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wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) PowerDork
10/2/21 9:04 a.m.

At my job yesterday, I was told to take the boss lady's Benz to the garage across the street.

Looked a lot like the above, but a darker blue, and white interior...Striking. 1700 miles.

I believe I've had to move one of these goofy no key having, push button on the dash, where the berkeley is the emergency brake cars once before-not a Benz, just the electronic key type of automobile.

The problem? Her low tire pressure warning was on. Now normally, I'd go to a gas station, or better yet, my own compressor, or even a bicycle pump to put the 1 or 2 psi in needed to shut the light up, but my bosses don't like being told anything but what they want to hear, so, as usual, my answer to the request was "yes".

I took the car across the street, but not until I had given myself a 5 minute crash course on how to operate this paddle shift, self starting/stopping engined thing. Weird, but not insurmountable.

So, at the garage, they read the door jam-like you do, aired up the tires, and told me I'd have to drive it around. I had Ferris Bueller type daydreams of smoky burnouts, jumps, and powerslides, but while I'd love to get fired from this job, I don't believe that's the way to do it. So I drive. The pop-up on the dash reads the tire pressures, and they are all within two psi at the most on the high side. 20 miles later, still no love, so I pull over, and get them all dead nuts on the recommended pressure, a whopping 37 front, and 42 rear-does it think it's a truck? By now, I'm slightly annoyed. The last thing I want is to be responsible for this steaming pile of luxo-barge, but my mission is clear: make the light go away. By now, I'm accelerating hard, braking hard, stopping, and turning the ignition all the way off, then on again. 

After another 20 or so miles, I take it back to the shop to see if they have a scanner, or it can be reset or something. They confirm the wheel sensors are working, put one more psi in each front, and instruct me to drive some more (the rears are no longer hi-lighted in yellow on the pop-up, and thus are deemed okay). So I go for another drive 60=mph, hard acceleration, just driving it. By this time, the boss's assistant is hounding me about why its taking so long, we need you here, etc. 

To wrap it up, the issue was never resolved. It has to go to the Mercedes dealer over a tire air pressure issue. The display showed the correct psi, or plus one, and that didn't make the damn car happy. There are red triangles that flash in your side view mirrors when someone is in your blind spot, back up camera, with alarm, two keypads on the steering wheel (one for the dash, one for the screen in the center of the dash where the HVAC controls used to be), God knows what else, but it can't talk itself out of a trouble code because the temperature dropped a few degrees.

I haven't been so annoyed since this job made me take possession of a work iPhone, and proceed to blow me up with constant texting-never had one of those worthless pieces of modern "convenience" before then.

Get off my lawn.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
10/2/21 9:17 a.m.

I bought a new GMC Canyon two and a half years ago. There are buttons and features on that thing I'll never touch or bother to understand.

preach (fs)
preach (fs) Dork
10/2/21 9:23 a.m.

I feel you.

I drive a bunch of different newer cars since I travel all the time for work. In one of them I kept having to apologize to the base sentries since I could not figure out how to turn the headlights off. There was just no way to do it. Traction control off? nope. I think it was a Corolla. It was the most nanny vehicle I have ever driven.

My newest car is a 2014 Charger. All of the bells and whistles. It is the wife's car but when we go anywhere I drive. If I have key #2 in my pocket everything works great providing I am alone. If the wife is with me her key, #1, defeats everything for key #2. I cannot unlock/lock the damn thing if she is within 10'. It will also revert to seat position #1 if she is near smashing my knees into the dash before I can hit the #2 button.

My 2007 Cayman does not even have an oil dipstick. It is also difficult to find the correct bulb with the correct voltage to appease the computers light out police even though the 5v bulb works as well as the 4v one required. And tire pressures...I have to go to +3psi before the TPS gets it and turns off the light, then I air down to the required PSI.

Now my 2003 Tacoma does not give a berkeley what you do or want. Roll up windows, no power locks, 5spd, etc.

I wonder when the nanny started creeping in.

Slippery
Slippery UberDork
10/2/21 9:25 a.m.

I want a new car. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
10/2/21 9:44 a.m.

I feel for you. Now I'm going to put up the phone and go put new plugs in the GMT400. 

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
10/2/21 10:09 a.m.

