Not Now, Not Ever

Not Now, Not Ever

Friday, September 11, 2015

Because You Are Too Stupid To Drive

You wonder why the average price of a new car is almost twenty thousand dollars?
Here's why.


10 carmakers will offer automatic emergency braking as a standard feature 

 

Federal safety regulators, the insurance industry and a coalition of the world’s largest automakers announced an agreement Friday to make automatic emergency-braking a standard feature in future car models sold in the U.S.
Such systems, which alert a driver to a potential forward collision and robotically trigger the brakes, have proved successful in reducing crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but they are typically an expensive option.
“We are entering a new era of vehicle safety, focused on preventing crashes from ever occurring, rather than just protecting occupants when crashes happen,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “If technologies such as automatic emergency braking are only available as options or on the most expensive models, too few Americans will see the benefits of this new era.”

Ten automakers — Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo — will work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop a timeline for installing automatic braking as a standard feature in all vehicles they sell.
Those companies accounted for 57% of U.S. auto sales last year.
Making the systems standard will be an important step in motor vehicle safety, said Jake Fisher, automotive test director at Consumer Reports.
As the feature finds its way into more vehicles, Consumer Reports will stop recommending cars that lack it, Fisher said.
A little  "incentive", also known as Extortion.

I used to be a factory trained Ford automotive technician, or as we used to call it, a mechanic.
I worked at a Lincoln/Mercury dealership for almost ten years back through the nineties and I saw this technology explosion in it's infancy and could see what was coming way back then. When I threw in the towel, they had just come out with automatic windshield wipers and already had a list of electronic gadgetry a mile long.
Things like Multiplexing, where ELEVEN computers on one car talked to each other simultaneously through one wire.

Now, what they have boggles my mind.

I quit working on that shit because it's unnecessary bullshit, "entertainment" systems, dual climate control, back up and crash avoidance systems, WIFI systems and on board personal computers that make the laptops available five years ago look like an Atari system, the list of crap goes on and on and on.
The average mechanic these days has to have as much education as a medical professional just to keep current yet the pay is so far apart as to be ridiculous.
Not to mention the thousands of dollars of tools one has to buy.

None of this is necessary if you look from the standpoint that cars are for transportation. It is only when you look at it from the perspective that people spend a lot of time in their vehicles and started demanding all these creature comforts and the government decides to impose safety requirements that you realize cars are an extension of home and society on wheels.
Transportation almost is an afterthought.

This is why I refuse to own a computerized vehicle. The wife has one and that's fine. My own?
Fuck that shit.
The only way I compromise is electronic ignition and even that is only if I can't get my hands on a non electronic distributor with a set of points and a condensor in it.

Take a look at this car from 1964, they lasted forever. You could not kill the Slant 6 engines in these things.





To this day, I still see these things running around.

That twenty thousand dollar plastic piece of shit you drive now?
It wont' be around in forty years, I guarantee it.


 

16 comments :

  1. I think we can safely bet that a new past time of certain groups of American youths, or should I just say thugs, will be to throw something out onto the roadways from their cars to trigger those auto-braking systems. Oh what fun that will cause. It will be a whole lot easier and safer, at least for the dirtbags, than it was to slam on their brakes and have a car hit them from the rear to deploy that car's airbags (which was all the craze not too many years ago). Can you imagine police cars with that feature, them chasing a bad guy and the crooks throw an obstruction into the road in front of the police car. Screeeeeeecccchhhh and go.

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  2. My daily driver and only car is a 1982 Mercedes 300D turbodiesel. I drive the thing all the way to Edmonton twice a year and down to the bay area for work. It has 408,000 miles on it with original engine and trans. It has cost me less than 1000 bucks in repairs in 11 years. I've driven home from Seattle with no alternator with no problem. I can't see paying 20k for a car. That's just stupid.

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  3. My daily driver and only car is a 1982 Mercedes 300D turbodiesel. I drive the thing all the way to Edmonton twice a year and down to the bay area for work. It has 408,000 miles on it with original engine and trans. It has cost me less than 1000 bucks in repairs in 11 years. I've driven home from Seattle with no alternator with no problem. I can't see paying 20k for a car. That's just stupid.

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  4. I agree with you 100%. Well, 99% anyway. Electronic ignition is better than points and condenser ignition in every way. It's more dependable, requires less maintenance, and produces much higher voltage.

    I like my cars simple. All the extra bullshit they put on cars these days is just a bunch of problems waiting to happen. I've never been a big fan of automatic transmissions either.

    There is one area where new cars are superior to older cars, and that is rust resistance. It's not uncommon these days to see ten year old cars without any rust at all. Cars made before the 90's, especially ones made in the 70's were often rusted out by the time they were four years old. I remember seeing a 1973 Chevy pickup with a rust hole in 1974. No lie.

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  5. I agree with you 100%. Well, 99% anyway. Electronic ignition is better than points and condenser ignition in every way. It's more dependable, requires less maintenance, and produces much higher voltage.

    I like my cars simple. All the extra bullshit they put on cars these days is just a bunch of problems waiting to happen. I've never been a big fan of automatic transmissions either.

    There is one area where new cars are superior to older cars, and that is rust resistance. It's not uncommon these days to see ten year old cars without any rust at all. Cars made before the 90's, especially ones made in the 70's were often rusted out by the time they were four years old. I remember seeing a 1973 Chevy pickup with a rust hole in 1974. No lie.

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  6. I agree with you 100%. Well, 99% anyway. Electronic ignition is better than points and condenser ignition in every way. It's more dependable, requires less maintenance, and produces much higher voltage.

