Re: ¿Qué Honda?

1

I've always driven a Chrysler product. It's my auto-quality adaptation of reverse psychology.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 5:50 AM
horizontal rule
2

the defective airbags can overinflate and burst, spraying potentially deadly metal shards.

Holy shit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 7:00 AM
horizontal rule
3

About two days after the recall, when Toyota announced that they had figured out the problem and that everyone could come on in, I thought that the press was getting ready to close the books on the story - a few more post-mortems, and that would be it. But then the Prius recall, plus investigative reporting about how long ago Toyota knew about the acceleration issue, and the hype machine really got going.

At this point the story's overdone, but I'm glad that it didn't get swept under the rug of "Toyota's are perfect, even if they might sometimes kill people." As I recall, this is about the scope of coverage that the Ford Explorer tire thing got 10 years ago, which seems about right (relatively).

Incidentally, about 3 moths ago I was reading that Lexus quality has declined over the past couple years. I think it's almost certainly true that the drive to become "the world's biggest automaker" became more important than quality control.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 7:07 AM
horizontal rule
4

3 moths ago I was reading

And now we know that JRoth eats moths. While reading.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:06 AM
horizontal rule
5

In JRoth's defense, it is hard to get to the store around here and when you do get there, all of the good arthropods are likely taken.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
6

New GM slogan: Wouldn't you really rather have a Buick?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
7

Dollars to donuts the sudden acceleration thing is bollocks. Audi had this problem way back when. The popular perception is that the vehicle just accelerates on its own, but the reality is that the overwhelming majority of cases are people panicking and hitting the accelerator instead of the brakes. Audi's problem went away when they increased the separation of the pedals and made other changes to prevent the driver from hitting the accelerator unintentionally.

I think the Audi case (which involved outright fraud by 60 Minutes) potentiated all later sudden acceleration media feeding frenzies. What is conspicuously lacking in media reports of sudden acceleration is a mechanism. Until I see a plausible chain of events leading to acceleration without the driver touching the accelerator pedal I'm going to go with Occam.

This guy seems to know what he's talking about. There are a couple of possible mechanisms discussed, but the smoking gun for me is the graph about 1/3 of the way down the page. If being an older driver makes your car more likely to malfunction, it's not a mechanical problem.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:26 AM
horizontal rule
8

7: I believed the same thing for quite a while, but I'm a little shaken by the way Toyota is treating it -- if that were the case in this instance, I'd expect Toyota to be sticking to their guns more firmly than they are. (For anyone who doesn't click through, the linked article is about 'sudden acceleration' in general, not addressing the current Toyota problems particularly.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
9

a plausible chain of events leading to acceleration without the driver touching the accelerator pedal

Here ya go.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
10

9 is the kind of thing we'll see more of as cars become completely fly-by-wire* but it's also cured by hitting the brakes. The stories about people mashing the brakes only to see the vehicle accelerate remain unexplained, at least from a mechanical standpoint. The link does not, incidentally, provide a plausible chain of events, just a reproducible effect (a start, but it'll be interesting to see what the underlying cause is).

*Imagine the fun when someone writes the first malware that automagically downloads to your car's engine control computer.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
11

The braking problem sounded bizarre to me. I just don't believe that humans can detect the size pause in braking that they were claiming. It is something like a 70 cm net change in braking distance. That is like saying "The brakes always kick in when I'm 1/2 the way to the floorboards, not 4/9 of the way down."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
12

8: Audi tried the "here's the facts" approach. Didn't work. No doubt Toyota's crisis management people are going over that history with a fine toothed comb.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
13

I too suspect most of these are "driver error"; it is easy for small deviation in expected car response to induce panic or attempted corrections that exacerbate the problem. Most people think that they personally would just mash on the brakes, but it for instance that's what you already thought you were doing it is not clear how to recover.

Anecdata from me: One time I test drove a small car wearing running shoes with wide soles that flared out. The brake-accelerator horizontal spacing was less than I was accustomed to and when I braked after pulling out of the driveway I was also pushing the accelerator. I did manage to figure it out and stop but not before a moment of pure panic*, during which it was not clear what I needed to do to rectify the situation.

*Especially by the guy selling the car.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
14

A bit of digging suggests that Toyota's problem might be with the drive-by-wire software (a fucking stupid idea, that), conflated with separate issues related to floor mats wedging the pedals (not a sudden acceleration problem) and sticky accelerator pedals (also not a sudden acceleration problem).

I retain my skepticism, but I'm willing to accept the possibility that there's a real issue embedded in the hype.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
15

separate issues related to floor mats wedging the pedals (not a sudden acceleration problem)

Could be, depending on how the floor mat's wedged. If it's stuck on the pedal somehow such that your foot isn't touching the accelerator, but is touching the floor mat which is touching the accelerator, if you see what I mean.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
16

As part of an ongoing "Year of Cars (and Me) Behaving Foolishly" I was so proud to score a Rav4 in Cash-for-Clunkers. Other than some it-is-still-a-small-scale-behemoth-shoulda-gone-for-the-Prius eco guilt, I'd been telling folks that it was the best car I've ever owned (I forgot to add the "so far"). Suspect it's been recalled, but have not seen it, and have been to busy with trips and snow and other bullshit to really check into it. I was amused to be aggressively driving to work in it the other day when a guy in another Rav4 tried to muscle into my lane. Clear the road--Death Race 2010! Two Toyotas enter, one Toyota leaves ... going real fast.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
17

What gets me about the accelerator issue was the story about the people who died because the accelerator stuck while on the freeway. They had long enough to call 911; not to speak ill of the dead, but didn't anyone think to put the car in neutral?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
18

13->17


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
19

They had long enough to call 911; not to speak ill of the dead, but didn't anyone think to put the car in neutral?

