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Old 31st August 2015, 11:40   #16
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

I picked up my city and drove straight to the petrol bunk. Started searching for the fuel lid opening lever in the driver side. Looked everywhere, but couldn't find it. Ran out and checked if the fuel lid had a keyhole. It didn't. I was holding up other cars waiting to fuel. After a bit of worried conversations, someone came and gently tapped on the fuel lid to open it.
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Old 31st August 2015, 11:45   #17
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Couple of years ago I picked up a rental from Hertz somewhere in the USA. Only when I got going did I realize it was some sort of hybrid, maybe a Prius or so, cant even remember. Anyway, I was on my way and had to make a call. So I pulled over, stopped and made my call.

Could not get this thing to go again! Don't know what was different from when I picked it up at the airport, but sitting in this layby, I good not get it going. Of course, it did not have an owners model. So after trying every button, pedal, switch and any combination I could think of, I decided to call Hertz. They said, oh your driving this (whatever it was) car? Happens all the time! Nobody can get it going without specific instructions!

Felt only marginally less stupid after that statement.

Jeroen
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Old 31st August 2015, 11:46   #18
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

Climate Control and my sister

After we bought the Nissan Micra CVT, I thought my sis will feel better driving around. Yes and No. Yes, she indeed felt the car is easy to drive. No, she was confused about the Climate Control. She assumed, lesser the number, lesser the cold. So she kept it at 18. But complained over the phone that new car's AC is faulty. She said it is very cold inside.

I tried explaining the things, but she never understood fully.So finally I said this.

"Look. What is the climate temperature at Ooty in winter?"

She said "around 15-18c".

"Good. Now what you see here as 18 is not speed, but the temperature. So if you set it for 18, it will chill you to the bones. If you keep it at 24 it will feel better"

Then she understood. Human Centric Design in automobiles still requires a lot to improve.
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Old 31st August 2015, 12:05   #19
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Back in the days when we upgraded from mark III to Mark IV Ambassador, we took the car out on the first day reached the petrol station for tank up ended up spending the worst half an hour of an exciting day as a child.

After stopping the car we just could not get the car key out to open the petrol tank lid, assuming it was stuck we tried pulling, couple of guys in the station tried, ended up bending the new key, after multiple tries and endless effort, only later to realize there was a press button underneath which needed to be pressed to release the key. Damn what a feature.

Those where the days when cell phone or google did not exist.

Then came the Opel astra in which I just could not slot into reverse gear and went mad in the middle of a traffic jam, thanks to mobile phone, it so happened that I had to pull a small ring around the gear lever to slot it into reverse.
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Old 31st August 2015, 12:10   #20
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

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Originally Posted by nivatakavacha View Post
So guys, what other such issues have you faced? Let us know. Let the world know for posterity!
In the US, most of them keep looking at the shifter if its a manual. And you were jumbled by an automatic. Nice.

I'd blame the enthusiast in you that was still to be born. Now days, TBhp teaches us more than we'll ever need to know.

The only thing that troubled my parents riding in the back seat (because of my mistake) was child lock for rear doors. I said to myself, "So, that's what it does."
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Old 31st August 2015, 12:37   #21
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Originally Posted by sudeepg View Post
I picked up my city and drove straight to the petrol bunk. Started searching for the fuel lid opening lever in the driver side. Looked everywhere, but couldn't find it. Ran out and checked if the fuel lid had a keyhole. It didn't. I was holding up other cars waiting to fuel. After a bit of worried conversations, someone came and gently tapped on the fuel lid to open it.
This kind of same thing happened, when we had first bought our Ikon, way back in 2000's. We just didn't knew how to open the fuel lid as there isn't toggle or switch to do so. Then it was the petrol bunk guy who thought us how to open it. Just unlock the door and it is open!!!!
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Old 31st August 2015, 12:48   #22
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This incident happened with me in 2009 rainy season.

