mention (in my case) a broken arm when the damn thing kicked back.

A handy device I dreamed up is a set of lug-nuts on a driving wheel.
Where you find yourself unable to push-start or hill-start, you jack the wheel up, wind a stout cord
around these nuts and give a good pull, much like you'd do with a lawnmower - worked for me, it did.

MG23
27th Dec 2014, 18:41
We happen to be living in the extremely short gas age, it won't last long. :8

When I was a kid, oil was going to run out before the year 2000. If I remember correctly, back around 1900 it was going to run out by 1940.

One day there won't be any oil left, but the predictions of its demise have been wrong for at least a hundred years now.

Carry0nLuggage
28th Dec 2014, 15:13
ShyTorque: Volvo headlamp bulb replacement is superb :ok: Before buying ours I amused myself in the dealerships of various competing makes by getting the salesman all excited at the possibility of a sale then asking him to demonstrate a bulb replacement. Then walking out laughing.

(Had to change a bulb at the side of the road one winter after being stopped by the police. Once finished I wondered where all the red stuff had come from: Me. It was so cold I hadn't noticed I'd slashed my fingers on the bits of sharp bodywork under the bonnet.)

Going back to the OP though, anything which removes the decision making from the driver such as auto wipers or lights. Never been over impressed by self cancelling indicators either.

con-pilot
28th Dec 2014, 18:28
When I was a kid, oil was going to run out before the year 2000. If I remember correctly, back around 1900 it was going to run out by 1940.



I can remember that in the mid-1970s it was the official position of the Carter Administration that the United States had ran out of natural gas, there was no more to be found or drilled for.


Now we've got so much of the stuff it is damn impossible to make a profit drilling for it.


Shoot, not that long ago here in Pprune I got into a hell of an argument with some guy that said we'd run out of jet fuel (oil) by 2015.

Well that is what he'd read on the internet, so it had to be right. :p


Oh, back to the topic.

Keyless cars, have no use for them.


Now you kids GET OFF MY GRASS!

Keef
28th Dec 2014, 20:46
Keyless cars, have no use for them.

In the cupboard I have a box of carless keys. Perhaps we should pool our assets...

Solid Rust Twotter
29th Dec 2014, 05:34
My car got nicked a few months ago (endemic problem in SA) but I held on to the spare key rather than give it to the insurance company as requested. It was more than likely moved to a neighbouring country within a day of being stolen (massive corruption at border posts), but I live in hope that I'll spot it and be able to nick it back just to piss off the thieves, then use it to run over the bastards.

jimtherev
29th Dec 2014, 09:22
One has been reading this thread with interest. New car being picked up tomorrow has almost every one of the seemingly uselesses mentioned above - except the vacuum-powered windscreen wipers which we oldies all loved to hate.
One shall try to remember to report back in, say, 12 months.

Pinky the pilot
29th Dec 2014, 09:33
Now you kids GET OFF MY GRASS!

Err....ummm...con-pilot; 'Grass,' it is you say...??:confused::}:D

Stanwell
29th Dec 2014, 10:12
Hee, hee, hee.
I was waiting for someone to come up with that.

(That's alright, Con - just maintain your course and speed.)

27mm
29th Dec 2014, 15:09
Double glazing on Mercs

Ancient Observer
29th Dec 2014, 15:11
The whole of a Mk 7 Golf is designed with the headlight bulbs first. Everything else is added after the headlight bulb.

On a semi-serious note, to get at the bulb requires very small hands. Much smaller than mine. One hesitates to be sexist or ageist, but one suspects the designer was a 12 year old female. Just like the one who designed the back end of the Ford Fiesta, although 9 years old is more likely in that case.

ExSp33db1rd
29th Dec 2014, 21:34
.......but one suspects the designer was a 12 year old female.

and born with 6 fingers and two thumbs on each hand.

( I know eggsactly wot you mean )

RJM
29th Dec 2014, 21:46
The cure for all this is a Mini Moke. Sure, they have self cancelling turn indicators, but on the plus side: no windows (no doors), no roof, no seat adjustment, etc. There are so many things they don't have, they're a motoring purist's dream. I wish I still had mine.

Stanwell
30th Dec 2014, 04:20
Ah, yes - the Mini Moke.
The galvanised toolbox. Still got mine and it's been the most trouble free vehicle I've ever had.

Hydromet
30th Dec 2014, 07:30
The cure for all this is a Mini Moke. Sure, they have self cancelling turn indicators, but on the plus side: no windows (no doors), no roof, no seat adjustment, etc. There are so many things they don't have, they're a motoring purist's dream. I wish I still had mine.
A mate drove one to Cape York many years ago. On the way back he got stuck in a river crossing. He walked out to get help, and when they returned the river had risen and the moke was submerged. They towed it out, he changed the oil as soon as possible and drove it to Sydney, where he sold it to the first unsuspecting victim that came along.

RJM
30th Dec 2014, 07:43
A Moke is one of the few cars where you say to passengers "Hop on" rather than "Hop in".

A good Moke is now around A$15000. :eek:

Mr Optimistic
30th Dec 2014, 10:08
Yeah headlight bulb replacement is a pain: classic fail when I tried in on a civic. How about adding all electric power steering to the list: expensive failure on the wife's Micra after 70k miles and has failed again.

