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Car idiosyncrasies

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Car idiosyncrasies

Old 26th Nov 2014, 19:01
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Car idiosyncrasies

Famous one I remember was the ford 100e wiper problem.
The system was vacuum driven, fine when driving normally.
All of a sudden its heavy rain but the wipers seem to go slower...maddening!

Ever had a car with an irritating problem?
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 19:05
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Back in the day, pretty well all North American made cars, trucks and busses had vacuum wipers.

After an excellent landing etc...
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 19:12
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The worst thing about those vacuum wipers (fitted to a few models of Ford at that time) was the way they ground to a halt as you put your foot down and pulled out to overtake - just exactly when it was rather important to see where you were going!
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 19:17
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Thats what I meant flypro
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 19:24
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The little pump diagram on the fuel gauge if the pipe is on the right then thats the side your filler cap is.

Urban myth?
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 19:42
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VT Not a myth. I've seen it many times. Handy on rental cars.

After an excellent landing etc...
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 19:43
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The little pump diagram on the fuel gauge if the pipe is on the right then thats the side your filler cap is.

Urban myth?
Pretty much so!

See: snopes.com: Gas Pump Icon and Fuel Doors

I've a little arrow on my Mazda. I've had the car 7 years next month and I still have to look at the arrow as I can never remember which side the cap is on.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 19:44
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I shall check on our cars tomorrow, but it's pissing down with rain now. I do remember one of my cars, it may have been an Audi, had a little arrow on the fuel gauge pointing to the filler cap side.

Because I regularly drive four or five cars in three different countries, and then sometimes hire cars, I am always confused about which side the filler is on, that however is nothing compared to driving a car you've not driven before and not being able to open the filler cap because there's a hidden lever or button somewhere, as happened to me once in Scotland in rental car, and I was low on fuel and would have been unable to get to my destination without refuelling...........
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 19:45
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Urban myth?
Not in my case. Have it on my Fiesta. Arrow pointing to l/h side


Ever had a car with an irritating problem?
My first car was a '37 chevvy, bought for 40.00 when I was 20.

Had a 6volt batt so lights were practically useless
18 mpg if I drove carefully!

Last edited by goudie; 26th Nov 2014 at 19:55.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 20:16
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My Mondeo doesn't have a filler cap. Hence no little arrow.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 20:33
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1967 Mgb - electromechanical fuel pump had contact breakers that would get covered in carbon, causing the pump to fail, car would just grind to a halt. Head underneath the rear offside wheel arch to locate the pump, administer a few short taps with a spanner and you'd hear the reassuring tick tick tick as the pump sprang back into life. 5 miles down the road , head underneath the rear offside wheel arch,,,,,,,,,,,,,,. Happy days.

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Old 26th Nov 2014, 20:44
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1967 Mgb - electromechanical fuel pump had contact breakers that would get covered in carbon, causing the pump to fail, car would just grind to a halt. Head underneath the rear offside wheel arch to locate the pump, administer a few short taps with a spanner and you'd hear the reassuring tick tick tick as the pump sprang back into life. 5 miles down the road , head underneath the rear offside wheel arch,,,,,,,,,,,,,,. Happy days.
Happier days now modern versions of that pump have electronics instead of points. The one on my car has ticked happily away for over twelve years with no need for maintenance.

The most "quirky" thing about cars I've owned was probably the swing axle suspension on my old Triumph Spitfire. If you chickened out in a corner, the outside rear wheel would tuck right under the car, jacking the rear end of the car right up and putting the sidewall of the tyre on the road, instead of the tread. You had to go in slow and come out fast, which planted the rear end down onto the road. At least it taught you to drive properly - or die!
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 20:44
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Didn't indicate filler side on my old Jag, that had fillers on both sides..............

(as did the Mini Cooper S I owned around 20 years earlier)
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 20:49
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My first car, a Mk1 Ford Escort had annoying habit of rusting before my eyes.

Mind you, so did my second car...
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 20:53
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Shy, that must have been an early model Spitfire. I had a VW Beetle that tried to kill me by doing that, but my 2 Mk4 Spitfires were fine. The Mk4 had an additional transverse leaf spring that limited how far down a wheel could drop. Still pretty [email protected] rear suspension, but double wishbones at the front - odd combination of bad and good.

But later came the really awful BL cars. I had a brand new rental Montego that ran out of petrol with the gauge reading 'full'. The rental company sent out, in replacement, a top of the range Mini equipped with a novelty of the time - electric windows.

We stopped to ask directions and I drew up to the kerb and pressed the LH window button so my passenger could talk to the chap standing there. His window didn't move. Mine slid down beautifully, however.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 21:10
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Shy, that must have been an early model Spitfire.
Yes, it was a 1970 Mk3. The later ones would do it to a lesser degree if you got it really badly wrong (as discovered by a friend who tried in his to to overtake me on a bend, they were also a bit slower)! How I laughed, all the way home.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 21:13
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Land Rover Disco Series I, every time I braked hard I'd have a waterfall down the windscreen/shield, the inside of the windscreen/shield. Sun roofs leaking like seaves. And the rest of the car was crap too.
Land Rover Disco Series II, just ordinary LR crap.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 21:27
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Another nice design point on the Austin Montego - it had electrically-adjustable door mirrors. Very posh!

Except that the switch that adjusted the mirrors was positioned on the dash so it could only be reached by leaning forward and sideways. You see the problem?

From the driving position one could see the mirrors required adjusting, but to do so one had to move away from the driving position to reach the switch, so had no idea how to position the mirrors for a good view from the driving position!

Great ergonomics, those BL heaps!

A couple of years later I got a VW Scirocco as a company car. The first model Scirocco, the good looking one. Two things apart from its good looks impressed me after years of Brit iron; it drove well with lovely handling, and it was obvious a lot of thought had gone into ergonomics for the driver. Everything you needed was just where you'd want it to be.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 21:32
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I had a Renault (12 I think) that had a column gear change with the crudest mechanism I've ever seen, Heath Robinson stuff, and a handbrake under the dash that was so far away that you had to have arms like a baboon to reach it, quite impossible if you were wearing a seatbelt.

Like most French cars, it was very comfortable, but badly designed and badly built. My next, and last, French car was a Peugeot 205 GTI. Powerful for its size and weight but totally unpredictable handling and things forever going wrong with it.
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Old 26th Nov 2014, 21:40
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Talking of Ffrench cars...

I had a couple of Citroen BXs. Loved the roadholding & suspension. Trouble with the latter is that I lived on a hill, and a properly applied handbrake would wind itself off as the suspension slowly deflated. Several merry chases ensued.
Got me into the bad habit of tugging on the handbrake hard in all subsequent cars... Cable then stretches, and...
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