It happened so that my Boss in office had bought a new Alto and had recently learnt to drive ...then i dint knew driving. We both had a sales call at Lonavla so decided to take his new car. while we were on out way back to Pune it started raining heavily and the front windshield started gathering fog. we both were not aware of demister function of car.

I ended up with a cloth in hand wiping the the windshield and clearing it. I guess, i did that every minute till we reached Pune. Next day, we both took the car to servicing station and the guy started laughing at us after we narrated him the issue faced. Later he explained us the functionality.
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Old 31st August 2015, 13:15   #23
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Well, no. We never had a modern car with latest cutting edge technology etc. We had an humble Indigo. And a couple of things in that Indigo, made me look challenged. But that was of course 8-9 years back.
  • Handbrake - I had not learned to drive till we bought the car. I learned it all by myself, all alone. And this handbrake engaging and disengaging had troubled me. When we got the car, we had hired a neighbor's driver with us to drive the car home. The driver brought the car home, parked it and pulled the handbrake lever up, without pressing that black button on it. So while being pulled up, the handbrake made a sound. Now the driver went, and I wanted to start the car and drive her on my own. But what do I do to disengage the handbrake? I pressed that lever downward with all my might and it did not move a millimeter. Frustrated, I called up someone in Tata. The personnel came, pressed the button and down went my face, along with that handbrake.
  • Seat pushing mechanism - Frankly, I was not aware that the driver and passenger seat in my car could be pushed forward and/or backward for the first 2 months . We'd to go on a tour and a cousin was going to drive our car. He being a 6 footer, had to push the seat back a bit. He pulled up that danda below the seat and the seat went back.

Last edited by Swapnil4585 : 31st August 2015 at 13:17.
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Old 31st August 2015, 13:25   #24
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Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
Not just old cars, I do remember taking an amazingly maintained Contessa for a drive, and pulling into a petrol station, looking for the filler cap opener for about a minute while the attendant stood next to the window, and then driving out with no fill-up, and not a word exchanged with the petrol pump guys.
Where is the opener, by the way?

You have to open the boot and pull a lever inside while rotating the filler cap outside.
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Old 31st August 2015, 13:38   #25
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I was in US back in April and i got a Hyundai Sante Fe as a rental car. After a week of driving it, had stopped at a gas station opposite to my hotel to refuel. Spent a good 10 mins searching for the button/lever to open the fuel lid. The car had buttons for electric lumbar support, seat movements etc, no levers on the base of the seat. The dash had all sorts of buttons like, traction control toggle, hill descent control toggle but not the fuel opener. Then came out circled the car a couple of times(in freezing cold) trying all sorts of different things, pushed the fuel lid to see if it opens, locked and unlocked the car. Nothing worked. There was only guy in the gas station and he was in the store looking busy. Finally got into the car and searched in youtube "Sante fe how to fill fuel", landed up on a video. (Thank god my hotel wifi had a good range, i did not have a US phone with data connection, had my used my India number, the data charges would have been more than what i paid for the fuel ) There was a button flush fitted in the door panel along the speaker pod which needs to be pulled to open the fuel lid.

Interestingly, the fuel lids lock in one click, opposed to clicking while rotating fuel lids here. I was expecting this and almost broke the fuel cap, then read the fine print in the fuel lid.

All in all, the car was excellent, the only issue i could not figure out was that when driving in night during rains, the visibility is abysmal, this combined with no reflectors on the road (i stayed in Rochester), made driving in the rains at night pretty scary. The car had projectors with normal halogens, my Nano is way better in this aspect :P

Last edited by knaveen : 31st August 2015 at 13:43.
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Old 31st August 2015, 13:41   #26
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

When I got the Vento, the first time I went to tank up I spent some futile minutes searching for the fuel lid open button under my seat. All eyes of my family on me, I was getting increasingly flustered till the attendant just calmly walked up to the car and pressed the lid to open it. Turns out the Vento fuel lid doesn't lock unless the central locking is engaged

But by far the most embarassing incident was when I rented a Zoomcar A-class in Bangalore and when turning my hand hit something and the rear windscreen wiper began operating. I had no clue how to operate it and tried pushing and pulling all the levers I could find. Finally I pulled over and called Viddy who always knows these things. After he'd finished laughing he told me to push the wiper stalk back (or front, I forget) the way you toggle for high-beam. Have never lived this down!
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Old 31st August 2015, 14:38   #27
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

Many of us take a while to get used to the Two-pedals-one-foot auto thing, which is why some text books recommend the newcommer to AT to keep the left foot tucked by the seat, until used to using one foot only.

