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Tech: Mysterious car electronics

robomatic 04 Feb 18 - 04:29 PM
Greg F. 04 Feb 18 - 01:04 PM
keberoxu 04 Feb 18 - 12:43 PM
keberoxu 04 Feb 18 - 12:19 PM
Senoufou 04 Feb 18 - 04:36 AM
BobL 04 Feb 18 - 04:31 AM
robomatic 03 Feb 18 - 07:46 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Feb 18 - 07:15 PM
Senoufou 03 Feb 18 - 02:35 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Feb 18 - 01:50 PM
Senoufou 03 Feb 18 - 01:45 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Feb 18 - 01:26 PM
Senoufou 03 Feb 18 - 12:09 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Feb 18 - 07:12 AM
DMcG 03 Feb 18 - 06:25 AM
JHW 03 Feb 18 - 05:44 AM
DaveRo 03 Feb 18 - 04:35 AM
BobL 03 Feb 18 - 04:09 AM
robomatic 02 Feb 18 - 11:19 PM
Greg F. 02 Feb 18 - 12:33 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Feb 18 - 10:57 AM
Greg F. 02 Feb 18 - 10:43 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 02 Feb 18 - 08:30 AM
Senoufou 02 Feb 18 - 06:26 AM
JHW 02 Feb 18 - 05:37 AM
Greg F. 01 Feb 18 - 09:41 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Feb 18 - 09:38 AM
Greg F. 01 Feb 18 - 09:35 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Feb 18 - 09:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Feb 18 - 09:19 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Feb 18 - 09:17 AM
Greg F. 01 Feb 18 - 09:01 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Feb 18 - 06:31 AM
BobL 01 Feb 18 - 04:30 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Feb 18 - 03:10 AM
Gurney 31 Jan 18 - 08:00 PM
Greg F. 31 Jan 18 - 06:39 PM
Anne Lister 31 Jan 18 - 06:16 PM
Iains 31 Jan 18 - 05:00 PM
Senoufou 31 Jan 18 - 04:10 PM
Bonzo3legs 31 Jan 18 - 03:56 PM
Greg F. 31 Jan 18 - 03:47 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Jan 18 - 02:03 PM
Mr Red 31 Jan 18 - 01:38 PM
Greg F. 31 Jan 18 - 12:02 PM
Senoufou 31 Jan 18 - 08:19 AM
Mr Red 31 Jan 18 - 08:19 AM
DaveRo 31 Jan 18 - 08:11 AM
Senoufou 31 Jan 18 - 08:09 AM
DMcG 31 Jan 18 - 08:04 AM
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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: robomatic
Date: 04 Feb 18 - 04:29 PM

keberoxu:
Thanks for taking the trouble with your vehicles and extensive posting on troubles with such. Sounds like the problem was poor grounding of one of those transducers I was on about in a previous post. Quite frustrating but let me mention one of my auto bete noirs of an earlier part of my life, driving a pre-computer era automobile.
For years I drove a '74 Toyota Corona. I'd traded for it with my brother. He got my '71 BMW 750cc motorcycle. He'd owned the car for its life, I'd owned the motorcycle from a previous owner who'd given it an awesomely bad paint job, but at least it was orange.
Anyhow, the Toyota gave good service, but every so often I'd start it and all the dash lights would sort of blink on, then off, then go dead. The whole car would go dead. For an indeterminate time. Then all would be well, the car would start, drive normally, until days, weeks, months later, any place on earth, any time of day, the blinkin' lights would flash everywhere and the car would shut down for a space of 15 minutes to an hour.
Over time, I began to notice that the problem would usually occur in the wet. New England wet varies from misty to torrent. I could make no other link.
Then, one night in New Hampshire, I was coming home from a camping trip with a buddy of mine. I was tired and he was going to take his turn driving relief. He got in the well-worn driver's seat, inserted the key in the ignition, turned it, and - blinkin' lights, total shutdown and darkness. He was and is a very experienced computer programmer, totally logical mind and scientific attitude, but the car's response was so quirky he immediately declared it hexed and refused to drive it. So, we waited the few minutes it took, I started it the next time and the car responded with perfect behaviour whereupon my friend reinforced that the vehicle was under a spell and only I would be permitted to drive it. This was before Christine by the way. I drove the rest of the way tiredly. Once back in my driveway, I popped the hood (bonnet), and took a look, under the impression that dampness must somehow be shorting out the ignition relay which allowed the entire electrical system to short, but not enough to short the battery itself, 'cause it didn't set it on fire. In the morning dry, there was nothing obviously wet, but there was a rubber weather-strip fastened to the leading edge of the hood (bonnet) and it was torn. I replaced this piece of weather strip, and the problem never recurred.
That car went on to drive me to Alaska.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Feb 18 - 01:04 PM