ShyTorque
30th Dec 2014, 11:42
Power steering? Two of my three cars don't have power steering of any sort. You need quite good upper body strength for one of them, but only at parking speeds.

On the other hand, the car I built myself can be steered with the finger tips. Its headlight bulbs are also very easy to change; it's got separate chrome headlight bowls. All you need is a flat bladed screwdriver to loosen one little screw at the top of the rim. Then the light unit lifts out. A five minute job, or less.

chevvron
30th Dec 2014, 16:57
What ******** decided that if you want to use windscreen washers, the wipers should operate too??
I encountered it first on a Peugot 309, but every car since (1990) has had this feature. Up til then, I squirted the windscreen, waited for the fluid to spread and soak in (a matter of moments) then operated the wipers, but now it's impossible, as before the fluid hits the windscreen, the wipers start and sweep it away before it has time to do anything.

DType
30th Dec 2014, 17:38
Chevvron.
How I agree, but it is a million times worse when it's freezing. No one (outside Sweden and North America) provides real screenwash antifreeze. The cheap alcohol based stuff works fine in the bottle, but when it gets to the jet then the alcohol evaporates, leaving pure water which freezes. Even in "heated" jets. So each abortive wash is accompanied by an unwanted series of wipes on a dry but road salt spattered screen, which promptly smears to opacity. Colossal fun, especially after dark with oncoming headlights.
So I asked the manufacturer which wire to cut to disable the auto-wipe, only to be told "This vehicle has been safety certified as built, and we are not allowed to tell you how to modify it"
I cut the right wire at the second attempt.

PS Original Saab winter screenwash (not the GM rubbish) actually works down to minus 15!!!

G-CPTN
30th Dec 2014, 18:07
Never had problems with screenwash freezing in Denmark (isopropanol?) - even when the sea froze!

ShyTorque
30th Dec 2014, 19:25
My local motor factor sells an extreme cold weather screenwash which they stock for Polish car owners commuting to and from their home country. It's certified down to below minus 20C, iirc. I picked up a 5 litre container of it and the chap behind the counter recommended that I bought the cheaper stuff for local use because we don't often have severe enough weather this side of the channel. I wish I'd bought some just now.....

Blacksheep
30th Dec 2014, 19:31
Here's some nice cars (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327486/Hundreds-vintage-cars-annual-London-Brighton-Veteran-Car-Run.html) that don't have any of those useless new car features. Just the basics, that's all one needs. You don't need useless windscreen wipers if you leave out the useless windscreen.


Well, that's where we'd have stayed if manufacturers hadn't bothered with useless new features, like enclosed cabins, windscreens, synchromesh gearboxes and the like.

Interested Passenger
30th Dec 2014, 19:44
Ford decided it would be great to have the rear wiper operate if the front wipers are on and you engage reverse. Save the poor driver from having to work a switch.

Makes quite a bang when the wiper hits the bike rack:*



cruise control would be great if everyone could agree how fast to go, really annoying to be cruising at 60, and catch someone doing 59.4 - of course adaptive gets round this.

worst one has to be electric seats that are not memory electric seats.

ian16th
30th Dec 2014, 20:14
worst one has to be electric seats that are not memory electric seats. I always thought that electric seats were a simple waste of money.

Till I got one! Just about coincidentally with me entering my 8th decade.

Now I think they are wonderful, I have memory position 1 set up to my driving set up, and position 3 is simply right back, so that I can drag my weary old body in and out.

west lakes
30th Dec 2014, 20:19
It's certified down to below minus 20C, iirc. I picked up a 5 litre container of it

Bought 5 litres of -20C at Halfords last week, loads of it in stock.
When the weather is warmer I just dilute it

ehwatezedoing
30th Dec 2014, 20:29
Speaking about useless new car features :}

ZfItenkxgi0

ExSp33db1rd
30th Dec 2014, 21:21
......and position 3 is simply right back, so that I can drag my weary old body in and out. Brilliant ! Never thought of that.

But Mrs. ExS. would object at having to re-set to pos'n. 1 if she were next to drive, it being her car wot has that feature.

I read recently that one should never argue with a woman or a mathematician. Mrs. ExS. was a math. major. I have no chance.

ian16th
30th Dec 2014, 21:47
But Mrs. ExS. would object at having to re-set to pos'n. 1Wot! Pushing 1 button once?

Surely a maths major can count up to 1.

G-CPTN
30th Dec 2014, 21:57
No different to having to put the toilet seat down - yet think of the turmoil that that causes . . .

ExSp33db1rd
31st Dec 2014, 04:34
Surely a maths major can count up to 1.

Don't count on it.

She also uses a scientific calculator that uses reverse logic to every other calculator I have ever seen. Totally unusable by me. Can't even tell you how it is different. The only use to which she puts her past talent to now, is to know the precise amount of the restaurant bill before the food is even delivered, never mind eaten, providing of course she knows the local tax rate, even so, she gets caught out by the small print on the supermarket shelves, and complains of overcharging, only to have it pointed out to her that the 2 for 1 price applies to the 375g carton, not the identical looking 425g carton that she picked up from the same shelf. This is of course deliberate ploy by supermarkets, as we know. Even the financially dyslexic like me get caught out that way.

Sorry - back to cars ...................

P.s. Just driven Mrs ExS's car, only two pre-set driving seat positions ! foiled again. ( but I can manually wind it hard back each time I need to get out, then use the pre-set to re-position next time I drive )