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Old 15th January 2012, 02:54   #46
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

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Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
I have noticed some common 'features' in cars that we need to 'live with'. Any reasons for these, and isn't there a way out?

...
2. Cabin light: Why can't the cabin light be placed (centrally) on the dash board? The current position only serves to point the light on my eyes. Try switching on the cabin light while you drive, if you don't understand what I mean.
I think it is meant to be like a room light, at the highest point. Its called the dome light here in the uk.

...

4. Rear Drum Brakes: Why can't we have rear disc brakes rather than drum brakes? Atleast as optional?
The front wheels do most of the braking work, rear discs are not that much of a benefit on every day cars. On something with performance they are a benefit and an additional cost. Have you paid to have them replaced when the adjuster goes wrong ?

5. Inside Rearview mirror: Why can't we have a long convex mirror rather than the plain mirror inside so that I'll get a wider view of the traffic behind?
Side mirrors should have a convex area in my view - a flat area and then a convex edge like some Skoda / VW models have. The interior mirror should be for the rear window.

6. Headlamp leveller: Why can't we have an automatic headlight dimmer (at half the cost) made mandatory, rather than the current mandatory auto leveller function?
Agreed - I can't see how this would be so difficult - simple pendulum switch linked to the adjustment mechanism most cars have.

7. Antenna: Protruding antenna looks ugly. Why can't some other part serve as antenna? How about the wiper arm?
Some cars use the roof panel now as an antenna, others have it build into the tinted area at the top of the window. Radio reception is not as good as the old fashioned mast on the roof though. Digital radio may help here ?

8. Glove box: Why can't the glove box be placed between the front seats (along with the park brake lever) so that the front passenger can get more knee room?
Car would have to be wider, which is more expensive than making it longer.

9. Wheels: Why can't the wheels be designed like bicycle wheels? Perhaps to save weight?
Wire wheels need adjustment and fixing often and go out of balance in minutes - I have an MGB guess how I know. Alloys can be more brittle when put into a deep pothole - steelies are more resilient but also heavier. The Citroen SM had plastic wheels.

10. Hatch door: Why is a hatch door needed to access the boot, if the rear door is extended to the back corner (Perhaps they can try this in a Tata Nano)?
The bodyshell is stiffer with the door at the rear, plus you can leave it open for those longer loads. You can get to the boot from the back seat in a hatch, or in most hatches anyway.
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Old 15th January 2012, 10:10   #47
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

Interesting views :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
I have noticed some common 'features' in cars that we need to 'live with'. Any reasons for these, and isn't there a way out?

1. Rear Wind Screen: Outer boundary of rear wind-screen is always painted black, so I don't get full visibility through the glass. Maruti 800 and Alto doesn't have this blackened edge, but this 'feature' is common among 'new generation' hatches.
Yeah, I don't know why either unless its too give a styling hint. For eg. the Beat rear windscreen is majorly restricted by the black border. I prefer bigger transparent glass area anyday.
Quote:
2. Cabin light: Why can't the cabin light be placed (centrally) on the dash board? The current position only serves to point the light on my eyes. Try switching on the cabin light while you drive, if you don't understand what I mean.
The aim of the cabin light is to illuminate the cabin, read maps, search for things dropped in the cabin etc. Now, in my car, there are map lamps up front (one each for driver and front passenger) and the center lamp half-way between front and rear of the car. For cost reasons (and also in small hatches), map lamps are replaced by a normal lamp. In most cases, one is not supposed to be driving with cabin light on.
As far as I am concerned, the positioning of lights is correct, and subject to costs, more or less flexible! Your alternative position is, from a functional point, quite useless.

Quote:
3. A/C vents: Why can't the a/c vents be designed like cassette a/c on the center of the roof? It would ensure uniform cooling rather than directing cold air just to the face.
Again the standard positions are the best ones. There is a blow through the vents at dash center level, and another through ducts at feet level. Having vents on the roof would blow air at your head which is a most uncomfortable position IMO.

Quote:
4. Rear Drum Brakes: Why can't we have rear disc brakes rather than drum brakes? Atleast as optional?
Its a function of cost and also bhp in the car. If the car has low power (note most 1.2l petrol engines for eg.), the rear drums are adequate for stopping at lower cost. As an enthusiast, I definitely go with your all discs recommendation. But then most of the 1.2l engines are pathetic too!

