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jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Distracted Driving
jmiller   10/27/2011 11:27:39 PM
NO RATINGS
Some states are starting to inact laws for distracted driving but until there is some real teeth to the laws I am afraid more and more accidents will be caused by distracted drivers.  It's too bad that there are so many features that are focusing on being able to do more thatn just driving rather than improving the way that we drive or the performance of the vehicle while it drives.

 

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Distracted Driving
jmiller   10/27/2011 11:27:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Some states are starting to inact laws for distracted driving but until there is some real teeth to the laws I am afraid more and more accidents will be caused by distracted drivers.  It's too bad that there are so many features that are focusing on being able to do more thatn just driving rather than improving the way that we drive or the performance of the vehicle while it drives.

 

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
RE: Do we need all of this stuff?
jmiller   10/27/2011 11:13:34 PM
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It seems like it's always $500-$700 for some electrical situation where the wires wer too close or something that "never happens" actually happened.  Just happened this summer.  My son was moving the seat forward on my wife's vehicle and sure enough it shorted out with the seat as far forward as possible.  Which is too short for me.  And it costs $600 to get it fixed so we need to get it fixed to get the seat back.

Later in the summer it was a power moon roof that of course shorted out while open.  Can't be fixed.  Need a whole new moon roof.  Can't just replace the motor or gear box.  How frusrating

mreynolds179
User Rank
Iron
RE: Do we need all of this stuff?
mreynolds179   10/26/2011 11:39:00 AM
NO RATINGS
It's interesting this was posted last week as I had this topic on my mind at the same time.  Recently my VW Jetta was been experiencing issues with electronic functionality in the drivers side door.  I did some investigating and found that  "german engineering" had failed in making the wiring in the door harness too short which led to multiple wires inside the harness breaking from the stress of the door opening and closing.  Of course this was not a service recall so all cost was out of pocket and I decided the $600 price was too high and did the labor myself.  All of this led me to imagine my next project, a de-engineered vehicle (this coming from a mechanical engineer).  I want 90's reliability, ease of use, simplicity, but with some of the key safety features of today (google "Million Mile Joe" and his 1990 Honda Accord).  And yes i realize there is some give and take between those features, but surely there is simplier solution!  Who knows if I will ever start this project but judging from some of the other comments, I am not alone in this idea and hopefully someone will take action.

prichiuso
User Rank
Silver
Design Monkeys
prichiuso   10/25/2011 2:35:44 PM
The worst design engineers in the world are auto and small appliance designers.

Dave
User Rank
Gold
Re: The millennial issue
Dave   10/25/2011 12:24:31 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree. A replacement EBCM unit in many GM cars will cost you $1200 to have it replaced at a dealership. The sad thing is that they fail after less than 8 years of operation.

And while it is nice to have in a high-horsepower vehicle, it is rediculous to think that we need this is a 100 HP economy car. This is the type of thing that the goverment is mandating for new vehicles, making future repairs far too expensive for the unfortunate middle to lower income buyer.

Then again, many cell phones have features that we pay for and never use. How many people will talk to their phones while at work or even in a store? Enough is enough!

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
do we need all of this stuff
William K.   10/24/2011 11:01:23 PM
The reason for all of the features is called "oduct difeentiation" , which ismandated by marketing wonks, not actual humans. It has been amazing to see that the safety agencies have not come out against this constant addition of distractions. It has become clear that money talks, or at least gets them to listen. Tat is indeed the accusation that it sounds like. And for those who would equate a car to a parlor, and claim that it is just lliving space, I would offer that they are not aware of the complexity of safe driving.. The fact is that safedriving is a full time task and should not be just one item on the multitasking list..

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The millennial issue
jmiller   10/24/2011 10:50:34 PM
NO RATINGS
It just sounds like there's more stuff to break and it'll be more expensive to fix.  I'm sure we've all got a favorite grandfather or uncle that used to be a grease monkey who's said for years how cars are just getting to complicated with too much stuff that we don't need.  No longer can we get under the hood and fix it ourselves.  It costs $500-$700 just to touch a care with something wrong anymore.  Whatever happened to hand operated windows door locks?  I for one would rather have a reliable car that's easy for me to fix.  Ever tried to find which fuse to fix on one of these new cars.  I had to look at 3 different fuseboards and it still took me 2 hours.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The millennial issue
Beth Stackpole   10/24/2011 7:10:45 PM
NO RATINGS
@Amclaussen: Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like a total nightmare and quite frustrating to say the least, especially since you have an older, less electronics-equipped vehicle to compare it with.