Unh Hunh. Two words:

1-Baby

2-Bathwater.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Feb 18 - 12:43 PM

Conclusion from previous post.

I haven't told you what make of car I drive ... sorry, not going to tell. Anyhow.
"We don't service that many hard-top convertibles," the service supervisor admits to me after about ten days. "We're opening a conversation with national HQ to find out if they know something about this alarm problem that we don't know." No, there is no recall on this model or any such thing.

By this time I am quietly window-shopping for a different car. Not a convertible. No sun/moon/stars-roof. Just a car with a solid top with no window-roof in the top.
This takes a while. The dealers' inventory, in this make, invariably lack cars with plain solid inflexible tops/roofs. The inventory is instead, without exception, tricked out in sun/moon/stars-roofs. So I head toward used cars and older models of the same make, as this make of car suits me very well when there isn't a screaming-meemies beeper alarm going off.

Long story a tiny bit shorter:
National HQ, contacted some ten days after I handed over the screaming automobile, knew what was amiss. There was a screw loose next to one of the sensors in the electronics in one of the rear pillars. Tighten said screw, and voila, no more screaming.
By this time I had taken my rental car to a used-car dealer on the far side of my home county, and test-driven a car of the same make which had a solid plain un-alarmed top/roof.

As soon as the bill was paid for the service, and the convertible was back in my possession, I drove straight to the used-car dealer and traded in the hard-top convertible for the dear old sedan with an ordinary roof.

Yes, it is an OLD used car so there will be problems down the road.
But for now it is rolling along nicely, and the roof sits there silently as a roof ought to do. No more convertibles for me.
It even has less electronics than my convertible had.
And it's still my preferred make of car. Exhale. Thanks for listening.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Feb 18 - 12:19 PM

My electric/electronic story is not about the sound system.
The car in question was a hard-top convertible. In the dead of winter, that convertible top was fully up and in cover mode, and it stayed that way.

It was my car until last month.
I was driving about, minding my own business. I parked briefly, got out, ran an errand, got back into the car, and started the engine.
A screaming-meemies beeper, which had never gone off before, began to beep, I don't know how many times per minute, anyhow it was a non-stop beat of a beep.
The message on the dashboard said that the car top, well I forget now WHAT it said, but that it needed to be properly closed. Of course it already was properly closed, but the beeper beeped anyhow.

That car, I bought from a full-service dealer with a service department, and always had the work done there where I had bought it. So, fast forward to the service department at the dealer's. I won't even go into the staffperson who did the paperwork, who is an immigrant from Brazil, first language is Portuguese, and they and I had a bit of a comprehension problem.
The servicepeople checked out that electronic beeper alarm and right away were very serious. Not regarding the convertible top, which everybody could see was the way it was meant to be. No, we have to find out why the alarm got triggered when nothing is amiss with the top. And this is the sort of alarm/warning that there are no shortcuts to turning it off.
I am warned by the servicepeople that it will take a while to make sense out of an alarm that goes off with no valid reason. In the meanwhile, an alternate vehicle is needed.

