Yet another I hate modern cars rant

cowman

Final Approach
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Cowman
Just had a minor fiasco with our 2019 Ford Edge. It's snowing here, but still warm enough that there's mud under the snow and my wife made the mistake of driving it somewhere she absolutely shouldn't have in these conditions to check on her horse. Car got stuck... normally not a huge deal as I have multiple things here that can yank out a stuck vehicle. Except... I look for a little knock-out panel to install an anchor in the bumper, doesn't have one. Look under the rear bumper.... huge muffler runs all away across vehicle- no safe/secure attachment point. Nothing but plastic up front.... thought about trying one of the suspension arms but the geometry of the body makes that inadvisable.

After several minutes of lot of ill-advised maneuvering with poor visibility which probably would be fun to watch to the tune of yakity sax, I managed to get it out. The final push was uphill sliding a bit but carrying planned momentum... I was headed towards a building but I was about to transition from snowy mud to clear packed gravel and would easily be able to stop. As I was transitioning to brakes, the car decided I was about to hit something and activated "pre-collision assist". Suddenly the brake pedal went rock hard as if the engine wasn't running and I was unable to apply the brakes- let me just reiterate that, the car prevented me from braking. I was able to steer my way out of it and regain control in time. I said a few words that can't be repeated here and turned the mud-covered car back over to my wife. Later I looked up how to disable that feature so hopefully it will never do that crap again.

Tomorrow I'm putting the soft top back on the Scout.
 
Lots of things to like (most safety features) and hate (again, safety features) on new cars. I dodged a bullet this fall when someone rear-ended me. Shop charged $1200 for a new/painted/installed bumper cover, but advised that if my car had any lane sensors, parking sensors, or the like, the cost would have been double, because all of those sensors would have needed to be re-calibrated. Yikes...
 
I have the opposite view. For decades, it was only the super rich that could afford fast cars or cars with lots of cool features/tech. Today, the middle class can afford a Tesla, which is faster than most super cars in instant acceleration and has way more tech/features than any of them. Such an incredible time to be alive.
 
Some of the driver safety features on my Frontier were fun to get used to but sometimes they are quite helpful ... ;)
 
Count me out on the Tesla, but to each their own. I do love the newer features found on current vehicles, though. It generally takes me a day or three to find and disable all of the "helpful" little "you don't know how to drive, just let us do it for you" features like lane keeping, lane departure warning, pre-collision panic - err, I mean "assist" and the like. I do however really love the 360 parking cameras, blind spot warning, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlights (my new-to-me 2020 F150 even does auto high beams well), and most of the in-dash stuff. Most of it just reduces workload. Apple Car Play is a mixed bag but generally good. I've never been a big fan of ABS but that's been a fact of life for a couple decades now, so you learn to live with it.

Kind of surprised the Edge doesn't have a recovery hook, I thought they did.
 
I love tech and I love what it can do, it's the implementation that sends me on rants. I would like a single easily accessed control that will instantly disable all automation and put me in complete control of the vehicle. The machine can react faster than me but it can't apparently tell the difference between an imminent collision and a smudge on the camera lens. Driving long distance in snowy conditions I've endured hours of it bonging at me every 5 minutes to tell me the "pre-collision assist" feature in question isn't available because of(presumably) a dirty camera lens. Who thought that was a good idea? The anti-collision feature isn't working so harass the drive every few minutes?

What it seems like to me is the lawyers, insurance companies, and feds are pressuring the engineers to design the car in such a way as to increasingly take the driver out of the equation but what do I know?

Kind of surprised the Edge doesn't have a recovery hook, I thought they did.
I did too but I couldn't find one, a google search tells me there is apparently one up front but that wouldn't have done me any good in the position it was in... and there isn't one on the rear. Hence why I didn't really inspect the front bumper too closely.
 
The machine can react faster than me but it can't apparently tell the difference between an imminent collision and a smudge on the camera lens.

No. It can’t detect an imminent collision when the camera is covered. I agree with you on the constant alerts however. Did you try pulling over and cleaning it and it just got dirty again? Just curious.
 
Your problem is Ford. Every tech implementation they have is years behind the competition and always glitchy. The sync 3 system on both the '19 f150 and '17 f550 is hot garbage. Skips randomly when listening to Spotify. Like a scratched cd. Meanwhile the 20 dollar on portable no name Bluetooth speaker I have works flawlessly
 
What it seems like to me is the lawyers, insurance companies, and feds are pressuring the engineers to design the car in such a way as to increasingly take the driver out of the equation but what do I know?

