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Are the Power Windows Really the Problem?

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GlennA
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Gold
features ?
GlennA   10/31/2013 5:32:40 PM
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I don't mind the automatic door locks on my Aspen.  All of the doors lock at about 20 mph.  The driver and front passenger doors open with the handle, while the rear doors must be unlocked first.  And I usually keep the child locks off.  What I don't like are the rental cars that automatically unlock all of the doors when the ignition is turned off.

Speaking of motorcycle controls, the foot clutch and hand shift prior to the hand lever clutch and foot shift was a safety issue.

Tool_maker
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Automobile convenience
Tool_maker   6/6/2013 12:51:42 PM
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  I have lost count of how many times I inadvertently locked out the other windows, but as an earlier poster pointed out, in all my cars the driver's controls still operated without a hitch. The mistakenly turned off switch is quickly corrected when my kids gripe, "Dad will you unlock the windows?" Now the auto door locks when I reach 15-20 MPH are a different story. I get to discover that myself when I return to get something out of the back seat and have to go around to the driver's side to unlock the doors.

kf2qd
User Rank
Platinum
COnsistant controls - and safety...
kf2qd   6/6/2013 10:06:43 AM
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It used to be that motorcycles had many different control arrangements and functions. In some cases it caused some serious safety problems.

Transmission - Today all new motorcycles sold in the USA have a shift patter nat starts with first gear and then neutral and second third, fourthand so on. Theis means that in a poanic situation the operator will be downshifting and wind up in first gear and slow speed. At one time there was a British bike that that had the gears arranged Neutral, first seconf and so on, but the unique feature that if you shifter down from first to neutral and then hit the shift lever again you were in high gear. Imagine you are on this bike for the first time and you need to stop fast. A suden lurch into danger...


Hand COntrols - Today the throttle and front brake are on the right hand, and the clutch is on the left. There have been motorcycles with those controls reversed. Panisc and grab the clutch when you want the brake...

Foot controls - today the shifter is on the left and the brake is on the right. Some older machines - including the Harley Sportster - had those controls reversed.


The point I am trying to make is that by standardizing controls and their function it means that less operator attention is required by these devises leaving the operator to pay attention to the road rather than where the controls are and how they function.

loadster
User Rank
Gold
Re: Source of requirements
loadster   6/6/2013 8:41:30 AM
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The final ruling is tedious though its intention is noble. To prevent little appendages from being damaged or caught in an inadvertently operated power window. The analysis by Mr. Murphy of murphy's induced problem was exhaustive. I have the same switch on my late 90's GMC and out of curiosity have exercised most switches in my car just to see what they do and their conditions. I would say the first thing most tech support should say to users when something seems dysfunctional: read the manual. And if you find your controls might ambush you, disable them if you'll never need them. I have a built-in speaker in my computer which I have permanently disabled by disconnecting the wires so it doesn't produce sound that is unsuitable for the workplace. Lot of analysis for what shouldn't be a problem. And really wasn't. But its a good brain calisthenic on how interlock and lockout switches should be designed.

ryanolkers1
User Rank
Iron
Automobile convenience
ryanolkers1   6/5/2013 9:03:16 AM
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Of course, like any other automobile convenience, it can become just another problem when they break. There are three big problems with power windows.
Jamming
Burned-Out MotorBlown
Fuse


Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Further differences of behavior
Ann R. Thryft   5/28/2013 4:09:24 PM
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I just used a rental car recently and we had no trouble with the power windows. It was a KIA, for what that's worth. The only problem we had was the lack of space, especially legroom, for the front passenger, which was me. I'm not used to that in compact-sized cars.

taimoortariq
User Rank
Gold
Same Experience Different problem
taimoortariq   5/26/2013 4:29:58 PM
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A year back, I had the same problem. My Driver side power window failed to work somehow. I did the same thing- checked the fuses. There was nothing wrong with them. Then I checked other windows as well, they were working perfectly fine. So, the problem was also not with the battery. I even checked, if the button was working fine or not, by using my DMM. And it was working.

I tried to diagnose all of the problems but couldn't find it. So, I took my car to the electrician. I told him all of the things I tried, he was also a bit confused. Then he opened my door, and pulled out the window motor. He tested it, and it was not working. The problem was with the window motor. He further opened the motor to repair it, and then we found it. It was the carbon brushes that had worned out. Created a big mess for us. So finally, he repaired the motor and fitted it back in the door. And from that day on, it worked fine.

 

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Interesting article, BUT.....
OLD_CURMUDGEON   5/24/2013 2:01:35 PM
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I take issue with one point that the author put forth in his list of items.  While he may believe that pick-em-up trucks are MOSTLY used by tradespeople, etc., I'd say he hasn't visited too much of N. America.  There are areas of both countries (U.S. & Canada) where the "family" vehicle(s) ARE pick-em-up trucks from simple FORD F150s through the monster cousins in this class of vehicle.

GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Further differences of behavior
GTOlover   5/22/2013 9:38:56 AM
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Having driven many rental cars, I can concur with all the design issues highlighted in this article. However, when the windows (any of them) do not work, I mash on the window lock-out button. If they still do not work, I mash on the window lock-out button some more!

Like you, watson, I do not drive anything newer than a 1993 Suburban. This has power windows, but no lock-out feature (thankfully).  At this age, the main issue is aging of plastic and the resulting brittleness. Any service work (as a do-it-yourself kind of guy) results in cracked and broken plastic that either has to be glue or replaced. Thus when a window stops working, troubleshooting is low priority until multiple windows quit working.

watsonm05
User Rank
Silver
Further differences of behavior
watsonm05   5/22/2013 8:52:00 AM
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The most interesting aspect of the issue to me is that the driver's controls are locked out when the passenger's are.  As far as I recall from cars I've driven with a lock-out switch the driver's switches were not locked out.  That way Mr. Murphy would have been able to operate the window as desired and only if a passenger tried to operate the window would there be any questions.  In that case the troubleshooting is virtually intuitive - "Hmm, the window operates at the driver's switch but not at the passenger's switch - must be the lock-out!"   As I recall that's what my thought process was when I faced this situation.

Now in the interest of full disclosure I don't often experience this situation.  These days I've been mostly driving the most recently acquired car - a 1991 Mazda 323 with manual windows.  The newest car I own is a 2005 Chrysler minivan and it doesn't have a lock-out since its rear windows are permenantly locked-out - they don't roll down.

You've got my curiosity piqued.  In a few weeks I'm travelling for business and we'll be using a rental car.  I'll check its behavior and report back.

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