    I like my cars simple. All the extra bullshit they put on cars these days is just a bunch of problems waiting to happen. I've never been a big fan of automatic transmissions either.

    There is one area where new cars are superior to older cars, and that is rust resistance. It's not uncommon these days to see ten year old cars without any rust at all. Cars made before the 90's, especially ones made in the 70's were often rusted out by the time they were four years old. I remember seeing a 1973 Chevy pickup with a rust hole in 1974. No lie.

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  7. This is one reason I keep my 94 Chevy 1500 . Simple and cheap to maintain .Plenty of used parts available. only problem has been it likes to blow sparkplug wires off the plugs. I run 8mm high performance wire and it still happens.

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  8. To me the golden era of automobiles was roughly 1996 to 2005. They had the electronic fuel injection and electronic engine controls that make engines operate so much better, they had the better roughproofing, they had the OBD2 ports that make it ridiculously easy to see what's wrong when the car don't start, but they didn't have all this other electronic gadgetry on them like electronic stability control, tire pressure sensors, etc. that make the current cars so complex.

    One thing I will note is that the youngsters are figuring out how to hack today's complex cars in much the same way that we figured out how to hack VW Beetles back when we were youngsters. My office-mate is 25 years old and he has a CAN bus analyzer that he can use to figure out what's travelling across the CAN bus (the computer bus that Phil mentioned earlier, most cars today actually have *three* or more of the things and they're actually a 2 wire bus). He also has a microcontroller kit that he put together that can insert arbitrary CAN commands onto the bus. He's using all of this to design an electric race car with off the shelf CAN nodes and a custom CAN controller of his design. (Yes, electric race cars are a thing now, and the CAN bus is important because that's how the motors are controlled and the batteries monitored). And he's doing all of this as a *hobby* in addition to his full time job. Dayum!

    Us old farts like to complain about the new technology, but the youngsters just treat it as a given and do cool shit with it. As happened when we were youngsters and doing cool shit with those new-fangled overhead valves and such....

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  9. I bought a new 2013 Ford Fusion a few years back. It is a middle of the road car as far as options and gets 30+ mpg. I think I have finally learned how to use all of the bells and whistles. I tend to buy a new car and then drive it until it dies or gets wrecked. I also have a 05 Ford Ranger that is one of the "will not die" type vehicles that will be around for many more years.

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    Replies
    1. Modern day Fords are pretty much undrivable unless you spend an hour or so reading the owner's manual. I rented a Ford Fusion when I flew into Los Angeles a few years ago, and it started raining out and how the hell do you turn on the goddamned headlights? Turn the lever? Nope. I don't remember where the fuck I finally found the headlight switch, but it was somewhere that made no goddamn sense and I almost crashed the damn car on the freeway wiggling my hand down there to get to it. Then there's the demented thing that qualifies as a windshield wiper switch that takes rocket science to figure out if you're used to the old fashioned "turn the switch and the wipers come on, push it in and the wipers squirt" setup like is on GM's and Hondas and Chryslers, or even the slightly less old fashioned "flip the switch up/down to turn wipers on/off, pull it towards you for squirt, and turn it to say how fast the interval wipers work" that the older mid 90's Fords had. I got them flapping via much concerted pushing pulling turning and flipping, but it wasn't pretty. And then there was the fucked up excuse for a "navigation system". I finally said fuck it and used my goddamn iPhone, because the navigation system made no goddamn sense either.

      It isn't any other car that's like that. You can get into a Chrysler or a Honda or a GM car and everything's pretty much someplace that makes sense and doesn't need a two-page owner's manual and a video just to get you out of the goddamn dealership parking lot. But Fords are... special. Yay.

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    2. Now that I think about it, another car that's special as modern day Fords is the Toyota Prius. One of my coworkers had me run an errand for her with her Prius (she'd driven me there, she had something to do, but she forgot something back at the office that she needed), and goddamn, *nothing* makes sense in that car...

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  10. I was a Ford tech (I have the "dude in a tube" to prove it) until 02. It wasn't the technology that caused me to quit. It was Fords re-adjustment of the warranty times. That and they hired 2 kids that went through Ford's training school and were hired at the same rate I was getting. I went back to truck driving. That way, If I wasn't going to make any money, I could at least enjoy the scenery.

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  11. You could not kill the Slant 6 engines in these things.

    I had a cab company and all we ran were the Slant 6 and 318.

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    Replies
    1. Thing about the Slant 6 is that it was way overengineered. The stock configuration was strangled by a 1-barrel carburetor and restrictive intake and exhaust manifolds, there's one outfit that hopped up the Slant 6 to see if it could be done and they managed over 300 horsepower and 300 ft/lbs of torque out of the thing. Today's engines are designed to run on a knife edge, if there's an ounce of weight to cut it's cut, if there's a tiny bit of power to get out of it before the rods come slinging out the bottom of the oil pan they already make that power, no way no how are they going to last as long as an engine that's pushing 145hp out of a block capable of handling 300hp...

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  12. I want one of those md Juan jeep copies with a 2.2 liter Toyota engine, so e tall skinny retread truck tires, half way good used bucket seats, a bikini top and painted epoxy grey primer. Toss on some good led lighs on it and I'm set.

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  13. I got my AARP newsletter in the mail and one of the headline stories was about how the Boomers are all becoming old farts but they're still driving. Then it listed things that Boomers should get on their cars to keep them from crashing and burning -- and this "reactive braking" crap was one of the things. So let's recap: We got a buncha Boomers becoming old farts and too arrogant and stupid to quit driving once they get too old to drive. And so all of us -- not just Boomers -- have to pay all this extra dough to put all this crap on our cars to keep the geezers from doing a smashup derby at every intersection. Sounds about right...

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