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Old 31st August 2015, 15:33   #31
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

This incident may not be of the exact kind given in the description of thread, but it surely involves a technical challenge thrown to me as a kid to which I fortunately overcame.

This occurred when I was a school kid [ 9-10 years] who was enchanted with anything that moved on mote than 4 wheels. We had Premier 118 NE mostly driven by chauffeurs though my Dad drives occasionally. I used to befriend the drivers to pester them with many [silly] questions involving the Car Controls.

I still remember our Driver name- Basheer, who accompanied us this time to Tirumala.
The general pattern of the trip is that we'd climb Tirumala before the Dinner time, settle down in room, complete dinner, pick-up the necessary tickets for the Darshan, next morning. Usually, someone has to pick up the tickets at some stipulated time and this time, my dad asked the driver to get them while I tagged along with the Driver. Basheer, who was in his mid 30s was a friendly guy and taught me the basic handling of the car [ the general part- the brakes, accelerator, clutch, gear rod etc etc..., though I was clear only about the accelerator, brake and hand brake.

So we drove down to the counter and Basheer left me in the parked car to the left side of the road to get the tickets [ with the keys left with the car itself so that I can listen to songs] , which might have involved standing in queue for some time.

And then, with all my primal ape-like characteristics resurfacing with none to check, I start meddling with all the controls of the car. All the people who knew Tirumala can have a basic understanding of how steep the streets are and to my unluck, the car was parked there. I, with my stupider antics, had disengaged the hand brake and to my horror,the car started moving forward. [ Basheer did not put the car in the gear, I get it later :P]. The steering was turned towards right and thus the car moved across the road down slope and there was an Amby parked on the right side, ready to get hit by mine. Into those torturous times where I spent all my bloody mind to see how the car can be stopped and then my knowledge of brake pedals hit me and I just dived into the driver's legroom to thrust all my weight on the brake pedal as car came to a screeching STOP so does my HEART.

A decent crowd gathered around and a driver amongst the crowd parked the car safely . Basheer, as approached the site, took some time to realize what just happened and the crowd gave a earful to my driver while I sheepishly hid myself. while drivng back, I begged him not to say anything to my father to which he calmly complied and warned me never to play with the controls when none is around.
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Old 31st August 2015, 15:42   #32
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

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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.


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before breaking the glass as you could have opened the door using a scale, just like the RTO towing guys do.
I didn't know that RTO guys do this. What do they do when the alarm goes off, I wonder. But I had run into this situation before. Being cautious, I always lock the doors. Me & my wife had parked by the side of a road. There were incidents where people would randomly open the door and take away stuff. We had stuff in the back seat of our Santro (now sold). I got out my driver door, locked the car (with my wife inside) and went to get clothes from the dry cleaner. We had problems with change, so I asked my wife for some. She got out, locked her door and closed it. I knew what she was doing and screamed not to close the door, but alas it was too late. We had the car running with AC and both of us locked out. I remembered this trick from my Maruti 800 days and got the scale, but could not open the driver door. Tried the front passenger door and luckily it opened! That's when I realized these cars can be easily opened. heh!
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Old 31st August 2015, 16:10   #33
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

I once rented ford Escape for a long weekend and had some fun trying to figure how to pop the fuel lid! Thanks to this guy at gas station who pointed that injust had to pull the cover .

In another instance one of my colleagues rented a vw Jetta (his first keyless car). That morning he stepped in the car and switched on the engine and left to warm it up, while he went in the house to pick a cup of coffee and left his keyfob at home. Happily ignoring the periodic reminder of key not present on MID , he reached CT (some 200 miles out). I had yo drive down to give his keyfob that evening.
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Old 31st August 2015, 16:15   #34
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I would share an incident too.

This happened a few years back at office. Once in a while, our group goes out for lunch to nearby restaurants here in Whitefield. One day a colleague, who owns an older version of Hyundai Verna was supposed to join the lunch a little late because of a meeting. He asked me to take his car so that other members could also join in. The Verna was parked at lower basement and has no cellular signals. I was able to locate the car without any problem.

But once I got into the driver seat, first problem cropped up. Since I am used to Hyundai i10, I thought there won't be any problem. Turned ON the ignition and nothing happened. Did it again, still no response from the engine. Intuitively pressed the clutch and tried again. This time the engine came to life (had driven only i10, Bolero & Wagon R till then which don't need the clutch to be pressed while cranking the engine). Now the second problem started. I had to engage the reverse to take the car out of parking slot. Tried, but could not engage it. Thought the clutch is not pressed properly. Did it again with the clutch fully pressed, still nothing. Then slotted 1st and moved the car a little and again back to reverse, but the gearbox simply refused. Thought there is some problem with the car. Switched off the car to call my friend. But there was no signal. Had to get out of the car and then out of the basement area so that my mobile could catch the signal. Dialled him to ask what was the problem, but since he was in a meeting, could not talk to him. Dejected, came back to the car. Suddenly remembered that some cars need the gear lever to the pressed down to engage the reverse. But even that didn't work here. Then saw a small ring encircling the gear lever. Pressed the clutch, lifted it and tried to slot the reverse. And VIOLA, it engaged. So after about 10 mins of spotting the car, was I able to move it. Finally.

