Ridiculous shit installed in new cars ...

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
I'm a bit old-fashioned, being fifty six rather than twenty six.

During a recent three week hospital stay (long story for another time), the new car (technically second hand, 2 year old Corsa previously used by a "mobility scheme user" or something) arrived. Picked up by the old man and waiting for me on my escape discharge from hospital.

Jeepers. I know you can disable this electronic bollox, and as soon as I get around to it I will, but a few small examples of everything being designed for the lowest common denominator (IQ).

First off I have to depress the clutch in order to switch the engine on, watch whilst the instruments whizz all the way round and go back to normal (wtf?) then remember that I'm still in neutral so I can cautiously take my foot off the clutch.

God help me if I get less than a foot from something, the hysterical bleeping gets more and more frequent, followed by a big flashing image of "my car", showing me what I am about to hit. By Christ if anything was designed to cause an accident, rather than prevent one, this is it.

The one that worries me slightly (rather than making me laugh and/or say **** YOU a lot) is the fact that I have no control over locking the doors from inside. May seem trivial, but to me a simple matter of personal security. As soon as I get in the car, especially if 'ive just let a passenger out, I lean over and lock the passenger door. If I open the windows, the passenger side is open no more than 2 inches. My side (driver's side) I'm happy to leave the window rolled down, tootle along with my elbow out, and door most definitely UNLOCKED. Is it just me, or is this a very basic personal safety thing????

Oh and carefully and slowly pushing over the kerb, in order to make neat parking easier - hey, the car couldn't care a tiny toss, although it would be an automatic fail of any driving test.

Enough of this (don't get me started on tiny automatic cars) - what absolute bellendery have you encountered in "modern" cars?
 
couldn't agree more. a fuel gauge and a speedo is more than enough ,thankyou very much.
 
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Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
Beep,beep,beep for just about everything.

Get too close to the centreline in a 19 model Yaris I drove the other day, you guessed it, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep.

Switch the engine off with the lights still on, beep. beep…...

Ditto door not closdd properly, plus a few dozen other things.
 
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moderator

Old-Salt
First off I have to depress the clutch in order to switch the engine on,
Good practice whether the car makes you do it or not. Always done it since being taught to drive and passing my test in a Series 2A.

Lightens the load on the starter motor and the battery and of course, in that moment of absent mindedness in the car park, the vehicle never lurches backwards or forwards into the car parked a gnats cock from your bumper.

The rest if it is what it is, take it or leave it.
 
My car has three driving modes:

Normal
Sport
Eco

Normal is fine. Eco is boring and sport is watching the fuel gauge go down.

It makes strange noises at the drop of a hat, particularly when I only have 60 miles of fuel in, the sat nav tells me off a lot and the tyres tell me when they need air.

It has lots of other stuff and controls that I haven't used and never will.

I really miss the days when you could take the steering wheel off with a spanner and more or less do repairs yourself.

There really must be a manufacturer somewhere who makes a bog standard car with just a speedo and a fuel gauge and a heater for winter.
 

Awol

LE
I'm a bit old-fashioned, being fifty six rather than twenty six.

During a recent three week hospital stay (long story for another time), the new car (technically second hand, 2 year old Corsa previously used by a "mobility scheme user" or something) arrived. Picked up by the old man and waiting for me on my escape discharge from hospital.

Jeepers. I know you can disable this electronic bollox, and as soon as I get around to it I will, but a few small examples of everything being designed for the lowest common denominator (IQ).

First off I have to depress the clutch in order to switch the engine on, watch whilst the instruments whizz all the way round and go back to normal (wtf?) then remember that I'm still in neutral so I can cautiously take my foot off the clutch.

God help me if I get less than a foot from something, the hysterical bleeping gets more and more frequent, followed by a big flashing image of "my car", showing me what I am about to hit. By Christ if anything was designed to cause an accident, rather than prevent one, this is it.

The one that worries me slightly (rather than making me laugh and/or say **** YOU a lot) is the fact that I have no control over locking the doors from inside. May seem trivial, but to me a simple matter of personal security. As soon as I get in the car, especially if 'ive just let a passenger out, I lean over and lock the passenger door. If I open the windows, the passenger side is open no more than 2 inches. My side (driver's side) I'm happy to leave the window rolled down, tootle along with my elbow out, and door most definitely UNLOCKED. Is it just me, or is this a very basic personal safety thing????

