Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

thevictor390

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TPMS is good and all, but when pretty much 46% of the driving public in America doesn't know what this means:



It kinda lowers it's effectiveness overall a bit...:p

Source: http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2010/08/tpms-light-confuses-drivers-study-says.html
Now everyone in this thread is in the other 54%, problem solved for us :p

EDIT: Ok, ok, I admit it. Few months after I got the car, it started beeping and that light came on. I'm a bit freaked out, no idea what the symbol meant. You know what I did? Pull over, RTFM. Problem solved.
 
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thevictor390

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To be fair, I have no idea what that symbol is trying to do. Why not show a picture of a flat tire? That looks like a mostly empty beaker on a Bunsen burner.
 

biggie

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The symbol looks like a flat tire if you are look at one straight on. Issue is those 50% of people that don't even know there is an 'inside' edge of a tire, nor ever read their owner's manual.
 

Adunaphel

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Now everyone in this thread is in the other 54%, problem solved for us :p

EDIT: Ok, ok, I admit it. Few months after I got the car, it started beeping and that light came on. I'm a bit freaked out, no idea what the symbol meant. You know what I did? Pull over, RTFM. Problem solved.
You know how to read, and what a manual is. You are part of a very select part of the world's population.
 

killpanda

wants to fondle your manboobs
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I got that in a rental car one time, I had no idea what it represented at first and they didn't leave the user guide in the car! It was also in the US and I couldn't get an Internet connection :-D
 

public

Has been known to shou emousshiöns
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gaasc

Desperately looking for a title
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Shame only the civic has a cool digital dash.

*waits to be corrected
 

maxtortheone

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First gen C4 and it had a crazy steering wheel.

Also the Picasso variant



And other current cars have digital dashes, I think.
 
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Blind_Io

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An Automotive Disaster/Adventure and Proof Positive Why Smart Phones Rock.

By Blind_Io

It wasn't a dark and stormy night, but if what follows starred Bruce Campbell in the days before cell phones I'm sure Sam Rami could have ordered up a couple of rain towers. So here we are, stopped at an isolated fuel stop on, I-shit-you-not, "Ghost Town Road" not far from the Mojave Desert, automatic transmission fluid slowing dripping out of the Taurus and onto the still-warm-from-the-sun cracked asphalt. And I forgot to pack the Scooby-Snacks.

It's midnight and I carefully lift the suit I plan to wear to the wedding on Saturday out of the way to get to my bag. This is either the start of a bad horror film or a bad romantic comedy. I find my second power cable and return to the car, the view of the passing interstate traffic somewhat impaired by the hood standing open. Not that opening the hood does anything, it's just Man Law; when the machine stops working you open the hood and stare thoughtfully at the innards, occasionally poking at something and making thoughtful noises. The fact that you have no idea what witchcraft goes on under the assortment of plastic covers doesn't matter, they are only there by much smarter people to keep you from poking something and injuring yourself or your car.

So here we sit, bored and reflecting on the events of the previous hour.

Shortly before we hit the Agricultural Inspection Checkpoint in California, a cryptic warning light came on the dash, a small orange wrench. This is not the hysteria-inducing and even more enigmatic "Check Engine" light, which can mean anything from "You didn't put the fuel filler cap on all the way" to "Consider buying a new car, because your motor is five minutes from grenading." I dug the manual out of the glove box to see if I could decipher the meaning of the light from the catalog of lawyer's warnings of what not to do with a vehicle and page after page of informative pictures depicting how to sit appropriately. "Problem with AWD System, see Authorized Ford Dealer." Well, that helps. I knew that one of the seals on the front diff had been seeping a bit recently, it probably just needs a top-up; we can get it done in the morning since we are almost to Barstow.

Did I mention that we are sitting in an island of light in a sea of darkness just outside of Barstow? Because if I didn't this is a good time to bring it up.

Time for a change of drivers, we pull over and down the ramp, the car still seems just fine. As we try to pull away from the stop and into the service station the engine revs but very little power seems to be getting to the wheels. Shit. Kiki limps the Taurus into the gas station and I dig out the flashlight to take a look.

Flashlight (n) : Metal cylinder used to store depleted batteries.

Fortunately the 24 hour snack shop had some AAA batteries I could buy for a small fortune.

Under the hood looks fine, no obvious signs of fire, fluid leaks, explosions, or nesting animals. Check under the car. *drip* Crap. *drip* Sonofabitch *drip* Yup, that's roughly where the diff is located. We're not going anywhere.

Unleash the fury of the smart phone! Within 20 minutes Kiki and I had three quotes for hotel rooms for the night from the hotels with the highest customer reviews online (and knew which ones gave me a AAA discount), two quotes for an early-morning rental car (USAA discount), one tow-truck en-route (free from AAA), and a partridge in a pear tree.

Now we were bored. We did everything we could do. The room was lined up, a midsize car was reserved for 8 AM the next morning, and the truck was on the way. What to do... update Facebook, of course. Yay! Everyone will be so interested that we are stuck in the middle of no where! ... ok, that killed about 30 seconds, what now?

We wait.

The tow truck arrives, takes the car to a shop that is infested with CHP and local cops looking for some free coffee, but at least no one will mess with it tonight. The tow driver was kind enough to let us pile some of our bags into the cab and drop us at our motel for the night. The Rodeway Inn in Barstow is run by a wonderful and accommodating family who live on-site and allowed us to check in after midnight and go straight to bed, "Don't worry, we can settle up in the morning, go get some sleep." These are some of the sweetest words I could here all night.

The next morning we got up and walked a couple of miles to the car rental agency, which apparently thinks a Civic is a "midsize" now.

So here we are, finally in LA, getting ready for this wedding for a couple of people I don't know at all, driving a rental Civic and wondering if the car can be fixed by Monday when we pass back through Barstow.


 
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Redliner

Y'all got any lamps?
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Huh?
It seems to be lacking an ending.

EDIT: That's OK. :)
 
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Blind_Io

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Sorry, I don't know if I was bumping "Submit" or what, but it submitted twice while I was trying to finish.
 

rickhamilton620

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An Automotive Disaster/Adventure and Proof Positive Why Smart Phones Rock
Yikes, gotta love having a smartphone, it's saved my ass more times than I could count. Glad to hear all is well, and hopefully things work out after the wedding. :)
 

Blind_Io

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So far we are doing pretty well. The rental car is only costing me about $127 for the weekend. The motel was about $70. The tow was free.

The big question is the car repair, which would have probably happened anyway regardless of the trip. Since this shop is one of the few in town, the diagnostic fee is $105. We still don't know what the estimate will be for the repair or when it will be done. Hopefully we can get out of this for the cost of the repair (which would have happened anyway) plus about $200 for the hotel and rental.

Not bad, all things considered. It could have been much, much worse.
 
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