Last edited by RoadSurfer : 31st August 2015 at 16:30. Reason: Typos fixed
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Old 31st August 2015, 16:30   #35
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I have a Anti-technology story.

When my uncle was on the lookout for a pre-owned automatic sedan, we had shortlisted the VW Jetta. On the way to the used car dealer I was telling my uncle about German technology and all the crazy electronics in the car. When it was time for the TD we noticed the driver seat was pushed forward ( for a 5foot person) and I told my uncle to pull the seat base electric button to push the seat back. No luck! knowing German reliability, I told my uncle maybe the seat motor is gone. Long story short both of us 5' 10" did various bending and flexing to squeeze in and drive the car. When we came back we asked the dealer about this and then he showed us the danda under the seat to push it front and back.

That was a full on Simpson Duhh moment.

In my defense the danda in the Jetta is small and to the front left, rather than most cars that have it in the center.

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In another instance one of my colleagues rented a vw Jetta (his first keyless car). That morning he stepped in the car and switched on the engine and left to warm it up, while he went in the house to pick a cup of coffee and left his keyfob at home. Happily ignoring the periodic reminder of key not present on MID , he reached CT (some 200 miles out). I had yo drive down to give his keyfob that evening.
Since it detected the keyfob wasn't in the car, why didn't the engine stop??

Last edited by Shanksta : 31st August 2015 at 16:34.
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Old 31st August 2015, 16:52   #36
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In my defense the danda in the Jetta is small and to the front left, rather than most cars that have it in the center.
Lol. You were aware of the danda. I was totally unaware of any such kind of utility in my case, for two big months!
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Old 31st August 2015, 16:56   #37
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Since it detected the keyfob wasn't in the car, why didn't the engine stop??
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/showth...errerid=114810 (10 automakers sued over keyless ignition not switching engine off)

Check out the thread above. US manufacturers sued because it doesn't switch off.
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Old 31st August 2015, 17:14   #38
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

It is not about being taken by surprise or ending up embarrassed but I was really surprised to notice that my Dad's 1967 Fiat 1100D had a windshield washer function. I mean a lot of cars until the 90s in India probably did not have that feature except Maruti Suzuki, Probably even the later Padminis did not have it. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 31st August 2015, 17:42   #39
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Hi folks,

This reminds me of another issue that happened with my Getz. A colleague of mine bought his new i10 (the earlier one) and had invited me to take a TD of it. Now since we have 2 offices, we normally park in location A and walk over to location B for work. But that day, my friend parked out in location A and i took my Getz straight over to location B as i arrived early.

So then, i told my friend we'll go in the Getz to location A (as it's a little far to walk up)..so he drove the Getz we reach location A, we get out of the Getz and head out to his parked car there at location A

I get in, we do the TD, come back to the same spot, and we are ready to exchange cars. This is when i realized that since he was driving my car in the first place, he would be having the keys of my car. I asked him for the keys and he says he has only his keys and not mine. So in effect what happened was as he got out of the driver's seat of the Getz, we locked the car with the key in the keyhole. I could now see the keychain dangling out.

Then began a frantic search to open the 'thing'. My friend told me Getz is different as it has a different locking mechanism. We called the Hyundai helpline and paid 150 to get the car opened again. They guy opened the rear number plate and pushed down some lever. To this day i am quite careful with locking. Btw, the Getz does not have remote locking.
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Old 31st August 2015, 17:45   #40
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

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It is not about being taken by surprise or ending up embarrassed but I was really surprised to notice that my Dad's 1967 Fiat 1100D had a windshield washer function. I mean a lot of cars until the 90s in India probably did not have that feature except Maruti Suzuki, Probably even the later Padminis did not have it. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
Being someone who has grown up in a Padmini (including the oh-so-delectable Starline (the stationwagon)), I can confirm that they had the windscreen washer function. Whether they worked or not is a different matter, and depended on multiple factors such as the cycle of the moon, your girlfriend's time of the month, India's current account deficit, number of American aircraft carriers deployed in the Indian Ocean, etc.
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Old 31st August 2015, 17:56   #41
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Default Re: The modern car and the technologically challenged

I think its fair to say that quite a few of us might not have taken the opportunity to explore the technical features our own cars offer! I have personally encountered situations where the owner could not identify the low tyre pressure warning light on the dashboard, nor completely understand how to use OnStar. OK, the second example was me.
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Old 31st August 2015, 17:57   #42
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My incident is more leaning towards me getting technological challenged due to technological dependency.