Oh and carefully and slowly pushing over the kerb, in order to make neat parking easier - hey, the car couldn't care a tiny toss, although it would be an automatic fail of any driving test.

Enough of this (don't get me started on tiny automatic cars) - what absolute bellendery have you encountered in "modern" cars?
I've had several cars which automatically lock the doors as you pull away. As you can easily unlock them from the inside just by opening the door, I can't see why car designers would change it for no apparent benefit.
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
Good practice whether the car makes you do it or not. Always done it since being taught to drive and passing my test in a Series 2A.

Lightens the load on the starter motor and the battery and of course, in that moment of absent mindedness in the car park, the vehicle never lurches backwards or forwards into the car parked a gnats cock from your bumper.

The rest if it is what it is, take it or leave it.

That's as maybe. I've driven trucks, motorcycles, Rover 3.5L P6, fairly big stuff with no power steering and certainly no "automatic" gearbox.

I was brought up to do things "automatically", i.e. my brain would tell me what to do, not the ******* vehicle.

Funny little example, a lady I used to work with often took me on home visits (community dentistry). She had a little red something (possibly Fiat) which was automatic. God help us if she needed to escape from a roundabout before the next car approached from the right - foot down, **** all happens. Is it me?

A couple of times, I said to these dear ladies, "I like to drive the vehicle, not the vehicle to drive me". They didn't understand ... :-(
 
I'd like to put my 2c in. It's going to get a lot worse.

I work as a sysadmin for a car dealerships with a fair few brands being sold. I spend more time in the workshops now working on the computer systems involved with programming the cars since nearly everything in a car these days has some sort of computer component running it. And so the mechanics need computers to talk to the car computers to interperate what the heck is going on.

Sure, it might be better from an engineering point of view, but the car manufacturers seem hell bent on installing the latest whizzbang features in their cars with a distinct lack of User Interface experts during the consulting stage.

20 different dings and bells depending on what you are trying to do, complete flat screen interface for car entertainment/nav/phone with no tactile feedback and now this fad of being able to talk to your car to tell it what to do and the auto-stop-start ability while the brake is on. Add to that a whole raft of monitoring capabilities.
 
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Electric parking brake. Pulling the switch up engages the brake. Pushing the switch down engages the brake. Why two positions to do the same thing? There's a convoluted method to disengage the brake but I can't remember it.

Similarly hill start assist. If you come to a halt on a slope, it engages the brake for two seconds after you take your foot off the brake, effectively encouraging you not to apply the parking brake. But it doesn't tell you whether you're on sufficient of a slope for this to happen so you could roll backwards if it's a gentle slope. Or the gap in traffic that you're waiting for might be more than two seconds after you take your foot off the brake so it disengaged and you roll backwards.

Also, to disengage the brake in normal use, you just drive off. But the manual doesn't tell you how many revs you need to make this happen so if you (try to) move off gently, the brake doesn't disengage and you stall. There's also some quirk that I haven't got to the bottom of yet which can lead to the brake not disengaging when you harshly accelerate from stationary - that's loads of fun as you find that the car revs like hell with the brakes doing their best to resist movement.

What the hell is wrong with just having a normal hand brake? Admittedly, rear wheel handbrakes were crap but front wheel handbrakes did everything they needed to do.
 

NSP

LE
Had a hire car once that had a function that dipped the headlights on detecting a brightish white light coming the other way. Drove me up the wall before I got off the motorway and on the A38 but then it really did my nut in. Naturally, I'm not about to stop and fuck about with myriad menus to see if I can turn it off. I've got a 'plane to catch, FFS, and it's four in the effing morning.

On the A38 heading from Brent to Bristol Airport there's a nice long straight with a bend at the end sufficiently sharp to warrant those zebra chevron signs. Which, like all roadsigns, are reflective. There's no streetlights - it's the middle of ruralshire, after all. So you want main beam when it's dark...

So I'm driving down this nice straight road with nothing else on it, unable to see where I'm going because every time I put main beam on the reflection from the chevron signs a mile ahead is enough to con the computer into thinking there's a car coming the other way and dip the lights back to "see fuck all" mode.
 