I'm in full agreement that the trend towards texting, Web browsing, and all other kinds of entertainment that happens while driving is a serious danger. I totally hear you on the safety front. But I do think that the trend will only continue given that the more connected our society becomes with smart phones and WiFi hot spots everywhere we turn, the more connected we expect to be. I'm not sure auto makers can ignore that trend, but they better be sure whatever solutions and fancy features they come up take all of these safety concerns into account.

Good luck on that radiator service.

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The millennial issue
Amclaussen   10/24/2011 6:20:47 PM
Beth: I've followed several of your posts, but this time I guess you're not really realizing the potential for problems that the present day design trends pose in regard to the SAFETY and SECURITY of the vehicles.-

I own a 2006 car (Dodge Stratus R/T) that already has TOO MUCH electronics and software... One SAFETY problem is that the Monkey designers at Chrysler decided that the Door Locks were using too much wiring... and decided to "save" a few feet of wire by multiplexing the door lock actuation and position on only two wires (Phew! at least they don't decided to run them wirelessly).

To make a long story short, I'm unable to close my door locks (or sometimes open them) either with the remote or the local switches at the doors, because the damn "Body Control Module" decided to stop working properly after about two years. This is a known problem, but the factory decided to ignore it, and pass the cost of repair to the owners (about 700 USD to remove, repair and replace the damaged module).

Just as a reference: my OLD Dodge Spirit R/T (1991), still has its door locks (and everything else) working beautifully, and it is a PLEASURE to work in its engine bay, while performing a "simple" accesories belt change in the 2006 Stratus is a nightmare of the worst kind.  Another example of the stupidly bad "design" trends in latter years cars: Design for assembly, but forget about maintenance and serviceability.

In order to perform a complete and careful Radiator service to my 2 cars (I'm all DIY), it takes a full 4 hours to do it in the Spirit, working leisurely and taking care to remove and clean the outside of the engine, transmission, air conditioning and Turbo intercooler radiators... Change all the hoses (Engine coolant, heater and the Thermostat). Perform a back flush and complete drain, and finally reinstall all and completely refill and purge the system of all air...

In the damn, badly designed engine bay of the much newer Stratus, the SAME procedure required me four DAYS! (not hours).  I was unable to take out the old coolant without some spillage, because they now use a drain plug, not a drain valve, but the Monkeys designed the plug to be placed above the lower chassis brace, and then placed a measly 2" hole in the frame member to have "access" to the plug, but even the most strong person won't be strong enough to grasp the thin and small ridge on the plastic plug with two fingers and then be able to turn it out. (I used a miniature adjustable wrench that I was able to pass tru the 2" hole, and then turn it with a larger adjustable wrench, and start praying that the thin "handle" on the plug does not break!). To inmortalize the damn design work of the Monkey team, all of the hoses had their necks obstructed by a miriad of other misplaced components, and to make things more interesting, the clamps were orientated in the worst possible direction! The 4 radiators were assembled together with unobtainable rubber ties with arrow heads, to that to be able to separate them, one has to cut them, and then you have to use long bolts enclosed into pieces of rubber hose, and risk damaging a couple of radiator tubes...

But trying to refill the damn system was the real chore!  As I tried to put the new coolant into the radiator and expansion tank, I quickly found that the system refused to take more than half the total volume of coolant!  Opening the air purge plug near the thermostat housing (as the Service Manual says) is an exercise in futility (the damn Monkey team was really working overtime!), because the car design places the radiator quite below the upper coolant passages in the engine head... so, even rising the front of the car as far as a large floor jack allows, the engine head still traps large pockets of air: it still needed three quarts of gallon of the coolant.  As a last resort, I was able to get rid of the air pockets by attaching a long 1" hose to a bucket, raise myself over 7 feet above the engine on a ladder, and force the remaining 3 quarts into the system (the hose was connected to one of the nipples on the oil cooler on the base of the oil filter, and was the lowest part of the coolant circuit... By allowing the remaining coolant fall from 7 feet high, the damn air pockets were finally displaced.  The mechanic at the local Chrysler dealer told me that they fill the system into the engine and radiator assembled on the ground, and once filled, raise the engine under the car (which necessitates dropping the entire engine, transmission and front axle for that and other similar jobs! The apparent reason being that it is faster to assemble the car at the assembly line by carrying the body high in the air, and mate it to the engine-transaxle assembly carried on a belt transporter below...  Too bad the monkeys NEVER thought the engine or accesories would need some kind of maintenance some day... and because design monkeys work for a car factory, they simply leave maintenance problems created by them to others, or let people believe it is better to replace the ENTIRE car instead of attempting to maintain it!  amclaussen.

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