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Old 02-14-2019, 05:16 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by mizterwizard View Post
When ever we get a new car my wife is not allowed to drive it until she can changer the spare tire.

Not allowed?
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:45 PM   #42
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Not allowed?
Yeah, it's obvious there's a reason I'm single....
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:00 PM   #43
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Yeah, it's obvious there's a reason I'm single....
Like I said, it's a game we play. She gets her's in other ways. Besides, she thinks it's a good idea too. I tried to insist that she read the owner's manual too, like I do, but she said no to that.

Insist is a relative term around here. Most people would probably translate it to suggest, with a smile.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:36 PM   #44
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Yeah, it's obvious there's a reason I'm single....
Didn't get the Dr. Laura book eh?
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:57 PM   #45
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I’d definitely add seatbelts and airbags to “government got right”. After the 85 yr old pulled right in front of me as I motored on a divided highway, the impact shortened my first Santa Fe by almost 2 feet, bent the frame of the Casita I was towing, and bent the stinger enough to drive the hitch ball into the rear bumper. But! The safety cage let me and my wife open the doors to get out and the airbags prevented all serious injury. ( the only injury was when the steering wheel airbag blew my horn-hand into my chest). If I’d been driving what the auto industry built before government regs I suspect we might both have been dead.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:58 PM   #46
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Didn't get the Dr. Laura book eh?
She offers me absolutely nothing. In fact I'd say waaaay less than nothing.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:07 PM   #47
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There is a lot more truth in this than I really want to admit.



I can be pretty insistent when she isn't listening. The more insistent I get the less she listens.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:09 PM   #48
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She offers me absolutely nothing. In fact I'd say waaaay less than nothing.
Yeah, same as Susan
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:25 PM   #49
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For a short time I lived in (then) West Germany in the early 1980s. I noticed the driving schools, "fahrschuls" that advertised with disassembled brakes, etc., in their windows. It turned out that getting a drivers license in West Germany was hard, with strict requirements, including courses on how to drive and maintain a car.

Population density in Germany is very high; the old NATO joke was that the towns are "a kiloton apart". The country has an extensive rail network, so having a drivers license isn't really necessary in order to live a decent life. This presented the opportunity to make driving a privilege and require drivers to really know what they were doing with a car.

This wouldn't work in the U.S. or Canada. Our dispersed populations make dense passenger rail networks impractical for most of us. So driving becomes a necessity, which leads to relaxed standards to obtain a drivers license.

If robot cars (for lack of a better term) really become popular and reliable, then I wonder if requirements for a drivers license will then increase to German levels, so that driving your own car becomes a privilege in the U.S. Otherwise the robot car will have to take you where you want to go. It will serve as the alternative transportation mode instead of passenger rail.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:22 PM   #50
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If robot cars (for lack of a better term) really become popular and reliable, then I wonder if requirements for a drivers license will then increase to German levels, so that driving your own car becomes a privilege in the U.S.
That's an interesting idea. Unfortunately, I suspect that even with extensive use of autonomous vehicles, it will not be feasible to substantially increase requirements, as existing drivers would need to be "grandfathered" and new drivers will whine that any changes are unfair to them.

Autonomous cars to handle every public road driving situation are far off, anyway. I expect to drive for myself until I am physically unable to do so... and that's fine with me. Current vehicles can't even reliably read lane markings (or identify other vehicles), so for half the year here they would be hopeless; full autonomous driving technology is much more advanced, but still not even tested in many real-world conditions, let alone proven.

This may be a really bad combination. As it is there are many people who live in cities and normally don't drive, but do drive only for trips outside of the city core; with autonomous vehicles which can only handle cities and major highways, people with minimal driving experience will be taking manual control only in the situations with least signage, worst road markings, least standard road configurations, and worst weather conditions... and when a trailer needs to be towed.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:54 PM   #51
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...All of that not withstanding, it only takes about 1.5 quarts to lube most engines under ideal circumstances. Just don't drive on a hill or around a corner, don't accelerate or brake hard and don't work the engine hard.
I believe this, about the 1.5 quarts. My '08 Highlander ran almost dry on 2 occasions, and it didn't seem to hurt the engine (no oil consumption or anything obvious).