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I've had several cars which automatically lock the doors as you pull away. As you can easily unlock them from the inside just by opening the door, I can't see why car designers would change it for no apparent benefit.
That's the kind of intelligent central locking system that is always the first thing to go wrong on high mileage, high end or 'pre fucked' cars. Some cars it is simply a matter of getting a good door control module from a scrapper and replacing it (usually in the driver door). I have had to do this in 3 Mondeos a total of 4 times.

Getting a new module from a parts dealer is hundreds. Froma scrappy, 20 quid thereabouts and 15 minutes to fit it. No special tools or diagnostics required. However, they will probably need replacing in a year or two as they are very prone to moisture and getting to them usually means damaging the weather protection around them
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
I thought automatically locking as the car reaches a certain speed had been standard in all models for twenty years or more now, is it not?

My bugbear is the opposite, my wife's car an automatic Toyota, automatically unlocks the car when you engage the park. So she pulls over to the side of the road to take a phone call or whatever and "clunk!" loudly announces to all the scrotes in the surrounding environment that her car is now unlocked. Who asked for that particular feature?

On hire cars I still break out in a sweat about the time I had a wife and two small kids with several large suitcases arriving at an airport at 1am on a very frosty winter's morning. I followed the instructions about where and how to pick up the car and unlocked it with the key, it was a Ford Mondeo, simple, one turn to the right. Got the wife and kids settled in then looked to open the boot. No button at the rear to open the boot as I seem to recall every single car in the previous 60 years having. No sweat, there must be some switch inside the car to press. Nothing, I hunt high and low for some method to open the boot, no manner or means was available. Wife and children now getting very cranky, even more so as I have to load the suitcases into the passenger seat and on top of them for the long journey to our destination.

I later discovered, after being told by the car rental bloke who spoke to me as if I was a complete moron, that you unlock the boot on a Ford Mondeo by twisting the key in the door one turn to the left. Sure doesn't everybody know that?
 
That's the kind of intelligent central locking system that is always the first thing to go wrong on high mileage, high end or 'pre fucked' cars. Some cars it is simply a matter of getting a good door control module from a scrapper and replacing it (usually in the driver door). I have had to do this in 3 Mondeos a total of 4 times.

Getting a new module from a parts dealer is hundreds. Froma scrappy, 20 quid thereabouts and 15 minutes to fit it. No special tools or diagnostics required. However, they will probably need replacing in a year or two as they are very prone to moisture and getting to them usually means damaging the weather protection around them
My boss had something like this happen to him one winters morning approx 1AM after we had finished an install.

Got into his keyless start car, started the car to warm it up and put the fob in the central holder. He then got out to load the boot with some stuff at which point all the car doors locked and left him stuck outside at 1AM in the morning with the car running. He just left the car running and took an Uber home (it was a company car).

Apparently it was a known bug with this model car and they had released a firmware update to fix this, but our car dealership hadn't applied it to this car yet.
 
I later discovered, after being told by the car rental bloke who spoke to me as if I was a complete moron, that you unlock the boot on a Ford Mondeo by twisting the key in the door one turn to the left. Sure doesn't everybody know that?
The boot didn't even have a keyhole for you to try? That's nuts.
 
Three "safety features" in modern cars:

1. It is impossible to bump start or tow start a car with a flat battery.
2. If your car detects a major fault it gives you 300 metres to slow down to the "limp home" speed of 30mph (variable according to car).
3. Many, and soon all cars have and will have to have a SIM card in the CPU to automatically call the emergency services if the air bags deploy.

Scenario 1. I go up into the alps (an hour's drive) to do a day of snow shoeing. I park at about 2200 metres (over 7000 feet) in January, a beautiful sunny day, but cold. I return to the car at 17:00 hours to find the battery is flat. The temperature is already minus 10°C and will drop overnight to minus 25°C. I can't call for help as there's no signal in the area, and I can't bump start the car. It's all downhill on the way home, but without the engine I have very difficult steering and almost no brakes. I could die of hypothermia.

Scenario 2. This has already happened. Driving along the motorway at 70mph / 130kph (approx) overtaking in the fast lane, surrounded by trucks, and the on board computer suddenly has a hissy fit and tells me I have 300 metres (a couple of seconds at that speed) to pull over.... I can't, so the car suddenly drops to 30mph / 50kph and I get killed in the subsequent pile-up.