Far more embarrassing than simply using the left foot to brake, is accidently putting it on the "clutch," thus braking without meaning to. I very nearly got rear-ended this way. I would have had a hard time claiming that rear-ending is always the following driver's fault! <Blush>

My embarassing moments in unfamiliar hire cars include...

--- trying to fill petrol in a full tank. The meter needle went the other way to what I used to, and I didn't look at the E and F markings.

--- being unable to start the first car I ever drove that used normal key for locking and starting, but had an immobilising switch on a remote fob.

Less techie is the confusion caused by the different reverse-gear positions and methods with manual gear boxes. I remember a lady, who was used to driving some fancy cars (I think she had a BMW, but it was a long time a go), with a service loan car. In the processing of parking, she realised she could not get the thing into reverse. It so happened that none of the rest of us present knew that there was a pull-up collar around the lever (Vauxhall?). In the end, one of guessed.

These things are so obvious when we know about them.

We ought to grow out of these things, but let me admit that only a couple of weeks ago, I trapped my fingers in an electric window! I was outside the vehicle, holding the door by the top frame --- and operated the switch with the other hand. Still an idiot at 63

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 31st August 2015 at 14:42.
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Old 31st August 2015, 14:59   #28
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One of the wintery evenings of 1997, me and my friend decided to visit Ranjit Sagar Dam, near Jamnagar, Gujarat.

At that time, he owned a Kawasaki Bajaj Motorcycle, which was our mode of travel. After spending few hours in the twilight of that evening, we decided to leave back to our home.

The highway back then was poorly lit and around 7:30 PM, we hit a buffalo (herd was crossing the road and was not visible to my friend). We fell, bruised our hands and legs but fortunately nothing major.

After the accident we started the vehicle, but it won't start!!

We were in the midst of no-where and it was a Sunday evening. No trace of humans - darkness everywhere - and temperature is dropping by the minute! Kicks and kicks - the damn machine wont even give a slight indication of ignition.

With exhaustion and desperation we started pushing the vehicle for few KMS and there was our savior (or we thought) - a small road side mechanic. We dropped in and narrated the incident, realizing later that the mechanic does not know anything much about these types of vehicles.

We were still nearly 10KMS away from home while all 3 of us were wondering how to get this damn thing started. At this point, the mechanic pointed to the red START/STOP switch on the handle-bar and asked what is this for?

That's when we recognized the switch flipped to OFF position during the hit and since my friend never used it he was not aware of its presence.

We flipped it ON, kicked and Voila....the engine fired.

We never looked more stupid in our lives
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Old 31st August 2015, 15:02   #29
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeepg View Post
I picked up my city and drove straight to the petrol bunk. Started searching for the fuel lid opening lever in the driver side. Looked everywhere, but couldn't find it. Ran out and checked if the fuel lid had a keyhole. It didn't. I was holding up other cars waiting to fuel. After a bit of worried conversations, someone came and gently tapped on the fuel lid to open it.
Had a similar experience with a rental car (VW Golf) at UK. Went searching around the car to find the fuel lid opening lever and after some 10 minutes of search and a couple of phone calls we managed to understand the 'Push to Open' lid. Though I had driven several VWs in past, never got a chance to open the fuel lid.
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Old 31st August 2015, 15:15   #30
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A very interesting thread indeed.

Well, I correctly remember three instances when I learnt something new about cars.