Nobody really knows what neutral is, is one problem. At the Toyota place last week I did hear people telling each other "The thing to do is, you know, put it in neutral." This was usually received as truly useful information, instead of being obvious. I don't know if I would have thought of it in a panic, having never put a car in neutral for any purpose before, except once when I was frightened of running out of gas.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
20

Nobody really knows what neutral is... Most people don't know how to drive.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
21

I don't think it's really fair to blame people who by Toyotas --a car specifically designed and marketed to make people feel like they are more or less driving in autopilot mode -- for reacting with confusion when the accelerator mysteriously sticks or the floormat catches unexpectedly or the handling goes off a bit (which is basically what happened here).

Sure, 30 years ago cars basically didn't work 20 percent of the time, and people got used to it, but relentless quality control (above all, from Toyota) has meant that people really do expect their cars to work more or less seamlessly. The focus should be on how people do drive today -- for which things like floormat design are crucial -- and not on building cars for how people should drive based on what's now a pretty outdated notion of average driving skills. E.g., how often do people who drive automatics only (the overwhelMing bulk of the US market) even think about switching to neutral?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:41 AM
horizontal rule
22

E.g., how often do people who drive automatics only (the overwhelMing bulk of the US market) even think about switching to neutral?

0% of the time. Why would someone switch to neutral? Does it save gas when going down long slopes?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
23

They had long enough to call 911; not to speak ill of the dead, but didn't anyone think to put the car in neutral?

I've wondered the same thing. Even if the driver and passengers didn't know/think about neutral, wouldn't the 911 dispatcher likely have known? How many random adults can you get together and not find anyone who'd think "shift to neutral"? I mean, fuck, putting it in reverse* would fuck up the car, but it would also stop the engine from spinning the wheels forward.

How long were they on the 911 call before the crash?

* ok, probably a modern automatic doesn't let you do this


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
24

Does it save gas when going down long slopes?

I vaguely remember it briefly being promoted for doing just that, during the '73 oil crisis, but then the safety advocates advised against it.

In an ideal world, drivers would know at least enough about their death machines to understand how shifting into neutral would help in runaway acceleration situations, but they're too busy texting.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
25

21.1 makes a good point. Toyota has spent ~25 years pushing the idea that operating a car is comparable to operating a refrigerator. I'm often alarmed at how little people know about operating, much less maintaining, their cars (not that I know much - I've never even changed my oil - but that's what's so alarming: they're a lot more ignorant than a fairly ignorant person). My MIL didn't feel comfortable filling her tires with air, and she's lived alone for 15 years - who the hell is making sure her car won't kill her?

If there's ever a catastrophic problem with Macs that could be solved by a simple command-line* entry, no one will be surprised that 99% of Macs suffer from the problem. I think it's fine to remove people from the technical underpinnings of their machines (see oil changing above), but driving a 2 ton death machine is a bit more responsibility than surfing the web - I wish people treated it that way.

* did you even know there was the option for command-line entry on a Mac?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
26

As a data point, I think I've literally never put my current (and only ever owned) car in neutral. I'd have to squint at the gearshift indicator to remember where it is -- next to Park , I guess, but I don't know.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
27

but they're too busy texting.

omg my carz goin fast aaiiieeeeee


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
28

Why would someone switch to neutral? Does it save gas when going down long slopes?

This is sort of my brother's theory, and he regularly switches to neutral going down hills so as to gain more speed with which to go up the other side of the hill. (Having the car in gear at least certainly seems to slow the car some, so I can buy it that he is indeed "free" energy from gravity.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:56 AM
horizontal rule
29

Neutral's between Drive and Reverse, people. I know this even though I've done perhaps 5% of my lifetime driving on automatics. On many automatics, a panicked, undirected whack at the shifter would knock it into Neutral; I don't think that's accidental.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
30

17, 18, 23: Ah, I did not realize that they actually did call 9-1-1, I thought Josh was just using it illustratively (i.e. "You had enough time to paint the Sistine Chapel" meaning you took too long in the bathroom not that you were in there for years.)

Makes it a bit different, but this is also like the "big red button" discussion that came up when talking about baby-seat fuck-ups, we're hearing about the extreme cases. Exity-x people reacted in more useful ways.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
31

And of course being in gear on a downhill wastes energy - it may not burn additional fuel, but having the wheels spin the engine increases your rolling resistance.

That said, IME shifting into Drive while an automatic's moving usually creates a bit of a ca-chunk that would not make me feel super-comfortable.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
32

did you even know there was the option for command-line entry on a Mac?