I don't know...have you really paid attention to most drivers these days? It's the primary reason I sold my Harley a couple years ago. On two lane roads, I would often be looking at the eyes of the oncoming drivers to see if they were looking at me. If I gave it a conservative estimate, I'd say about 60% weren't even looking out the windshield when they passed me. Usually toying with their phone or something. Many of these automated gadgets and gizmos are subtle "get your eyes on the road" alarms. But I agree...I hate them. I currently drive a 2014 VW Passat Dieselgate which by most measures is a great car. Albeit over-engineered when it comes to maintenance and repair. However, one "convenience" option my car has that I absolutely hate is "hill assist." If you've ever drove a manual transmission, you know getting started on a hill can be a trick. That is, until you get used to it. So VW came up with this computer-controlled auto brake that once you come to a stop on an incline, the brakes will stay engaged at the same pressure even after you take your foot off the brake pedal. It will not let go until you've introduced enough throttle for the computer to register that you wanna get going again. Oftentimes this results in a second or so hesitation (great fun when you're trying to shoot a traffic gap) or worse, will release and then instantly reapply the brakes nearly stalling the car. This is a good feature for a new manual transmission driver. Did I mention my car is an automatic? No way to disable it without reprogramming the ECU code.

The dash also chimes the same way an emergency alert light would when the temperature drops to 39°F.

To the OP: my mother-in-law has the same vehicle. My father-in-law...die hard Ford loyalist...absolutely hates it.
 
Electronically controlled temperature. No way to just get fresh air. pita
 
Lots of things to like (most safety features) and hate (again, safety features) on new cars. I dodged a bullet this fall when someone rear-ended me. Shop charged $1200 for a new/painted/installed bumper cover, but advised that if my car had any lane sensors, parking sensors, or the like, the cost would have been double, because all of those sensors would have needed to be re-calibrated. Yikes...

Speaking of YIKES!!!

 
Your problem is Ford. Every tech implementation they have is years behind the competition and always glitchy. The sync 3 system on both the '19 f150 and '17 f550 is hot garbage. Skips randomly when listening to Spotify. Like a scratched cd. Meanwhile the 20 dollar on portable no name Bluetooth speaker I have works flawlessly
I once had a 2006 F150 with those fancy ultra-new engineered spark plugs. You know, the ones with the really long metal sleeve because somehow, a 4" plug tunnel is more efficient than a the length that's been standard for the last 100 years. I'm not an engineer. But when it came time to change them at 100k miles I sure wanted to meet the engineers. And rub their nose in it like a misbehaving dog.

Then I had a 2014 F150. Much better vehicle. Timing chain tensioner started acting up at almost 100k miles. Just enough to let me know the plastic slides needed to be replaced. Shouldn't be too much of an issue...take the timing chain cover off and replace, right? No. The timing chain cover was designed in such a way that it covered about 80% of the entire forward plate of the engine and lipped over the top so that you have to remove the entire top end (fuel rail, intake manifold, AND heads) to even start to take it off!

Sometimes I really miss my 1963 Chevy C-10 that I had in high school. Rebuilt it with my dad. 3-on-the-tree, 283ci, I could tear the whole thing apart and put it back together with a 3/4" socket and a basic set of SAE wrenches. And for Bob...no A/C. It did have "deluxe" heat which meant there were 3 fan speeds not just 2! Footwell vents were amazing.
 
I love tech and I love what it can do, it's the implementation that sends me on rants. I would like a single easily accessed control that will instantly disable all automation and put me in complete control of the vehicle. The machine can react faster than me but it can't apparently tell the difference between an imminent collision and a smudge on the camera lens. Driving long distance in snowy conditions I've endured hours of it bonging at me every 5 minutes to tell me the "pre-collision assist" feature in question isn't available because of(presumably) a dirty camera lens. Who thought that was a good idea? The anti-collision feature isn't working so harass the drive every few minutes?
I had to dig a little to find the menu to disable pre-collision assist on my F150. Like the '18 BMW 540i before it, and my wife's Toyota, and the Volvo before it, they tend to occasionally panic during everyday driving. Every one of them has. The BMW would frequently beep and slam on the brakes as I was backing out of the driveway -- it mistook a tar patch in the pavement or something for an obstacle. The truck threw a fit when there was someone slowing to turn ahead of me and I wasn't on the brakes, because there was no need to. Lane assist sucks at interpreting lane markings and starts fighting for the wheel. I turn all that stuff off.

I don't know...have you really paid attention to most drivers these days? It's the primary reason I sold my Harley a couple years ago.
Ditto. When we started riding it was a matter of watching out for inattentive drivers. When we stopped it was more like every third driver was actively trying to kill us. I referred to them as "driverless vehicles" -- there was someone in the left front seat, but they're not driving, they're too busy effing with their phone.
 
I have the opposite view. For decades, it was only the super rich that could afford fast cars or cars with lots of cool features/tech. Today, the middle class can afford a Tesla, which is faster than most super cars in instant acceleration and has way more tech/features than any of them. Such an incredible time to be alive.