Loaner cars, also known as courtesy cars, are no longer financially practical for this business. Sure, they still have cars of the same make that they sell, cars which in good time will be sold themselves, which are reserved for customers whose cars are in the shop. However, "courtesy" is no longer the word for it. Using a contract with Enterprise rental cars, the dealership rents out its own vehicles to car owners whose cars are being held hostage, I mean being serviced, by the service department.
So I agree to the whole rental deal and the substitute car is put on my credit card, I mean the contract is. This car, thankfully, is no convertible. It does, however, have a moonroof, or sunroof, or whatever one calls it. A feature I don't use. So I leave my auto there, and drive away in this big SUV thing.

Two weeks pass.
Many phone calls back and forth. A couple times I just stop whatever else I'm doing, drive over in the rental substitute car to the service shop at the dealers, and demand in person to know what they can tell me about the car I own.
No, the problem is not the car top. The problem never was the car top. The problem is in the electronic circuits someplace. The servicepeople are going through the connections and the wires by hand. Of course the auto has a computer, but the computer in this case refuses to offer up any helpful code, or any code at all; so the computer has to be, erm, serviced as well.

Believe it or not I have to get off this computer --
so, to be continued.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Feb 18 - 04:36 AM

Oh dear Steve! hee hee!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: BobL
Date: 04 Feb 18 - 04:31 AM

Actually, it's impossible to guarantee perfection, even in safety-critical software. The best you can do is to prove that statistically, the chance of a mishap (caused by a combination of unlikely circumstances including equipment malfunction) is acceptably low - say one death or serious injury in 200 years. That's in total, not per installation.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: robomatic
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 07:46 PM

I know a couple who bought his and hers Subarus (hope I'm not over gender identifying here). He turned his on and it told him to wish his wife a happy birthday by name! Turned out in filling out the paperwork the sales force had programmed a lot more info into the vehicles than was expected.

As for programming. I spent part of my life many years ago programming, but I had it easy, doing mathematical sub-routines for early versions of X-ray scanners where the equipment processes the info and puts it together so you can see cross-sections of the subject patient. Once my bit of the project was done we took our stuff over to a hospital and physically tried it out with a simulated patient. We also had programs that tested the program and tried to be clever and show that if we started with a single spot and then got a uniform density out of it and then reversed the routine we could convert that density back to the original spot. You try to leave no stone unturned even when human life is not at risk as it can easily be with automobile computers.

Programming as a job is expected to be PERFECT. You don't just do the best you can. It needs to work always and in every conceivable situation. The car manufacturers are already aware of this. The stuff going out these days is full of many many details and conditions and you end up with the condition of sending out something that has to be perfect, after all you're being paid for it, but reality somehow usually finds a 'NEW' condition what nobody thought of yet. A pretty good example is the recently found Meltdown and Spectre defects found in pretty much every Intel processor that's gone out over a period of generations. Not too many people understand the problems but all you need is the few who do and can program a virus that infiltrates damn near everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 07:15 PM

I've been accused of that meself...moving swiftly on... :-(


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 02:35 PM

Hahaha! I must be on permanent Limp Mode then Steve!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 01:50 PM

It's OK, honest - it keeps going until you can stop! Limp mode means you just can't go very fast and you lose a bit of acceleration, that's all.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 01:45 PM

That would worry me Steve, since you never know when it's going to do it. I suppose my sister may have similar problems with her new one (Hope not!)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 01:26 PM

It only ever happened once on the motorway. I pulled off on to a junction, stopped it, started it again and rejoined. As I said, the car goes into limp mode so I can carry on driving it until I found a convenient place to stop.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 12:09 PM

But Steve, how could one possibly turn the engine off and then on again while whizzing along on the motorway for example?