Quote:
5. Inside Rearview mirror: Why can't we have a long convex mirror rather than the plain mirror inside so that I'll get a wider view of the traffic behind?
As someone already posted, interior mirror is to be used to judge distance better. ORVMs are already convex to allow better field of view! That is the right way.

Quote:
6. Headlamp leveller: Why can't we have an automatic headlight dimmer (at half the cost) made mandatory, rather than the current mandatory auto leveller function?
My car has neither being a 2003 model. However, I agree that a automatic leveller would prevent manually "misadjusting" the beams and blinding oncoming travellers deliberately or otherwise. This one I support!
Quote:
7. Antenna: Protruding antenna looks ugly. Why can't some other part serve as antenna? How about the wiper arm?
That's a matter of aesthetics. The Octavia or Polo rear center antennas look sporty and nice, far from ugly. On some budget hatches, the front right ones look low cost ... Wiper arm is usually too low to catch signals effectively

Quote:
8. Glove box: Why can't the glove box be placed between the front seats (along with the park brake lever) so that the front passenger can get more knee room?
Why would you need more space for front passenger than for the driver ? Also, many cars do have a central front console, but storage space there is different shape and profile, not a replacement for glove box! The dash also has space for ECU, and various other small connectors and gadgets, so its not protruding in only because of the glove box!

Quote:
9. Wheels: Why can't the wheels be designed like bicycle wheels? Perhaps to save weight?
Due to strength, and also air friction and dynamics issues which would impact FE. Covered wheels make the lowest drag if you have seen models for ultra efficient concepts!

Quote:
10. Hatch door: Why is a hatch door needed to access the boot, if the rear door is extended to the back corner (Perhaps they can try this in a Tata Nano)?
Hatch door is the most practical way for having large loading opening and easiest access to space inside. I hope no manufacturer does away with it. There is a reason why hatches are so popular in Europe. Your option for larger rear doors may not be practical, as larger rear doors will need more side space to open up sufficiently that the rear passengers can get in/out, will become heavier, need stronger hinges, and not offer even 1/4th the flexibility of a hatch. Besides, the body needs structural strength, and the sides of the boot have chassis elements flanked by rear-quarter panels.
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Old 16th January 2012, 07:52   #48
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@ jinojohnt: most of the points raised by you like rear disk break instead of drums, antenna printed on rear wind shield instead of ugly antennas, glove box in between seats as well as dash mounted glove box, ample interior lighting etc. are available in higher segments. Companies can not afford to provide all these features in entry level hatchbacks like Alto or A-star or Santro. There is always cost involved in providing above mentioned features and if Maruti is to provide these features in Alto, what would the price?
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Old 17th January 2012, 23:55   #49
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

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Originally Posted by Samir Taheer View Post
Of course its possible, its a question of cost. My car has the radio antenna built into the rear wind shield. (Will attempt to take a photograph). But my biggest problem is reception.
I think if the antenna is placed under the front grill, it would address the problem of cost as well as reception.
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Originally Posted by mxx View Post
The rear disc vs drum, is not about "cost", it is about cost vs benefit.
While I do agree that front wheels play 'more' role than rear wheels while braking, I feel that some customers are willing to pay extra for rear discs if stopping distance is reduced by a meter. My point is that Indian hatches don't even have an optional rear disc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Actually whether the rear has drums or discs matters more on the weight of the vehicle than anything else.
In a 'typical' stopping, the front wheels are used about 60% while the rear wheels about 40%. This is irrespective of the weight of the vehicle.
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Old 18th January 2012, 18:12   #50
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

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Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
In a 'typical' stopping, the front wheels are used about 60% while the rear wheels about 40%. This is irrespective of the weight of the vehicle.
Could you care to elaborate where you got those figures from? Stopping distance depends on the weight of the vehicle, the condition of brakes, weight distribution, what wheel is drive, brake bias and a whole lot of other things.
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Old 18th January 2012, 18:35   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos

Actually whether the rear has drums or discs matters more on the weight of the vehicle than anything else.
You might be right, what i have felt in real life situations in my Baleno and Civic. When braking from speeds of ~150 the Baleno feels slightly jittery, on the other hand the Civic feels very well planted and confident. This could also be because of ABS+EBD but i believe its also because of Disc/Disc combination.
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Old 19th January 2012, 15:37   #52
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Could you care to elaborate where you got those figures from?
I searched google for "brake bias". Here is one link: Car Brakes and Braking Systems, review guide.
I feel this is also a useful link: http://www.centricparts.com/files/Ce...erformance.pdf

Though all links may not be accurate, I feel it can be reasonably assumed that front wheels are used more during stopping (60/40, or a somewhat similar percentage between front and rear wheels), irrespective of whether the car is a hatch or a sedan (irrespective of the weight).