The first incident was due to an O-ring failure on the filter housing. I was towing the 17' Burro out of Zion through the tunnel when a strange rasping noise began sounding from the engine compartment while under acceleration load. I babied it into Kanab and got a campsite there, where I figured out what was wrong and fixed it. It was 4 quarts low by then (6 quart system), yet no warning light had come on.

The second time was when a rubber oil cooler line burst. It needed to be replaced with a steel line (there was a TSB, it turned out). When the garage rolled it into the bay, they said there was no oil left in it. I drove the HL another 40K miles or so after that incident, and it was fine.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:05 AM   #52
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I believe this, about the 1.5 quarts. My '08 Highlander ran almost dry on 2 occasions, and it didn't seem to hurt the engine (no oil consumption or anything obvious).

... It was 4 quarts low by then (6 quart system), yet no warning light had come on.
That makes sense to me: in reading the 2008 Highlander owner's manual I don't see any indication that there is a low oil level warning... just low oil pressure. The low pressure warning had not illuminated, so the oil pump had not started sucking air (due to tilting or acceleration, as explained earlier), and nothing was damaged by a lack of lubrication.

The same manual includes this:
Quote:
Oil consumption: Max. 1.1 qt./600 miles, 0.9 lmp.qt./600 miles (1.0 L per 1000 km)
So the standard for acceptable oil consumption hasn't really changed since decades ago... but unlike some earlier engines from other manufacturers, this Highlander is extraordinarily unlikely to consume oil at more than one tenth of this rate.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:19 AM   #53
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On her Mini she has run-flats and no spare. She spent about an hour trying to find the spare before I had mercy on her and told her that she didn't need one. We did get her an inflator though.
Without the run-flats, a Mini still has no spare... just an inflator and a can of sealant. Many drivers will not attempt to put on a spare, anyway, and they probably won't use the sealant and inflator, either.

What I don't get is why she didn't read the manual. It would have taken under a minute to learn that there is no spare. On the other hand, fear of reading manuals seems to be a widespread affliction.

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To be fair, many newer vehicles are doing away with their dipsticks, especially on the transmission but some even on the engine. I guess the manufacturers are losing faith in us idiot owners.
I don't blame them, although the lack of dipsticks can be annoying for those who have a clue what they are doing. Lack of dipsticks on automatic transmissions is certainly understandable: if it isn't visibly leaking, the fluid level will be fine. Manual transmissions have generally never had a dipstick, and not many people would bother to remove the filler plug and stick their finger in to check the fluid level.
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:16 AM   #54
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Without the run-flats, a Mini still has no spare... just an inflator and a can of sealant. Many drivers will not attempt to put on a spare, anyway, and they probably won't use the sealant and inflator, either.

What I don't get is why she didn't read the manual. It would have taken under a minute to learn that there is no spare. On the other hand, fear of reading manuals seems to be a widespread affliction.


I don't blame them, although the lack of dipsticks can be annoying for those who have a clue what they are doing. Lack of dipsticks on automatic transmissions is certainly understandable: if it isn't visibly leaking, the fluid level will be fine. Manual transmissions have generally never had a dipstick, and not many people would bother to remove the filler plug and stick their finger in to check the fluid level.
A lot of people believe in AAA as opposed to being able to help yourself. With the advent of cell phones it is reasonable to rely on them too. I just think it is a good plan to be able to help yourself.

In her defense, my wife did read that portion of the manual. In her year there was a spare option. It would have been mounted underneath in the back. She looked there and couldn't find it. That was when I stepped in and explained that with the run-flats she didn't get a spare. She had a jack and tire iron but nothing to use them on.

I think transmission dipsticks started going away because too many owners were putting the wrong stuff in their transmissions and not filling them properly. It seems that every manufacturer has their own ATF these days and they claim that using anything else will ruin your transmission.