I did! But then we also have one automatic transmission and one stick shift in our family, and when I replace my 11-year-old (automatic) Saturn this fall, I intend to replace it with another stick shift. So maybe I'm a bad example.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
33

Why would someone switch to neutral?

Last Wednesday, because it was starting to slide out of control on concealed ice at low speeds. Next question?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
34

in gear on a downhill wastes energy - it may not burn additional fuel, but having the wheels spin the engine increases your rolling resistance.

Engine braking -- one of the many totally fun things about driving stick. It's a shame that I'll probably never own a stick again, which means I'll probably never drive one again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
35

Incidentally, I did once do something similar to 13.2. IIRC, I was intending to push firmly on the brake as I shifted from Reverse into Park; instead, I floored it. I got the car stopped within ~35 feet, still in my parents' driveway, but omg the adrenaline. Somehow I killed the engine, which I never quite understood - my mom suspected that I effectively flooded it by completely flooring it from a dead stop - but that wasn't what actually stopped it.

Anyway.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
36

Yes, I wasn't talking to you. Clearly.

Actually, I was thinking that Unfogged was probably not representative on that particular metric.

BTW, what do you think you'll replace the Saturn with?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
37

I'll probably never own a stick again, which means I'll probably never drive one again.

Didn't your sister get a "fun" car, which, in any proper use of the term, means a stick? Wouldn't she let you drive it?

Next time you're in town, I'll let you drive my car* to the meetup.

* Did you see how I avoided the low-hanging fruit there?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
38

They had long enough to call 911; not to speak ill of the dead, but didn't anyone think to put the car in neutral?

Or to turn the key to the "off" position.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
39

I learned to drive on an automatic, then switched to a stick. My favorite part was having my baby sister and brother shift for me from the passenger seat.

My baby sister just learned to drive a stick, and reported that she got the hang of listening to the engine quickly, mostly because of our old game.

It isn't the same on bikes. And bikes don't have gears anyway.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
40

36: No idea. I've driven tiny cars most of my life and would prefer to keep doing that, but I doubt that's going to be allowed what with all the children I've made since I bought the current vehicle (stupid testicles ruining my driving experience grumblegrumblegrumble). I suspect the most likely scenario is that Roberta gets the shiny new vehicle and I get the Jetta station wagon she's in currently.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
41

I honestly can't imagine what the advantages of driving a stick would be. The people in these threads who use words like "fun" are a different universe from the few people I know who bore their passengers with self-loathing monologues about how they wish they could have afforded an automatic in their frenzied search for a used car to replace their older broken used car. Except the guy with the Boxster. That must be what JRoth has.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
42

Engine braking -- one of the many totally fun things about driving stick.

My Altima hybrid has an automatic transmission, but one of the gear choices is engine breaking. I have never used it and cannot imagine why I would (using brake breaking recharges the batteries, I have no idea what the gear shift option does). But it's there.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
43

"braking." I do not want to break my engine. Or brakes.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
44

brake breaking

The world of misspellings is more complicated than anyone can explain.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
45

41: Driving a manual uses less gas and lets you accelerate as if you had a better engine. Plus, if your starter is dead, you can push start a manual.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
46

But doesn't this discussion of what people could do while their car is accelerating out of control go back to how people react in emergencies?

You remember that fantastic "kids in fridges" study, where a third of them didn't try to do anything to get out of the fridge?

(I'm looking for the link now.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
47

I'm a non driver so take this with a big bag of rock salt, but:
a)when your car goes into full acceleration mode without your imput I'd imagine a bit of panic might set in.
b)most people to whom this happened didn't end up in catastrophic crashes
c)braking wasn't an option since apparently the Toyotas computer makes it impossible to accelerate and brake at the same time.
d)just how much would putting your car in neutral affect the continual acceleration?
e) I vaguely remember automatics also having first and second gear options, at least the one my parents owned way back when did, and they used them on drives back down from the mountains.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
48

I honestly can't imagine what the advantages of driving a stick would be.

Feeling like I'm the one controlling the engine. Mostly though, it's what I learned on and just feels very natural. Even in my current car, I tend to drive with my right hand on the shifter, even though no reason exists to do so. So the reasons in 45 and personal preference.

The big disadvantage is that in traffic jams, your clutch leg can get awfully sore. But I don't encounter those often.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
49

lets you accelerate as if you had a better engine

And what is this good for? I can't think of a time when I've driven and found the acceleration of the vehicle under my command inadequate for the purpose of getting to where I want to go.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
50

I honestly can't imagine what the advantages of driving a stick would be.

I know this was a rhetorical question (right?), but it's more interactive, to my mind. You and the car are doing this thing (driving along) together, baby. The kind of attention you pay during the experience of driving is different, although driving a stick shift is still a pretty autopilot sort of thing. All the ones I've driven have been a great deal more responsive than any automatic I've driven. Automatics can be annoyingly sluggish; sticks tend to be more zippy, which is, obviously, fun.

There are times I'd choose an automatic over a stick, namely, if my driving habits involve a lot of regular commuting in relatively stop-and-go traffic. Then the perpetual manual shifting can be a bit of drag.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
51

42: to avoid using up your brakes when driving long downhills. Or having them catch fire in same situation.