Scenario 3. The SIM card has less to do with calling the emergency services than it has to enable the police and secret services to know where a car is, where it has been, and more importantly to remotely take control of a vehicle and stop it where and when they want to. This is not paranoia, this is real, but is being sold as a soon-to-be compulsory feature. I made enquiries and was told that if the car has the SIM and you remove it the car will not function, nor will it function if you put another SIM in it.

Everything about modern cars annoys me. I want to drive the car, not have the car drive me. In Italy, last year, a certain car manufacturer ran an advert on television where a lady was driving and texting at the same time, and somebody walked out in front of her car and the car applied the brakes and stopped before hitting the person, and the slogan was "with the new ...... you never need to miss that important message". The advert was removed within a week, but it would seem no action was ever taken against the manufacturer apart from banning the ad.

I guess I may be forced to buy a Morgan three-wheeler, one of the few new cars not to have all that electronics shite :D
 
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theinventor

Old-Salt
... Just a speedo and a fuel gauge and a heater for winter.
Get yourself a landrover. On my Series 3 I can see that all three of those devices are present, working occasionally but never at the same time.

It's much more fun to drive than my Merc whose display warns me whenever I drive off "don't let the instruments or controls distract you from the road" .. as if I had any choice.
 
Three "safety features" in modern cars:

1. It is impossible to bump start or tow start a car with a flat battery.
Oh yes! I drove a Toyota Etios for a week.
Biggets sh*tbox ever made.
Badge Toyota but made in India from recycled coke cans.
It had a radio, USB-playing radio, aircon etc.
But NO 'you left your lights on, y'twat' warning buzzer. (yep they saved a few bob there)
7th floor of a multistory carpark. And I had left the lights on.
Tried to roll it down the ramps to bump it - norrafuck.
Called AA, who took an hour to arrive. Then had to argue with the knob running the pay booth to allow them to get the AA in jump start it.
Drove quite enthusiastically the 20km home.
Next morning, get in and 'gurrr gurrr gurrr...' not enough juice to turn the starter. However, there was enough juice not to do the cut-out thing again.
So I bumped it down the road.
 
I find the auto lights thing offensive, more so when jumping into a works vehicle and find that the 'child' before me has turned it on.
I can see when its dark and when I need my lights on plus I can tell when its foggy and daylight and need my lights on, which the clever little sensor cant so when you think time to stick the fogs on it wont play as the lights aren't on as it thinks its light.
The daytime running lights also bug me as the clowns driving cars with them don't realise that the back of their car is a black hole.
 
For me, the biggest negative of over-engineering " driver assist" gadgets is in my opinion that they sanitise new drivers especially from what Mazda at Hiroshima called years back in 1989 (with the launch of the two seater MK1) "Jin Jibnati"...."Car & Driver as One" Basically the more that is done for you, the less you have to learn or be involved in developing real driving skills.

There will be many here like me who thought nothing of piloting open -diff rear wheel drive mass produced sheds like Marinas, Cortinas on skinny tyresr etc through winter snows to work because it's the way it was and you had to get on with it. I probably, as a conservative estimate, covered 1.4 million miles UK wide in 35 years in ( new company) cars that buyers today would be horrified to sit in. Cadence braking? WTF is that?

I'd not like to buy an out of warranty modern car now given the eye watering complexity built into looms powering...everything. I've put up with a sparse two seater for 16 years....it's got no toys bar it's ICE. Fuel, Oil, Rev counter, Speedo, fog light swithch, Alt light, OIl Pressure , Water temp. Thats it. It's brill! Furhtermore, it all still works 26 years later thanks to Nippon Denso's bullet proof electrics. Had to stick in a new Coil Pack a couple of years back at 126,000 miles or summat. No airbags, no ABS, nowt. Think well built (!) Triumph Spit or MGB and that's about it.
Sod all to go wrong really, and easy fixes if it does spit a dummy.

A neighbour up the road has a FrogMobile from new...so far on it's 2nd warranty engine, ECU replacements, and the ABS system has never been right from day one.
Trouble is, the public gets what the public wants...showroom toys & blob-chart bling to shift them out the dealers' doors, cosset them, and show off with. One reason why our roads are infested with utter mongs.
 
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