People not bothering to read the owners manual has never been a problem exclusive to 'modern' cars.

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
10/2/21 10:27 a.m.

The modern "conveniences" are not convenient. If they get on my lawn they get towed.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
10/2/21 10:34 a.m.
Driven5 said:

People not bothering to read the owners manual has never been a problem exclusive to 'modern' cars.

Of course they don't provide an actual hard copy of the owner's manual anymore, you have to look at an electronic copy.  Having said that, the owner's manual for a late model Mercedes-Benz is around 500 pages long so it will take a while to read the whole thing.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture UltimaDork
10/2/21 10:40 a.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

Might be changing for the highest end cars but that hasn't been my experience, there is usually a hard copy in the glovebox even for the newest vehicles. Might be a regulatory/liability thing (I'm a technical writer and a lot of consumer products require them).

Anyway, no reason you can't make the time.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ SuperDork
10/2/21 12:40 p.m.

Taking my Jeep as an example, which is absurdly spartan by today's standards, with a manual trans, no backup camera, etc.  Maybe the sensor has to reach a threshold higher than what you'd consider to be normal to reset.  If any of my tires dip below 30, they have to be aired up to 37 to clear the alarm.  Putting them back to 35 won't do it.  

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
10/2/21 12:49 p.m.

Dealing with the features of some of the newer cars reminds me of my parent's generation that had a VCR sitting there, blinking "12:00" at them because they couldn't work out how to set the time on it. 

Instructions for quite a lot of things are usually in the driver's manual and assuming they are understandable often help but other issues do require you to take the car back to the dealer.  Must be some sort of manufacturer planned program to keep their mechanics busy.

At least it isn't as bad as some older cars. Back in the days when we still had British car dealers, they used to refer to the Rover 2000TC as their holiday/retirement fund for the mechanics.

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
10/2/21 12:56 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

You don't have to read it cover to cover, just at least know how to use the index (or even digitally searchable text) that takes you directly to the relevant section... Never mind that the solutions to common minor issues like this can also typically be found via a quick internet search.

People (including mechanics) being mentally lazy has also never been a problem exclusive to 'modern' cars.

2:1 says there is a menu in the dash display that let's the user easily reset the TPMS light themselves.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/2/21 1:11 p.m.

My Chevy Colorado tire pressure sensors read accurately and go out the second you air up the offending tire.  My wife's VW doesn't tell you which tire is low.....  but the light goes out once you air it up.  

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Dork
10/2/21 1:39 p.m.

Mrs. Stealth, who has a way with words, recently commented that the humans used to drive the cars.  In the future, the cars will drive the humans.  Right now, unfortunately, is that awkward intermediate stage in which the cars drive the humans crazy.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and MegaDork
10/2/21 2:37 p.m.

The TPMS light in my Silverado was on for the entire 2 years I owned it. The light wasn't annoying so it wasn't worth the time or expense to get the system working again. Checking the tire pressures every oil change took less time than pulling all the wheels down to replace the sensors.

Edit: I dont hate new cars, I just dont have any use for most of the crap that they come with.

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
10/2/21 3:10 p.m.

I drive new cars and get excited by modern features like cruise control, heated seats and central locking.

This might speak more to how old my fleet is than the state of modern cars. I actually am heavily considering buying a new vehicle and excited about these little features I've been missing. But the other features cand berk right off.

RaabTheSaab
RaabTheSaab New Reader
10/2/21 4:00 p.m.

This is a thought I just had: what if the IP on well designed stuff (Apple, Google) is so extensive and specific that proprietary systems need to be designed so differently to avoid litigation that it just ends up working badly? Is this real? Does anyone have more info? 

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
10/2/21 4:53 p.m.
Driven5 said:

In reply to stuart in mn :

You don't have to read it cover to cover, just at least know how to use the index (or even digitally searchable text) that takes you directly to the relevant section... Never mind that the solutions to common minor issues like this can also typically be found via a quick internet search.

People (including mechanics) being mentally lazy has also never been a problem exclusive to 'modern' cars.

2:1 says there is a menu in the dash display that let's the user easily reset the TPMS light themselves.

Lmao let people complain. Some folks just don't like change even if it's for the better. 