My husband was desperate for one of those Sat-Nav things. (In spite of the fact we already know every inch of Norfolk and never go anywhere else in our car!) One Crimbo I got him one and he was thrilled. We went straight out towards North Norfolk, with the ruddy thing burbling away. (we'd typed in the postcode of the holiday barn we used to clean)
We decided to do exactly as the lady said, in order to test it. She obviously hadn't the least idea and we ended up heading for a remote farmhouse, driving up a track to the farmer's house. She always seemed to have second thoughts, saying, "When it is safe to do so, make a U turn."
It now sits in a drawer.
One thing that amused me was that one could change the accent. We rather liked the Irish lady...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 07:12 AM

I have a Ford Focus. Several years ago I started to get a flashed-up message saying "engine malfunction" with a big red exclamation mark in a triangle, and the car went into limp mode. The first time it happened I thought the apocalypse had struck. I was very close to a Ford garage but they were very unhelpful. I decided to drive the twenty miles home slowly. Oddly, the car drove normally and the message had disappeared. No problem. But it did it again several times the following week. Each time, I discovered that all I had to do was switch the engine off and switch on again. Eventually, I called out the AA man, who plugged his wotsit into the doodah and told me that there was an error code which meant "turbo underboost." He stripped down the turbo, couldn't find anything wrong and put it back together. I stopped getting the warning. Result!

Except that the issue came back about a year later. Since then, which was four years ago, it might do it once then not again for three months, or twice in a week, or not for a whole year. Just switch off then back on again. Bloody mind of its own. And no manifestation of any turbo issue either. Goes like a rocket!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 06:25 AM

I have said it before, I think, but the SatNav on my car seems to have been designed by a masochist. I can only assume it is because he designed the interface for the world, but still....

In the UK, the most common way of selecting an address is using the postcode, which is something like NA1 7DG (no idea where that is.)

So: press a button to start entering the destination. This brings up a screen where entering a postcode is not an option, so you press another to get to the one which has several options, including entering the postcode. So you press that one.
You are then offered a keyboard with letters. You enter NA and then there is nowhere else to go. You press another button to bring up the choice of things you could now enter. There are always 2: the letters, where you already are, and numbers. So you select numbers. You can now enter the 1 and the 7 (a space may be needed in rare cases, but that is on the number keyboard, fortunately). Now you need the letters again. The satnav know you can't enter another number, but no, you have to bring the menu up again, be offered staying with numbers, or go back to letters. Select letters and you can finally put in the DG. Finished at last ... no, you are now offered the list of all the places with that postcode, which is always one, and you have to select it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: JHW
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 05:44 AM

Sure, in my motor the computer looks after the gear changing (all 7) and does it better than I can because the engine is run by computer too so the revs change perfectly with the gear while my right/gas/throttle foot doesn't move.
My winge was about gratuitous software ruining things that were perfect without any.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: DaveRo
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 04:35 AM

BobL wrote: the software has to be uncommonly reliable
Yes - I think most car makers haven't realised that this is safety-critical software, with all that implies.

And judging by some recent hacks they're not separating the 'infotainment' software, which is the subject of this thread, from the control software.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: BobL
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 04:09 AM

"... poor damn programmer ..."

Rob, having made a successful if unspectacular career of training silicon chips to do useful things, I can assure you that any programmer worth their* salt will absolutely relish that sort of work. Although the software has to be uncommonly reliable, which can be a bit of a challenge. Ah, the joys of fixing self-correcting unidentifiable faults...

* see gender neutral thread


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: robomatic
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 11:19 PM

My twa cents:

I'm old enough to remember big American cars before any computerization whatsoever. Every thing was a thing unto itself. The starter did one thing; started the car. There was an oil bath air filter, it connected to nothing else. That big V8 engine sat alone in the middle of its compartment, there was room for me to climb in with it. You could jump up and down on the hood (bonnet) all morning and not even mar the finish.
BUT: When something broke, it didn't give you much warning. You had to catch it in the act of breaking. You had to time the engine with a flash pistol, you had to pull and gap the spark plugs, change the distributor and wires out at intervals, and our car got 15 miles per gallon rain or shine, uphill or downhill. The steering wheel was about a meter around because it was not power boosted.
Comes computers. They make it simpler for car companies because everything goes wired to the computer, and the poor damn programmer is the one who does all the work; decides what is a problem and what is not, what gets illuminated when you flip from parking lights to headlamps. And the modern computers are tied to transducers, these are the somewhat expensive devices to be found everywhere in the vehicle which convert the analog signals to digital which the computer can make sense of. They turn what's hot and cold, fast and slow, vaprous and dense, oxygenated and non, into something the computer will use to detect problems and adjust combustion. So you can get 32 miles per gallon (or 7.5litres/100km as the Euros among us might figure it) as I did in a Camry at 80 mph/120 kph.
So computers make life easier for the car companies the car repairers, and occasionally, the car owners. They make life more difficult for the programmer, who does get a job out of it, and occasionally, the car owner. They make life more interesting for the forensic technician, who will be able to figure out where the stolen car is, how fast the car was going during the accident, and, of course, we are not far from dispensing with the driver altogether, the job of the aforementioned transducers and computer going into absolute total fucking control. But we will have loads less accidents, and we should have lower insurance rates in future except that we won't.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 12:33 PM

My satnav lady always says please.

Is that before or after she directs you into a ditch or off a cliff?

See:

https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2018/01/23/driver-follows-gps-plunges-suv-into-lake-champlain


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 10:57 AM

My intelligent windscreen wipers are exceptionally unintelligent. My intelligent headlights come on in low sun but not in thick fog. I do like my rear parking sensor though. Except for the time it stopped working. My satnav lady always says please. That's just wacky.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 10:43 AM

Things are in the saddle,
And ride mankind.

             -Emerson, 1846



If Ralph only knew...........


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 08:30 AM

My Yaris has an automatically dimming rear view mirror. I have to switch it off every trip or else it dims itself to the point that I can't see anything in it.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 06:26 AM

Oh I have the same problem with the blooming things! Up and down, up and down, like a tart's knickers, and never at the position one wants.

My sister was on the phone yesterday - she's trading in her year-old Focus for yet another all-singing all-dancing affair. Even she says the computer screen thing is no use as she wears glasses for seeing long-distance, and needs to change them for her reading ones to see the screen (too dangerous to do that en route)
I reckon she likes to cut a dash and impress her friends, the show-off!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: JHW
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 05:37 AM

Electric windows - found all mine half open one day. Nother time they were all right down but the car still locked. Its a VW feature who would want. Hold the key button on (or sit on it) and that's what happens. If I accidentally UNLOCK the car it re-locks after a while - but not the windows!
My 1990 Subaru had electric windows, fine, you pressed the button and the window opened to where you wanted it. Not now, its a battle of up down fully open/closed etc. to get the back windows just open a tad for ventilation and probably a bad swerve while you look round to make sure they're not wide open. The windows are programmed to go anywhere but where you want them. It was easier to reach behind and turn the old handle a quarter turn and no swerve.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 09:41 AM

WART it is! Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 09:38 AM

Swings and roundabouts, Greg! It cost me 20 UKP which is a fraction of a new radio. Maybe you should name your army 'WART' - War Against Redundant Technology. Has more of a ring to it :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 09:35 AM

It helps prevent theft

Seems the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages, tho, doesn't it?

Probably cost less - including time & effort - to buy a new radio without the locking feature, than to re-program a locked one with the feature.

;>)

Greg F - proud soldier in the War On Useless Technology


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 09:22 AM

We recorded a story from an Irish Traveller which described an updated version of an old tradition among his people
It was common practice when a patriarch of the family died, to burn his home (caravan) and personal possessions, but one old man forbade it happening when he passed on.
Despite this, his somewhat superstitious wife ordered that his old flat-back lorry should be burned.
When the ceremony was performed, the lorry moved off of its own volition and circled the field until it finally came to rest in a corner, away from the rest of the caravans and burned out completely
Jim Caarroll


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 09:19 AM

Why does it have this idiotic locking feature in the first place?