I went totally the opposite way with my latest vehicle, a '22 Wranger. Base bottom of the line model, 2-door, 6 speed manual, soft top. No power anything, no driver aids, just a Jeep. It's rough, noisy, has quirky handling, and the 6-speed manual has more in common with a tractor than a sports car, and I grin like a fool eveyrtime I drive the beast.
 
I have the opposite view. For decades, it was only the super rich that could afford fast cars or cars with lots of cool features/tech. Today, the middle class can afford a Tesla, which is faster than most super cars in instant acceleration and has way more tech/features than any of them. Such an incredible time to be alive.

I hear this in defense of the enshyttification of the airline experience too, and I don't really have a credible counter-argument.

Flying sucks more. More people have access to flying. Net win I guess? I'll just make this face in the terminal.

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What surprises me more is that the "middle class" airline experience vanished so rapidly. It's first class or no class now, and the ticket price delta is usually 5X when I bump up.



Cars, though, seem to have sacrificed comfort for that 5 star crash test rating. That's why my knees now always get smushed by giant center consoles and low-riding door cards. I hate it. We had a 50s Chevy Styleline that was the same size as our Honda Civic and they had the same footprint, but not even close to the same visibility or comfort situation. Of course if I hit a telephone pole in the chevy I'm getting launched, comfortably, to my doom.

I can't even explain why they don't just put an ipad mount and USB jack in the center console. Car entertainment systems are universally trash with plaid-speed obsolescence.
 
Admit it, you actually have a problem with the horse, and are projecting on the poor Edge.
 
I too am over new cars. When my current one dies I will try to continue on with mid 2000's cars as I feel that is the sweet spot. All these self driving, lane centering, auto braking gadgets just aren't consistent enough. I've had my car slam my head into the headrest when it auto braked thinking I was backing into something. It brake checked someone on the interstate for some unknown reason. Sometimes the steering changes resistance mid corner. My mom's car has done all the same things and is a different brand. There are some new technologies I really like like the 360 camera and comfort amenities but all the safety tech and driving aids are still too glitchy.
 
I have the opposite view. For decades, it was only the super rich that could afford fast cars or cars with lots of cool features/tech. Today, the middle class can afford a Tesla, which is faster than most super cars in instant acceleration and has way more tech/features than any of them. Such an incredible time to be alive.

Can’t you just let the man rant?! C’mon now… :biggrin:
 
Kind of surprised the Edge doesn't have a recovery hook, I thought they did.
Perhaps they want you to spend money on a tow hitch and expect you to use that as a recovery hook?
 
Why it seems people have had such bad experiences with driver assist is a head scratcher for me.

Neither the accord or the Chevy we drive have given so much issues. Accord was set to middle distance level and it would beep about when I normally brakes. Chevy didn’t have to touch. Accord had a few braking during left turns due to me being typically close to the car in front but overall nothing more than minor events.

Hill assist on Chevy is great. Really helps when people gets way too close on a multi story garage that was stuffed up during an event. No worries about roll back into those idiots. Also works in both forward and reverse. Again a good thing for the moment between off the brakes and gas when getting out of parking spots.
 
Cowman, I hear you. I'm torn. I think if your entire life is on script, the new cars are nice (you only drive on normal roads). If you "live a life" and drive on the grass, etc, the engineers never really designed for that because you're 2% of the market.

Love our 2015 Mercedes GL450 for trips (had to do a 9 hour day to fix a rental last week) but the amount of errors and lights and valve train issues, etc is just stunning.

I too will be putting a top on the scout (when it's back from paint in a few months!)
 
I can't even explain why they don't just put an ipad mount and USB jack in the center console. Car entertainment systems are universally trash with plaid-speed obsolescence.
That's essentially Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Even better is that it can be all wireless.
 
Your problem is Ford. Every tech implementation they have is years behind the competition and always glitchy.

I'm with you and almost said the same. The transmission in the Focus we had was nightmarish while Honda was years ahead of the same concept ...
 
New cars suck, might as well be buying a brand new PC that is preloaded with annoying **** that drives you bonkers.

Bought a new laptop a few months ago that came with Win 11. I tried to activate it and was so unimpressed that I gave up part-way through and installed Win 10 from a USB stick. It's still running Win 10.
 
While I do have my frustrations with some features of new cars... (oncoming headlights so bright I need sunglasses, touchscreens, UI's that require a half dozen button presses to change the temp inside the car, etc). One thing that I will say is that unlike the cars I grew up driving, these things run FOREVER. No oil changes every 3,000 miles, spark plugs, points and condenser every 15,000 miles. You don't even check transmission fluid anymore. And 100,000 miles is nothing. I remember seeing pictures in the local newpaper where someone showed their odometer rolling over.