With that said, my lady's honda unlocks the door when you touch it while the key is in your pocket. I need that feature in every car. I hate fumbling keys. Push button start is also great. Cooled seats, omg! Adaptive cruise control really makes long road trips less tiring. 

I really do love modern cars. Why not have an appliance that does it all? And yes 99% of car usage is appliance, even for us on GRM.

 

I'm on your lawn...

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
10/2/21 5:14 p.m.

I drove the 1965 ranch wagon to a car show today.... if you drive something moderately modern, you'd never get it started much less rolling down the road. Nevermind the rear end making noise, the clicking speedometer, or the am only radio that doesn't work anyways.... I love how simple it is even with now completely unacceptable levels of nvh.

Did I mention the glasspack exhaust???? laugh

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) PowerDork
10/2/21 5:23 p.m.

First off, good criticism on reading the manual. Never occurred to me. In my defense, I was very uncomfortable even touching this car. The boss lady has very  unrealistic expectations (and drives a New Benz, No. Way.)  I absolutely didn't want to touch that car, much less root around in it.

In reply to yupididit:

Anton Yelchin and I both disapprove of keyless entry, but you do you.wink

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/2/21 5:36 p.m.
RaabTheSaab said:

This is a thought I just had: what if the IP on well designed stuff (Apple, Google) is so extensive and specific that proprietary systems need to be designed so differently to avoid litigation that it just ends up working badly? Is this real? Does anyone have more info? 

Yes, that is real.  Even if it's Toyota that owns the patent that MB is trying to avoid.  BTDT.

But it's also pretty common for OEM's to trade patent licenses.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/2/21 6:49 p.m.
Toyman01 + Sized and said:

The TPMS light in my Silverado was on for the entire 2 years I owned it. The light wasn't annoying so it wasn't worth the time or expense to get the system working again. Checking the tire pressures every oil change took less time than pulling all the wheels down to replace the sensors.

Edit: I dont hate new cars, I just dont have any use for most of the crap that they come with.

The problem with that workaround is that you don't realize when you've got a slow leak. No big deal if you're only driving 10 miles at a time and you do a visual sidewall bulge check (which might work on a Silverado but won't work on a performance car), but it's a problem if you're on the interstate. TPMS is an example of a system that monitors something in real time that you can't, like the way that ABS can ease off the brake for one wheel instead of all four. 

Usually TPMS batteries have similar lifespans to the tires they live inside, so it sounds like someone skipped it when installing new tires.

I've got cars that have single-line brake systems and, well, a Tesla. None of them annoy me, but some have my back more than others. I've also read the entire Tesla owner's manual because I like to know how to operate my equipment, but that's not for everyone.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and MegaDork
10/2/21 7:22 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I drive between 50k and 100k a year and have for the last 20 years. In all that time I haven't pressure sensors in my tires. I also haven't had any slow leaks that weren't noticed long before they became a problem. Of the 4 tires that have failed, impact damage or road debris took out all of them. By the time the TPMS system could have warned me I was already sitting on the side of the road. It's one of those systems I'm kind of indifferent to. If it was an option, I wouldn't pay for it. A quick twitch of the steering wheel will identify a low tire just as well and that costs nothing. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
10/2/21 7:43 p.m.
Ranger50 said:

I drove the 1965 ranch wagon to a car show today.... if you drive something moderately modern, you'd never get it started much less rolling down the road. Nevermind the rear end making noise, the clicking speedometer, or the am only radio that doesn't work anyways.... I love how simple it is even with now completely unacceptable levels of nvh.

HELLO! DID I MENTION THE GLASSPACK EXHAUST????  laugh

FIFY

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/2/21 7:45 p.m.

I disagree with the quick twitch of the wheel technique being effective, but to each their own. I find it an unobtrusive and useful system, as I have been able to find out about slow leaks in performance tires with short, stiff sidewalls because of TPMS. I have also had to replace a trailer wheel because I wasn't aware the tire had deflated (road debris, very stable rig, no change in vehicle behavior) and by the time I spotted the shower of sparks it was too late. 
 

I prefer an indirect system that uses wheel speed sensors and steering wheel angle to the dedicated sensors, though. If you've got those on the car already, might as well do a little math. 

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