Posted by: Turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
52

Or to turn the key to the "off" position.

Which usually locks the steering and makes the brakes nearly ineffective - this would be my last choice (albeit preferable to crashing and dying).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
53

49: If you've ever tried to drive a car with a small 4 cylinder engine in a hilly area, you might appreciate it. Or if you were riding beside a truck and saw the turn-signal go on.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
54

BEHAVIOR OF YOUNG CHILDREN UNDER CONDITIONS SIMULATING ENTRAPMENT IN REFRIGERATOR

That study stays good every time I read it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
55

I'm probably a below-average driver. I don't think it would have occurred to me to put the out-of-control Toyota in neutral. Thank heaven for little girls light rail and walkable neighborhoods. If I'm off the roads, everyone wins.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
56

And what is this good for?

Getting in front of the car next to you at a stop light, quick passing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
57

Except the guy with the Boxster. That must be what JRoth has.

Passat Wagon - close enough. I really wanted the TDI, but it was only available with an automatic, and it just felt awful to drive - sluggish and dumb.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
58

driving a 2 ton death machine is a bit more responsibility than surfing the web - I wish people treated it that way

This, exactly.

On stick vs. automatic: I am not a control freak generally, but goddammit, I want to decide for myself what gear to be in.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
59

Comment 49 makes me sad. You've never experienced a thrill from accelerating an engine?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
60

Driving stick keeps you paying attention, both to the car and your surroundings. Driving auto is boring, you may as well sleep.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
61

42: to avoid using up your brakes when driving long downhills. Or having them catch fire in same situation.

True, except that I live on Long Island and there is nothing that I would consider to be a long downhill for about 2000 miles. [this is native California snobbery about the lameness of east coast terrian, yes, I am aware that steep slopes exist even in the east]


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
62

just how much would putting your car in neutral affect the continual acceleration?

It disconnects the engine from the wheels without impairing steering or braking*. It's a complete (short term) solution to the problem.

* if the computer still won't let the brakes override the gas pedal, you'd still have the handbrake.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
63

I feel safer when in a manual. It makes me feel like the driver is actually paying attention.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
64

Since everybody has been trained to drive defensively, somebody has to play offense. And driving offensively is easier with a stick shift.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
65

The big disadvantage is that in traffic jams, your clutch leg can get awfully sore. But I don't encounter those often.

Me neither, but holy shit, a couple weekends ago there was an accident on the (2 lane each way) highway, so they shut it down and sent everyone across a 1 lane bridge into a neighborhood - took probably 20 minutes of agonizing stop-and-go, all the worse for not expecting it at all (it was 7:30 pm, inbound).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
66

apparently the Toyotas computer makes it impossible to accelerate and brake at the same time

Is this a hybrids-only issue? It's easier to imagine that they fucked up the software for cutting over from regenerative braking to real braking than that the drive-by-wire throttle in a non-hybrid can somehow also assert control over the brakes.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
67

Does anybody make a hybrid with a manual transmission? Is it even possible with whatever goes on to move a hybrid? The only thing I know about hybrids is that many of the 50-60 year-olds in the neighborhood are trading the Subaru for one. And that they really suck on slush unless you have the Highlander that must cost over $40,000.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
68

I feel safer when in a manual. It makes me feel like the driver is actually paying attention.

Barring extreme situations I'm completely oblivious to driving and safety issues. I treat being in a car like being in a train, you get in at one location, eventually you get out at another one. How that happens is not my problem, nor can I affect it in any way whatsoever.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
69

And driving offensively is easier with a stick shift.

Driving offensively is best done in a 1986 LTD with a variety of bumper stickers and at least one quarter panel that doesn't match the paint of the rest of the car.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
70

I've never experienced the sore clutch leg thing, even when I used to regularly drive an old Dodge pickup up Southcenter Hill on Friday afternoons.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
71

From article linked in 54

It was also influenced by the educational level of the parents, a higher rate of success being associated with fewer years of education attained by mother and father combined

Isn't that interesting? Any good theories to explain it?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
72

64 gets it exactly right.

I like to think that I'm a good driver, but I'm aware that everyone thinks they're a good driver. But then I'm driving with someone, and I notice a pedestrian 3 blocks ahead who looks like they might be thinking about jaywalking, I decide what to do about it, and 2 1/2 blocks later my passenger says "Look out for that person!" Thanks, I got it.

I really pay a lot of attention to my surroundings when I'm driving, which is not what I gather other drivers do.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
73

I went from a manual to a tiptronic fake manual to the current automatic. The sad truth is that for 60 percent of Southern California driving the automatic is much easier and less frustrating. But I really miss feeling like a real driver when the road opens up.

I'm actually contemplating a motorcycle, which is probably a truly bad idea but one that keeps nagging at me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
74

Does anybody make a hybrid with a manual transmission?

The Honda Civic hybrid used to have it as an option, but they've discontinued it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
75

Asking why we drive a stickshift is akin to asking why we have a non-digital watch. Because we're edgy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
76

Comment 49 makes me sad. You've never experienced a thrill from accelerating an engine?