I was just commenting on the below quote, which attributed choice of disc/drum to weight of vehicle (and not weight distribution).
Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Actually whether the rear has drums or discs matters more on the weight of the vehicle than anything else.

Last edited by jinojohnt : 19th January 2012 at 15:44.
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Old 6th February 2012, 17:40   #53
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

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Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
9. Wheels: Why can't the wheels be designed like bicycle wheels? Perhaps to save weight?
Got some info on this 'evolution':
Bicycle wheels use Tensile strength of the spokes. Current design of car rims use Compressive strength of metal.
Earlier wheels used Tensile strength because it was the best available way of holding the vehicle-weight with 'light weight' wheels. As technology advanced, it became possible to use light weight rims that use Compressive strength. This conversion from bicycle wheels to current car rims was also done to provide better impact resistance.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 19:09   #54
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

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5. Inside Rearview mirror: Why can't we have a long convex mirror rather than the plain mirror inside so that I'll get a wider view of the traffic behind?
I was thinking of something like this: Buy Xxl Panaromic Rear View Mirror | Lowest prices on Automobiles at Rediff Shopping.
One down-side with this model is that the large mirror can obstruct the free movement of sun visors.
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Last edited by jinojohnt : 2nd April 2012 at 19:11.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 11:27   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt
I was thinking of something like this: Buy Xxl Panaromic Rear View Mirror | Lowest prices on Automobiles at Rediff Shopping.
One down-side with this model is that the large mirror can obstruct the free movement of sun visors.
Looks good, In reality the C pillars would show up in the rear view mirror. We can get a wide view only as much as the C pillar permits.
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Old 19th April 2012, 09:16   #56
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

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Originally Posted by rajanprash View Post
Looks good, In reality the C pillars would show up in the rear view mirror. We can get a wide view only as much as the C pillar permits.
What if the rear quarter glass is also visible? It would still be beneficial even when the C-pillar blocks some view, right?
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Old 19th April 2012, 16:13   #57
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

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Originally Posted by ssh1979 View Post
Hmmm. How about the position of the lights just above the head rests of driver and front passenger? With controls on the dash.
I tried positioning a lamp on the ceiling center (between the front passengers), and found that the light spreads uniformly across the cabin. Moreover, I was not seeing the lamp when I looked through the inside rearview mirror (no irritating glare). I think this is a good position.
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Old 8th August 2012, 15:55   #58
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

Here's another one: Why can't the gear lever be positioned in the dash to liberate space? This can accommodate the occasional 3rd person in the front. Remember the old amby?
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Old 21st November 2014, 14:17   #59
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Default re: Common 'Features' in cars that we need to 'live with'

Another one:
A lot of cars have airbag sensors at hardly 3 points in the bumper. If you have an accident, you need to make sure to hit a sensor for the airbags to deploy (how many of us are Olympic Archery champions?).

Can't the manufacturers come up with a cheap and better solution?
Imagine a pvc pipe with 2 metal wires pasted on the inside (pasted on the opposite sides on the inside). If you crush this PVC pipe, won't the metal wires come in contact with each other? Can't this be developed into a simple sensor that runs the full length of the bumper?

PS: Long plates can be used instead of wires to improve the area of contact.

Last edited by jinojohnt : 21st November 2014 at 14:19.
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Old 21st November 2014, 15:12   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
Another one:
A lot of cars have airbag sensors at hardly 3 points in the bumper. If you have an accident, you need to make sure to hit a sensor for the airbags to deploy (how many of us are Olympic Archery champions?).

Can't the manufacturers come up with a cheap and better solution?
Imagine a pvc pipe with 2 metal wires pasted on the inside (pasted on the opposite sides on the inside). If you crush this PVC pipe, won't the metal wires come in contact with each other? Can't this be developed into a simple sensor that runs the full length of the bumper?

PS: Long plates can be used instead of wires to improve the area of contact.
I think the sensors react to deceleration rather than impact. Or in addition to. But most definitely it's not just a button that needs a direct impact.
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