I sometimes wonder how the placement of components is designed. I had a vehicle that did not have a tilt steering wheel, which isn't really so bad, except that the semicircular gauges prescribed the same arc as the steering wheel, so it was impossible to read the midpoint of the tachometer or the speedometer without slouching down in the seat, sort of like the gangster lean.
I set the brake. The Ford Escort, I had prior, the emergency brake never worked that well the last 10-12 years so I also left the car in 1st gear (it was a manual). Doing this is now a habit with the Subaru as well.
I was beginning to think my wife and I were the only drivers left who routinely set the emergency brake when we park our vehicles. When we were recently looking at used cars it was very rare to find them on the lot with the brake set.
Just an informal survey, but I would be curious as to how many drivers make it a habit to set the brake when parking.
radio-active, I agree about the swtiches. Humans are trainable. But it doesn't stop there. I have read that the ignition system in the Subaru tries to learn the driver's driving pattern. So now I am trying to learn the car and it is trying to learn me - we are have some communications issues. The radio has some quirks and I should write it up. The engine is an interference-type. But I fit in this car so well.
Charles, I can relate. I have been through the ringer when looking for a car. So much so that I ended up with a check list. Items on the list got moved up and down so that I could get in a car and in ten seconds I could begin eliminating it as a car for me. The first item? Can the seat be adjusted so I can even fit comfortably? Second: After the seat is adjusted, is the B-pillar blocking my side view? (The B-pillar is the support between the front and back door.) Three: Does the seat belt still fit properly? So many cars failed those two questions that the third is never asked. And there are more questions. But, I did learn that power seats provide more range of adjustment than manual seats. From my experience with cars and other things came a saying ; 'I am a tall guy stuck in a short world.' and its ... frustrating.
Charles, take your boys to a Subaru dealer and stick them in a 2012 or 2013 Outback and see how they fit. Mine is a 2012 Premium Outback, manual trans, moonroof, power seat (driver), etc. I have three, count them, three ... inches of head room clearance with a moonroof. The driver seat is NOT all the way back - but it is all the way down. Seats go back so far that I would have to point my foot to touch the gas petal. Dang seats go forward/backward, up/down, tilts and the back reclines. If they had another switch for yaw, you could sit in there and pretend to be flying a plane.
Two things on a car that should not be messed with; the steering and brakes. If I am going down hill and the vehicle has no power - I want to be able to steer and stop that vehicle. Everything else can be messed with but not steering and braking. Power brakes and steering may make it hard to do but at least I have a chance.
Speaking of parking brakes: The Outback has 'electronic parking brake'. Basically, an electric motor that pulls the cable. Nice idea, at first. One feature the Outback has is 'hill assist'. Works two ways: 1) Turn on hill assist and when you stop on an incline the parking brake automatically engages. They release when you try to move, forward or backward. 2) Come to a stop on an incline, press the parking brake button, when you try to move forward the brakes release. If the not on an incline then the brakes don't release. The foreseen problem: Power or electrical failure and can't release the brakes. Subaru provides a tool stored with the spare tire. A two foot long hex tool - under the car below the driver's door is a place to insert the tool and turn ~200 times to release the brake. Turn the tool the wrong direction and you may damage the emergency brake system. Parked your car on an incline and came back to a dead battery? Trying to release the brake to push start the Outback is going to be ... interesting.
I have searched the internet, and I see no instance of these trucks shifting out of Park... Mine was just a lemon in that one feature... I have the factory service manual, and I checked the interlock adjustment and it seemed right on. (The interlock is where you must step on the brake to take it out of Park...)
So I adjusted the interlock out of the spec, and then adjusted it back... It has never done it again in the last 60,000 miles...
But if the parking brake was effective then the truck would not roll when it was idling in reverse... Just the perfect storm of two crappy designs working against me...
I have two Toyota trucks. My little 1995 T-100 has over 350,000 miles on it, and it has been extremely trouble free... I don't think I have ever replaced a light bulb in that truck with the exception of headlights... Original alternator and starter... I did put new contacts in the solenoid of the starter... I think that cost $3 and took about an hour... Other than fluid changes, brakes and clutches, that truck has never broke down on me yet... The clutch pedal bracket in that truck is a sub-par design, but literally that has been the only thing that has broken in 350,000 miles... I would be very surprised if that little truck doesn't make it to 500,000 miles...
I need a real truck to pull my boat, and based on my friends experiences with Ford's (engines that spit out spark plugs every 25,000 miles) Chevy's (Transmission failures at 40,000 miles that required a new transmission in 2 different 4x4s, warranty just expired on both of them...) Dodge (My friends Dodge truck has not had any engine problems, he has the Cummins Diesel in it, but transmission issues, door handles breaking off, glove compartment fell off, center console lid broke... The entire truck is falling apart except for that diesel engine...)
I'll stick with my Toyota... I have just over 100,000 miles on the Tundra, and I expect it will still be running fine and everything will still work when it hits 250,000 or 300,000 miles... That's what Toyota's do.
Inconvienence is one thing, what you have described is life threatening. This sort of reminds me of people who tell me how lovable a pitbull is. Why take the chance? Why tolerate that truck? Fool me once, shame on you, etc. I am sorry, I would not own a vehicle that shifted itself and there would be a dealer willing to pay me to get out of their showroom after I told everyone in there of my experiences.
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