No, absolutely not. I just look at the RPM thing and think "That's too many RPM, I better stop accelerating".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
77

67: The original Civic hybrid was a manual, but I'm pretty sure you can't get all the benefits of a hybrid with a manual (because sometimes you'll pick the wrong gear for optimal mileage).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
78

I fear that 76 is sincere.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
79

Which usually locks the steering and makes the brakes nearly ineffective

Which is part of the larger picture of my curmudgeonly mistrust and disdain for all the high tech MPG reducing horseshit put on modern cars.

I dream of a return to the days of a stick shift with manual windows, steering, and brakes.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
80

When in traffic, I'm probably an average driver or a little bit worse than average. I mean well, but I so often don't know where I am that I end up doing stupid stuff.

Out of traffic, it is a little bit moot, I guess.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
81

Driving offensively is best done in a 1986 LTD with a variety of bumper stickers and at least one quarter panel that doesn't match the paint of the rest of the car.

Holy crap, I drove one of these for a few years. 1982 Ford LTD Brougham. Lime green. No mismatched panel, but toward the end, a rear bumper that was wired on.

I hated that car, to tell you the truth, though it did have magic defrost.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
82

The ability to push-start sounds useful. Does it outweigh the ability to slide down hills backwards when the light changes from red to green?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
83

I occasionally end up shifting my current car from second directly to sixth after blasting off from a tight ugly little onramp near my office. Can't do that with an automatic.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
84

82: Technically speaking, I don't think you should push start any modern car (that is, that runs on unleaded gasoline). It ruins the catalytic converter. Mine was already ruined and I lived in a state with no inspection during the time when I had a car with a bad starter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
85

Comment 49 makes me sad. You've never experienced a thrill from accelerating an engine?

I'm never completely comfortable driving. I lack the confidence to drive aggressively and get a thrill from it rather than be concerned that I'm increasing the likelihood of something bad happening. As was said, it's a 2 ton death machine.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
86

I'm pretty sure you can't get all the benefits of a hybrid with a manual (because sometimes you'll pick the wrong gear for optimal mileage)

The Prius (like probably other hybrids) uses a continuously variable transmission for optimal mileage. As automatics go, it's pretty good (you don't get that annoying constant shifting back and forth at certain speeds), but I miss the manual.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
87

I dream of a return to the days of a stick shift with manual windows, steering, and brakes.

The serpentine belt on my car broke last Friday as I was leaving work and holy shit but power steering is doing a ton of work.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
88

85: This is when you have to get a friend to give you driving lessons on his or her stick shift in a large but well-lit, empty parking lot after dark. You were supposed to do this when you were 17, didn't you know?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
89

I dream of a return to the days of a stick shift with manual windows, steering, and brakes

I don't really think of power brakes (to say nothing of ABS) as "MPG reducin'" so much as "life extending."


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
90

The serpentine belt on my car broke last Friday as I was leaving work and holy shit but power steering is doing a ton of work.

And how! When the same thing happened on our old car, I remember thinking that I was barely strong enough to drive at all (at low speeds, at least) without power steering.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
91

I drive a lot and the lurkers tell me I'm a good driver. Never been in an accident and I don't have any problem paying attention on the highway, though I have never lived in a flat state. All this stuff about driving being exciting, and weaving in and out of lanes because you can switch speeds quickly just sounds unsafe.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
92

66 I thought I read someplace that this applied to all the models recalled - that it was some sort of efficiency or safety measure to not allow people to accidentally hit the brakes while accelerating.

34 No family vacations to Europe in your future?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
93

Ned, you seem entirely too young to be a grandmother already.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
94

It's probably worth noting that manuals are about a gazillion times better for driving in the snow.

Not rolling backwards on hills is just a matter of being good with a stickshift or, failing that, knowing how to use the handbrake.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
95

I'm actually contemplating a motorcycle, which is probably a truly bad idea but one that keeps nagging at me.

It did occur to me that riding a motorcycle probably accounts in part for my automatic reaction to the Toyota out of control being "put it in neutral"; on a bike, at low speed you control the bike as much with the clutch as with the throttle and brakes. (Plus, during the Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider training classes, the first thing they drill into you is "if you start going faster than you want, PULL IN THE CLUTCH".)

Much as I love my (manual) car, it still doesn't compare to a bike.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
96

92: I'm probably a worse than average driver -- no accidents, but I don't have a lot of lifetime miles driven. And I agree completely with thinking that aggressive driving is unsafe. But sticks are still fun, and having better acceleration lets you do perfectly reasonable, safe things like passing and entering traffic more safely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
97

For the purposes of this thread, assume that everything that Otto writes is accompanied by an "I completely agree!" from me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
98

90: Watch people parallel parking some day. You can tell who grew-up without power steering because they will still get the car moving a bit before cutting the wheels.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
99

Otto, I'd make the best of this opportunity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
100

Not rolling backwards on hills is just a matter of being good with a stickshift or, failing that, knowing how to use the handbrake.