This happened to me a couple of months back. I am driving a Hyundai Xcent for the last 6 months or so. My Brother-in-law visited us in his brand new Ciaz. He left his car at our place and took my Activa to go to Chandni Chowk(Delhi). Me being curious decided to take a joyride in his new Ciaz. I sat in the car and went about going through all the systems and gadgetry. Then the time came for the actual drive. Started the engine and backed out of the parking spot, no problem there. Now before going forward I tried to open the side view mirrors, but , they were not opening. Tried all the buttons around the side view mirror adjustment controls but they didnt budge. Then came out the Owners manual. It took me about half an hour to literally go through the whole book. But nowhere in it was any mention of how to open the side view mirrors. Finally called up my BIL and asked "Bhai saheb aapki gaadi ke sheeshe kholne ka kya raaz hai?". BIL replied "Jijaji jaise aapki Ritz ke khulte the, waise hi khulte hain". I scratched my head for a couple of seconds and then opened the window and pushed out the side view mirror. VOILA, I was successful in doing the seemingly impossible task. My BIL made fun of me to his heart's content after coming back.

Driving around in the Xcent for a few months made my mind associate the task of opening the side view mirrors with the press of a button so much so that I simply forgot that until a few days back I was myself doing it the good old way.
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Old 31st August 2015, 18:05   #43
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For me it was the Boot opening mechanism on the Skoda Laura 2011. I was to travel with a fellow user of BlaBla and he came to pick me up. Since it was in traffic, he did not come out to help me open the boot. I was left fumbling for a switch, which was not prominent. I was feeling more and more embarrassed until finally my fingers roamed over a slight bulge under the recess of the boot.

The embarrassment continued when in the wee hours of the morning, we got a flat in the front tire. He was not very experienced in changing flats, so I thought I'd redeem my lost pride. We removed the half wheel cover but was wondering how to remove the nuts, because in the anticlockwise direction the nuts were not loosening. Since we didn't have much light, I ran my fingers over the face of the nut to see if there was a notch in it, which would show whether we had to loosen it in the clockwise direction. I thought I felt the notch, but wasn't sure. He tried anyway with no result. In the end, I stood on lever and turned it in the anticlockwise direction. I'm no Lightweight, so the nut had to turn and then it was clear what to do.

One more thing I saw for the first time was that one of the five nuts had a recess to fit in an adapter for the lever. This is a theft protection feature it seems. I wonder, if someone loses the small 3cm adapter, how would he change the tire?

We had once gone for a trip to tamilnadu, in our tata Estate, bought new in 1994. We faced a puncture and wanted to change the tire. There is a weird release mechanism for the spare tyre, which is inside the hatch. My dad and I had spent a better part of an hour, figuring it out,in the merciless tamilnadu summer.
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Old 31st August 2015, 18:13   #44
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I can recall one such incident which happened to me recently in Tirupathi.
I was travelling to tirumala with a group of 3 guys. We were waiting at the tirupathi toll in my punto.
The toll booth had a long queue as usual to enter the hills. I had the hand brake engaged since the road had a slope
that's when my friend told me that "Hey do you know these cab drivers can move the vehicle forward in a slope without letting the vehicle move backward at the start."
I asked "Really!!??, How is it possible?"
He said "They control the movement with the brake and accelerator inputs. They release the brake only after releasing the clutch to its 3/4th position, so the vehicle never moves backward."
I said "WOW never thought of it."

Then a few minutes later still suck in the traffic, thought why not try it out and see if I can do it. First I ensured there was enough space between my car and the next. When the car in front of me moved I applied the foot brake released the hand brake and slightly released the clutch, The vehicle dint move forward. Then I gave a little accelerator input the car still dint move forward and it was moving backward. The car at my back honked once. I thought I must be doing it wrong, so I tried doing it again with all my attention on the accelerator and brake inputs. Again the car moved backward and the guy behind my car started honking continuously. I told myself forget it, this is not my cup of tea and then engaged the first gear. Now this when I realised how dumb I was, all these while I was doing everything correctly except engaging the gear. I felt so dumb that I never tried that trick again.
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Old 31st August 2015, 18:53   #45
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Nice thread.

While I was in the US, I had rented Chevrolet Malibu LTZ. I was at the bunk to fill her up however could not find a way to release fuel tank lid
Looked at the key for a switch to release the lid, searched for the lever that we normally have in our cars, checked switches on the dashboard and the steering wheel, scrolled through MID menu however could not find a way to release the lid!!

Finally asked the car driver who drove in to fill his car. He asked me to unlock the car and just push the lid to open it

Last edited by HammerHead : 31st August 2015 at 18:56.
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