Incident 1 - It was around the year 2000, when a friend's had picked up a used Fiat Uno. One day, we friends were going on a joy ride and had stopped over at a garage to get the car checked for something. With the bonnet open I was trying to understand all the parts I could see in the engine bay. After a while just out of curiosity I started opening all the oil reservoirs I could see in front of me to have a peek inside. Finally I came to a cap which was right in the front and center from where engine bay starts. I tried opening it, but it was a bit tight and after some effort it loosened up and I could hear some sound as if air was leaking out. That's when a friend realized what I was doing and stopped me immediately. The mechanic who was standing next to me had his eyes wide open and asked me what I was trying to do?? And I was like nothing, I am just trying to see what is below this cap. That's when my friend told me that its a radiator cap and should never open it specially after the engine is hot and if I had managed to open it I would have surely burnt my face.Boy, was I lucky that day and learnt one of the most important hazard under the bonnet.

Incident 2 - Now, sometime in 2003, the same friend who had the Uno had sold it and picked up a Tata Indigo. One day the Indigo developed a puncture at the rear tyre in his building. We thought no big deal, we can change it to the spare tyre ourselves. So we jacked up the car and tried opening the four nuts. Now to our surprise the spanner provided by Tata would not fit any nut. We tried many times and it just would not fit. Finally gave up the idea of changing the tyre ourselves and packed up everything and gave a mouthful to brand Tata for providing the wrong size spanner. After a few months at a tyre shop, we were seeing how the guy was changing the tyre on the Indigo and to our surprise the spanner provided by Tata fitted properly this time. We were like this is pure magic, but at closer inspection realized that he had pulled out the wheel cap before opening the nuts with the spanner. We like Duh's were trying to fit the spanner on something which resembles a nut on the wheel cap.

A image of how the wheel cap on the Indigo back then used to look like.

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Incident 3 - This one was on our first car, which was a used wagon R. We had picked up the car in 2006 and my mom and sister who were in Kerala had no clue about it. The idea was to surprise them, by taking the car to pick them up from the railway station at Thane. Since I had limited driving experience my elder cousin came with me and was to get off somewhere before we reach Thane station, as he had some work there. On Ghodbunder road some where by brother asked me to stop on the side, as he wanted to drive the car for sometime. So we both exited the car and since the A/c was on, we shut the doors. Once we crossed sides, my brother tried opening the door and it would not open, so I tried opening the door and it would not open too. When we checked inside, we found that the doors were locked and the lock lever was all the way down. That is when we realized the horror of having auto locks. Now, we are standing out of the car in the baking sun and the A/c is running without anyone inside the car. The only options now was either to seek a mechanic's help to open the door or get the spare remote from home. Now, we were in a secluded section of the ghodbunder stretch and plus we were were far away from home to get the spare remote, plus I was getting late as I had to pick up my mom from the station. With no option left, we decided to break the passenger glass to gain access to the car. With a heavy heart picked up a rock and tried breaking it, but no luck. Finally, my brother managed to get a hammer from a shop in the distance and we broke the glass in the second attempt. Now, we were back in the car but there were glass pieces all around and no way I could go to pickup mom with a car in this state. She would have got some shock of her life with our first car and the state I had put it in. Plus the thought of facing dad back at home was just sending shivers down my spine. So located a Maruti service center on the way and landed up spending 1100 bucks to get a new glass fitted. The service center guys asked me what had happened and I told them the full story. One of them also made a sarcastic statement and said that good you did not brake the rear quarter glass thinking it is a smaller glass, as it costs more than double. Also, to rub salt over the wound, they told me that you should have called us before breaking the glass as you could have opened the door using a scale, just like the RTO towing guys do. Only if I had time that day to think and use my mind and even if I did, wonder where would I have found a scale to open the door on ghodbunder road. Well, in the end I did manage to reach in time at the station to pick up mom and was the whole family surprised to see the car. But till this day only I and my brother actually know what all we went through that day and we have a good laugh every time we talk about that incident.
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