Only if you drive an inferior car, one without a hillholder brake or Hill Assist.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
101

I'm never completely comfortable driving. I lack the confidence to drive aggressively and get a thrill from it rather than be concerned that I'm increasing the likelihood of something bad happening. As was said, it's a 2 ton death machine.

Yeah, that more or less describes my feelings.

Frankly, I just flat out dislike cars. Thankfully I live in a town that is small enough to be bike/walkable with relative ease.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
102

101: Sadly, while I'm intellectually completely on board with this, I do like going fast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
103

91 -- Good (or fun) driving has zero to do with weaving in and out of lanes quickly, which is just bone stupid.

But quick acceleration and control can be safety enhancing features and are also a lot of fun.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
104

I dream of a return to the days of a stick shift with manual windows, steering, and brakes.

Sounds like you want a (European-market-only) BMW 120d. Doesn't have the no-power-assist brakes and steering (although the power steering is speed-sensitive, and BMWs traditionally have heavier steering than other cars), but you can get one with cloth seats and hand-crank windows. Goes like hell, too.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
105

OK, a few questions for Josh:

Do you have a bike?
Which bike?
When did you start riding?
How unsafe do you feel?

I rode a little, mostly in dirt, about 10 years ago. Some part of my brain is telling me to take the MSF and head out on a street bike in LA. Another part of my brain is saying that I might as well just break my collarbone and miss work now to save the expense of the class and the bike.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
106

103.1 gets it exactly right. Open, winding roads are where driving is fun.

100: What, you have something against the smell of burnt clutch?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
107

It's probably worth noting that manuals are about a gazillion times better for driving in the snow.

See, you say that, and my response is "I can't imagine how that could be the case." I'll need to be in a manual car driving in snow to understand.

The ability to accelerate faster from an on-ramp sounds like an advantage. I never thought of that.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
108

Hell, I'd settle for some kind of new version of our old Subaru. I learned to drive on an '81 Subaru wagon, and that thing easily got 40 MPG on the highway.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
109

But quick acceleration and control can be safety enhancing features

Not to beat this into the ground, but this is so true. When I had to give up my last stick-shift (a very dinky car it was, but zippy), I had to admit that it was probably for the best, as the rest of the vehicles on the road ... SUVs ... both I and my car perceived as lumbering behemoths incapable of responding nimbly to any situation that might arise, so that should anything happen, I'd be smashed to a pulp.

The bumper-cars approach to driving is not really a great alternative to controlled, nimble driving.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
110

A classmate of mine bought a Saturn SL because it was one of the only cars out there available with handcranks and no power steering (and stick, obvs.). He was very grumpy about giving it up in ~2004 for a Golf TDI with power stuff.

I will admit that, as someone who loves to drive with windows down, I really cherish my power windows*. In my last car w/o power windows (incidentally, also my last car with an automatic), I got very good at leaning around to roll down all 4 windows within a minute or so of getting in the car.

* and I adore that VW feature where you can roll them down with the key - on a summer day when the windows have been up since dawn, it's very satisfying to feel the heat whoosh out of the cabin while I stand outside it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
111

The ability to accelerate faster from an on-ramp sounds like an advantage.

This sort of thing -- a manual is more responsively obedient to what you want it to do, which is more fun, and is safer if you're a reasonable person trying to do reasonable things.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
112

I know I'll burn in the hell that earth will become, but I do love to drive. Don't do it much, but love driving. Also love driving fast on curvy roads.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
113

In my experience, the difficulty of accelerating enough on an on-ramp is never caused by your own car, but by the moron in front of you who thinks he can merge into freeway traffic while going 25 mph.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
114

101, 112 I, for one, certainly don't want to make anybody feel guilty about liking to drive.

I am well aware that driving allows convenient access to many good things and expect that I go too far in the direction of declining to do things simply out of a distaste for driving.

I can completely understand why driving would be fun for some people, I just don't personally consider it fun.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:27 PM
horizontal rule
115

See, you say that, and my response is "I can't imagine how that could be the case." I'll need to be in a manual car driving in snow to understand.

The automatic transmission doesn't know that, if it applies a lot of torque to wheels sitting on snow, they'll spin; all it knows is that, if you're going slowly, then you need to apply a lot of torque to the wheels to get the car moving. With a manual, you (who are aware of the snow) can select a gear that will get/keep the car moving with a bare minimum or torque.

Also, rocking back and forth to get out of a rut is much, much easier when the transmission isn't continually applying forward motion to the wheels while in Drive (my HS GF's dad had a Ford Bronco - the big, Suburban-like one - and its rolling speed in Drive with your foot off both brake and gas was close to 10 MPH).

This discussion makes me want to go out and drive in the unplowed streets.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:27 PM
horizontal rule
116

bare minimum of torque.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
117

105: I don't have a bike right now; my last bike lived a sad, cursed life and between that and doing a long, unpleasant, dangerous freeway commute for a while on a bike I'm taking a little time off. It was a 2001 CBR600, which is not not *not* the bike you should be starting out with. (I started out on a 1985 Honda VF500, then had a Kawasaki EX500, then a '98 VFR.)