My car has a dipstick tube but just a plug on the top with no dipstick attached. I made my own dipstick but it wasn't easy to find the proper specs for length and oil height.

I changed the ATF at 100,000 miles because I believe in doing so but the manufacturer claims that the original fluid is good for the life of the vehicle. This is a car that routinely goes 500,000 miles or more. I'm not so sanguine.

The manufacturer also thinks the ATF they use is liquid gold by the price they charge for it. I did a lot of looking to find some for under $20/lt. It should last the life of the car at that price.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #55
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I think transmission dipsticks started going away because too many owners were putting the wrong stuff in their transmissions and not filling them properly.
Yes, and part of that "not filling properly" is that correct fluid level is usually determined with the engine running, so people "topping up" to the mark on the dipstick without following the right procedure (even with the correct fluid) were over-filling the transmission.

They were also finding that fluid was getting contaminated by dirt introduced by opening the cap without cleaning it first, and by getting dirt on the dipstick.

It makes more sense for most owners for the manufacturer to skip the dipstick, provide a filler cap that says something like "do not open", and equip the transmission with a level switch. If the fluid doesn't leak out, nothing needs to be done and the transmission isn't damaged by well-intentioned incompetents; if it does, the switch trips, the light goes on, and the owner takes the car to a shop where the problem is fixed and fluid level corrected.

I'm all for people understanding the equipment that they're operating, and enabling owners to maintain their property, but the realities of car ownership need to be considered.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:59 PM   #56
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That's an interesting idea. Unfortunately, I suspect that even with extensive use of autonomous vehicles, it will not be feasible to substantially increase requirements, as existing drivers would need to be "grandfathered" and new drivers will whine that any changes are unfair to them.
Increasingly stringent driving requirements have been implemented on occasion. When I first got my drivers license I could legally use it to ride a motorcycle. Now you need a special license to do that, obtained after training. So it can be done.

But in any event I don't think we'll see the widespread use of autonomous cars soon. I think the AI experts are overconfident in their ability to make cars handle well in all weather conditions and in complex situations. It's going to take longer than they think, if it happens at all.
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:59 PM   #57
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I can't imagine an autonomous vehicle driving between Cache Creek and Kamloops, on a two-lane highway, in a blizzard, with a semi tailgating, as I once did. Couldn't see the centre line, couldn't tell where the shoulder ended and the ditch began. Never felt more doomed to die.
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:10 PM   #58
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I can't imagine an autonomous vehicle driving between Cache Creek and Kamloops, on a two-lane highway, in a blizzard, with a semi tailgating, as I once did. Couldn't see the centre line, couldn't tell where the shoulder ended and the ditch began. Never felt more doomed to die.
My Subaru Outback with the Eyesight system (which I really like now that I’m used to it and better understand it’s limitations), uses a dual camera system. If conditions become bad enough, it will automatically shut down as it can’t see any better than you can. I suspect a fully autonomous car would have to do likewise.

For those unfamiliar with the Eyesight technology, I’ve included a link:

https://www.subaru.com/engineering/eyesight.html
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:32 PM   #59
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If conditions become bad enough, it will automatically shut down as it can’t see any better than you can. l

I was ready to shut down, but there was this semi on my tail and his headlights were also illuminating the driving snow. Eventually, the semi passed me, much to my relief. I wondered if he could see better from his higher vantage point.
Have to wonder what a "driver" would do in those conditions when the autonomous feature shut down while the semi was trying to pass.
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:48 PM   #60
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I was ready to shut down, but there was this semi on my tail and his headlights were also illuminating the driving snow. Eventually, the semi passed me, much to my relief. I wondered if he could see better from his higher vantage point.
Have to wonder what a "driver" would do in those conditions when the autonomous feature shut down while the semi was trying to pass.
Yeah, that would be pretty hairy, for sure. A while back, I started binge watching Highway Thru Hell and all the craziness on the Coquihalla and surrounding highways with all the semi’s and what not. I must say that my respect level for the tow truck drivers and emergency workers went way up after watching it!
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