So I can't complain too much about where they put the vents or that it has more sensors than a P3 Orion.
 
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Why it seems people have had such bad experiences with driver assist is a head scratcher for me.
Our Tesla Model 3 just has the included "Autopilot".

It's a joy to drive on trips, with well implemented Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer. There are two levels of driver assist above that, "Enhanced Autopilot" and "Full Self Driving Capability". But just the standard Autopilot reduces driver fatigue and frees the driver to be more alert to surroundings. It's also way improved over the way it was delivered in Feb 2022, via Over-The-Air software updates. The UI is generally well thought out, with oft-used features readily at hand.

About Ford, our 2011 Ford Flex with 125,000 miles is now having transmission issues, leaving us with the dilemma of pouring thousands into a new transmission or just selling it as is and buying something newer - and probably Japanese). And just recently the Flex needed yet another 02 sensor. I really yearn for the day we can put our ICE vehicles out to pasture - EV's are quite liberating in their mechanical simplicity.
 
I hear people say that they don't build cars like they used to.

I say, thank goodness.!!

About Ford, our 2011 Ford Flex with 125,000 miles is now having transmission issues.

I remember when a car would get to around 60,000 miles, Ford would need a valve job, GM would need a new cam shaft and lifters, Mopar would need rings, rod and main bearings. And if a automatic transmission they all would need an overhaul. Cars with 100,000 miles were fairly unheard of, and a car with over 100k were usually used as kids learner cars.
 
About Ford, our 2011 Ford Flex with 125,000 miles is now having transmission issues, leaving us with the dilemma of pouring thousands into a new transmission or just selling it as is and buying something newer - and probably Japanese). And just recently the Flex needed yet another 02 sensor. I really yearn for the day we can put our ICE vehicles out to pasture - EV's are quite liberating in their mechanical simplicity.

I get the EV fanclub, but there's no need to spend thousands on that Ford flex tranny.
Right in Knoxville there's salvage yard transmissions to choose from in the $200 to $500 range.
 
Some of the new features are for the most challenged among us. My personal pet peeve is on the new cars w/keyless remotes. Every day, I stop at my mailbox to get out and check the mail. Every day, my car beeps when I shut the door, to tell me I've left my key fob inside...now think about this...is this really something you want broadcast? HEY EVERYONE>>>BEEEEP BEEEEP<<<FREE CAR FOR THE TAKING HERE.
BTW, in the past, I've been able to "de-program" such features...apparently not anymore (or if you can, its not shown in the manual, I've looked).
 
I went totally the opposite way with my latest vehicle, a '22 Wranger. Base bottom of the line model, 2-door, 6 speed manual, soft top. No power anything, no driver aids, just a Jeep. It's rough, noisy, has quirky handling, and the 6-speed manual has more in common with a tractor than a sports car, and I grin like a fool eveyrtime I drive the beast.

There is way more tech in a Wrangler than you would believe. I had a co-worker that had the same idea. After getting it home and parking in the garage, he sat in it reading through the manual. Even though it was shutoff, there were still relays activating, motors humming, as the vehicle did all kinds of things as it powered down.

He also noted the steering wheel didn't quite center so he took it back to have the dealer fix it. They plugged in a computer, reset zero on the wheel, and off he went. Even the steering is electronic apparently. I know it is in my F-150 these days, no power steering pump.
 
I do like a Jeep but they are just too expensive to be so crude and simple. I seem to get them as rentals a lot and one thing that has always bugged me on every one that I drove is that the digital speed readout and the needle of the speedometer don't match. I want to say the needle always showed 2-3 mph faster than the digital readout. I may get an older TJ one day to scratch the jeep itch but wouldn't want to daily drive one.
 
I seem to get them as rentals a lot and one thing that has always bugged me on every one that I drove is that the digital speed readout and the needle of the speedometer don't match. I want to say the needle always showed 2-3 mph faster than the digital readout.
"A man with one watch always knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure." --Segal's Law
 
Sometimes I really miss my 1963 Chevy C-10 that I had in high school. Rebuilt it with my dad. 3-on-the-tree, 283ci, I could tear the whole thing apart and put it back together with a 3/4" socket and a basic set of SAE wrenches. And for Bob...no A/C. It did have "deluxe" heat which meant there were 3 fan speeds not just 2! Footwell vents were amazing.
My first truck was a '94. The amount of space in the engine bay was unbelievable compared to now.

My grandpa bought a 1953 f100. Last year for the flathead v8. Pretty great condition. Awful looking color and has red wheels. But I don't think it ever left the garage. No clue why he bought it. Neither does my grandma. She's 86 and just wants to drive it once. Maybe to spite him from his grave? Her birthday is this spring and that's gonna be her birthday present. But I gotta figure out that 3 on a tree thing.
 
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