I started riding when I was 24. I never felt particularly unsafe, not even when I got knocked over by a car while lanesplitting. (My only thought when I got hit was "this isn't right...".) There's no question that it's dangerous; almost all the riders I know have crashed at one point or another. Most came away with relatively minor injuries, but one friend has a pinky that will never be straight again, and an acquaintance died a few years ago in an incomprehensible accident. I wouldn't ever try to convince someone to learn to ride who wasn't already thinking about it, but I truly love it.

(I could go on at much greater length. Drop me an e-mail if you want me to babble at you... and I have suggestions if you're considering learning in LA.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
118

In my experience, the difficulty of accelerating enough on an on-ramp is never caused by your own car, but by the moron in front of you who thinks he can merge into freeway traffic while going 25 mph.

My general approach is to let the car ahead of me on the on ramp get ~60 ft ahead of me, so that when I start to accelerate to freeway speeds I have more space before I have to respond to what the car in front of me is doing.

I expect that this is an inefficient use of onramp space and possibly bad for the people behind me, but t does help avoid that particular problem.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
119

MY UNCLE HAS A COUNTRY PLACE THAT NOONE KNOWS ABOUT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GEDDY LEE | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
120

Open, winding roads are where driving is fun.

Don't even have to be open. The single best road I've ever driven in my life, I never made it out of second gear or much above 35 MPH.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
121

The automatic transmission doesn't know that, if it applies a lot of torque to wheels sitting on snow, they'll spin; all it knows is that, if you're going slowly, then you need to apply a lot of torque to the wheels to get the car moving.

I think that a lot of the newer automatics are going to dynamic control systems that actually do know about this and compensate for it though. After switching to a new car I have never had this problem, but my old one certainly did.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
122

For all you lovers of fast driving, why yes, running code (lights and siren) to a call is a hell of a lot of fun.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
123

122: I don't doubt that, but I do wish that some of the local cops--especially the younger ones--would figure out that blowing through red lights is dangerous even when you're in a cop car. Code is one thing, but no lights, no siren, just pretending that being in a blue and white means you still have the green light even after the light has turned green for cross traffic is another.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
124

Also, driving fast through a neighborhood is an especially bad idea when you've been drinking.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2759/4328566124_360ed0dbd7_b.jpg


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
125

I don't know. Looks like the house stopped him before he could do any real damage.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
126

That's why I do all my drunk driving in a D-8.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:48 PM
horizontal rule
127

but no lights, no siren, just pretending that being in a blue and white means you still have the green light even after the light has turned green for cross traffic is another.

That's asking for trouble. Even running code, protocol is to stop at the red light, switch to a different siren, and visually confirm that it's safe to go through.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
128

122: even more fun is a really fast car with lights and sirens behind you...


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
129

Looks like the house stopped him before he could do any real damage.

That's not how he saw it. Supposedly he sank 7k into that car this summer. Cried like a little girl the whole way to jail.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
130

123 That reminds me of a driving Fail I saw a few months ago: A driver accelerating in front of an intersection just after the lights turned red and hitting the front wheel of a cop on a motorcycle just entering after his lights changed. He was ok but clearly unhappy with the driver. Memo to drivers, if you're going to run a light, make sure not to hit a cop.

Also in other driver advice: do not deliberately spook police horses, and if you do, get the fuck out of there, don't stand up in your spiffy convertible high fiving with friends 'dude you see that' until the cop gets his horse under control ("Licence, registration, you motherfuckers better have everything"). And... don't run police blockades at demos saying 'you know how much money I make? My taxes pay your salary' ('Asshole in black Lexus SUV coming your way, just ran the barricade').


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 12:57 PM
horizontal rule
131

if you're going to run a light, make sure not to hit a cop.

You can substitute anything between the "if" and the comma, and the statement remains just as true.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
132

For the record, you can have a stickshift with terrible pick-up. I can't get up steep hills or steep on-ramps very well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
133

130: Years ago I saw the aftermath of an accident involving a motorcyclist who had hit the throttle and moved right to go around a van that was starting to turn left on the yellow after oncoming traffic going straight had stopped. Unfortunately there was another vehicle on the other side of the intersection that had also waited for the yellow to make its left. Didn't look like there was much urgency to getting the motorcyclist out from underneath.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
134

131: This reminds me of the two rules of commercial litigation a senior partner at another firm once passed on to me:

1. Get paid.

2. If anyone ends up going to jail, make sure it's the client.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
135

132: Heebie, there's something wrong with your car.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
136

117: You know anyone who wants a free '98 VFR and whatever accessories I have in the garage? My proprioception and balance are no longer good enough to deal with it in heavy traffic.

I haven't ridden it for two years and probably won't ever again. It needs a new battery and perhaps the gunk removed because of the old gasoline so some way of hauling it out would be necessary.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 1:43 PM
horizontal rule
137

2 to 124.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 2:31 PM
horizontal rule
138

121: I suspected that was the case.

We are nearly at the point where the very best automatics are as good as the very best drivers, as well as the parallel point where good autos are as good as good drivers; we're still aways from typical autos being better than a good, experienced driver. I still don't like that an automatic only gives me two ways to get my wheels to do what I want.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 2:36 PM
horizontal rule
139

136: Quite possibly, yes. Lemme ask around. Sorry to hear you won't be riding it again, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 2:56 PM
horizontal rule
140

Toyota things: as far as I can make out, there are two problems, not necessarily on the same cars. 1) accelerator pedal can stick in the down position, on a range of vehicles (including some Peugeot 107s). Apparently, the pedal is likely to be stiff or rattle before it sticks. The fix is a mechanical one - a steel reinforcement.

2) The Prius brake problem.

Of course, it's quite possible that if you press the brake pedal and the car doesn't slow down, you might feel that it was charging ahead out of control.

Also, neutral. I don't even have a driving licence, but I have driven some weird things like Landcruisers and Mitsubishi trucks. I learned that you always put a vehicle in neutral when you leave it, unless you're on a hill or a ship, and anyway, you always check it's in neutral before you start the engine and put it in neutral if it's not. (In the Toyota nightmare scenario, if you were genuinely desperate and in an automatic I suppose you could select park, which would certainly stop the car and destroy most of the drivetrain...unless they've inhibited it while the vehicle is moving.)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:03 PM
horizontal rule
141

On power steering: Cars with failed power steering are much stiffer than cars that just don't have power steering, so it's not really a fair comparison.

On turning off the car to stop the acceleration: In the 911-calling case mentioned above, the car was a loaner, and some crazy high-end thing with pushbuttons instead of keys and some daft computer-style "press and hold for five seconds to turn off" interface. More UI failures than you can shake a stick at.

I'd like to try driving a CVT some time. Are there manually-controlled CVT cars out there?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:11 PM
horizontal rule
142

So I read through 140 comments and no one has connected Japanese auto quality problems to 20 years of Japanese recession?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:13 PM
horizontal rule
143

That's silly Bob. Things don't have macro-causes or experience forces from the larger economy.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
144

140: Yes. the acceleration problem and the Prius brake problem are different things altogether.

Depending on how it influenced Japanese car makers' growth strategies, the recession may well be connected. Investigators should at least take it in for questioning.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
145

unless they've inhibited it while the vehicle is moving

I believe that most modern automatics don't let you move in or out of Park without the brake pedal firmly depressed. No idea how it would handle the alleged lockout situation.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:29 PM
horizontal rule
146

141.2: Geez.

141.3: One of the smaller companies - Toyota? Isuzu? - made one back in the 80s, but it apparently sucked despite being an elegant concepts. I'm pretty sure all modern CVTs are high-tech and effectively hands-off.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:31 PM
horizontal rule
147

if you're going to run a light, make sure not to hit a cop.

You can substitute anything between the "if" and the comma, and the statement remains just as true.

If you're going to hit a cop, make sure not to hit a cop.

It seems to work.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:37 PM
horizontal rule
148

If you had really read all 140 comments you would know that only the first 20 or so are related to Japanese auto quality problems.

I learned that you always put a vehicle in neutral when you leave it, unless you're on a hill or a ship, and anyway, you always check it's in neutral before you start the engine and put it in neutral if it's not.

What about park?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:42 PM
horizontal rule
149

Are there manually-controlled CVT cars out there?

Since the idea behind manual transmission is to allow operator control of the steps between gears, and the idea behind CVT is to eliminate those steps, I'd be surprised if anyone devoted much attention to developing a manual CVT. I hasten to add that IANAEngineer.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:44 PM
horizontal rule
150

||
Total drive-by (feel that elbow in your rib?) to announce your union-made candy options for Valentine's Day, should you choose to participate in that corporatized, heteronormative sham celebration brought to you by the romantic-industrial complex*. Enjoy!

*Lifted from feministing.
|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 3:56 PM
horizontal rule
151

My first two cars were both manuals without power steering. I'd give up an automatic transmission in a heart beat (even if I did nearly kill my leg in one epic hour and a half traffic jam and almost died in SF a few times in my manual) because the gas mileage was so much better and the acceleration so much more fun. The thrill of taking tight corners! Ahh. I will not, on the other hand, ever give up power steering, even if the lack of it helped my arm strength.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
152

The "Toyota" in 146.2 was supposed to be "Subaru"; weird, huh?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
153

152: It was trade-mark infringement day at the factory and everybody was in high spirits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:13 PM
horizontal rule
154

152-3: Actually, old people such as JRoth just tend to accelerate their comments on accident without realizing it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-10-10 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
155

148: manual transmissions don't have a park detent (in the UK, if you learn on an automatic your license isn't valid for anything else).


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-11-10 2:15 AM
horizontal rule
156

And if you take the test sober, your license isn't valid for drunk driving.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-10 6:33 AM
horizontal rule
157

If you take the test with your eyes closed, you have to drive that way. If you take the test in a dress, you can't wear pants in the car. If you pee yourself taking the test, you have to soak your car with urine every morning. If you run in to something during the test, you're obligated to run into something every time you drive. If you make an endless series of stupid jokes about all the conditions that attach to the test before you take it, you're obligated to make an endless series of stupid jokes about the conditions that attach to the test before you drive anywhere.

Off to work!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-10 6:46 AM
horizontal rule
158

Hi Ho, Hi Ho.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-10 6:58 AM
horizontal rule