It is so if it ever disconnected from the battery it becomes locked. It helps prevent theft but, on the down side, if you ever need a new battery, which I did, it has the same effect.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 09:17 AM

Twenty years ago or more there was a rumour afoot that you could reset the radio code to 0000 by putting it in the freezer overnight. Don't try this at home is my advice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 09:01 AM

No, I know why it locked.

I don't. Why does it have this idiotic locking feature in the first place?

Or is this just like the bluetooth enabled washing mechines that you can "talk" to with your DumbPhone?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 06:31 AM

Ah - You could be onto something there BobL - Thanks.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: BobL
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 04:30 AM

Remember the days when car radios were an optional extra, electric windows were totally upmarket, outside mirrors weren't adjustable, oil had to be changed and points adjusted every 3000 miles, and light bulbs blew without you realising? Oh, and you could get perhaps 200 miles from a full tank. There is an upside to today's added complications: cars cost less to run and maintain, and are on the whole more reliable and last longer. In fact, I would venture to suggest that having to splash out when something does go wrong is such a rare thing, that on balance it still works out cheaper.

Regarding the OP's radio, it's possible that two versions were made, physically the same but one having more features and costing more. In fact identical, except that the budget model had the extra features blocked by software - until the right code was entered. Such things have happened.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 03:10 AM

No, I know why it locked. It was just that the code I had been given was the wrong one! Lots of interesting stories. Thanks all.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Gurney
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 08:00 PM

Dave asked, -at the very top- why the radio locked.

Mine locked when the car battery suddenly died. I'd bought the car used, and the previous owners had emigrated and had changed the code. And you get four chances before recoding becomes a very expensive operation.
I found that it is possible to re-code the radio yourself, sort of, but that involves removing the radio and sending it to an independant specialist, refitting it and using the new code. And that costs more moola than a new radio does!
Does anyone want to buy an old Toyota radio and CD-player set with one chance left?
The new radio is the type that takes one CD at a time, in a slot on the dash, and NOT lying in the boot/trunk loading six at a time.
The whole idea is an anti-theft device, radios being in the past a prime target.
Also, changing the battery engages the burglar alarm, which can only be switched off with the remote, and you cannot change the small battery in Toyota remotes of this vintage, which involves getting a re-key specialist out to your car.....
Make sure your remote works.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Greg F.
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 06:39 PM

"Things are in the saddle, and ride mankind."

      --Emerson


Question is why don't those afflicted with this bullshit (damn near all of creation) demand that manufacturers do something about it??

Or do most foks revel in being screwed over in the name of mindless technology??


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Anne Lister
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 06:16 PM

I'm currently driving a courtesy car. It's a Nissan. It makes noises at me if it thinks I'm swerving into another lane, which is generally such a shock that I nearly have an accident trying to see what I've done wrong to generate the noise. This happens when I am legitimately changing lanes when motorways merge ... It also has a flashing light in my wing mirror if it detects something in my blind spot. I have, thank heavens, found a way to switch them both off as they're far more trouble than they're worth.
I am looking forward to getting my own car back as soon as possible.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Iains
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 05:00 PM

I will stick with older 110 landrovers. They are just a big boys meccano set. The only fancy electronics is an aftermarket satnav.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Senoufou
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 04:10 PM

My sister has a brand new top-of-the-range Ford Focus, and it's got computers and all sorts of singing/dancing fancy electronic rubbish on board. It talks, bleeps and lights up alarmingly while she's driving along.
She's very proud of it, and I haven't the heart to tell her I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 03:56 PM

I had exactly the same problem with my 2003 Nissan Micra. Fortunately the sticker of the garage which sold the car new was still on the back window, so I called them and they kindly gave me the code. I now have the cheapest digital music player from Halfords, with no code problems!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Greg F.
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 03:47 PM

Toys, that's why.

Assuming you like toys that constantly and repeatedly bite you in the ass.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 02:03 PM

Way back in the 90s I had a Vauxhall Cavalier estate that developed the habit of just completely dying. Just like that. Could happen anywhere. Sometimes it would restart in five minutes, other times 24 hours wasn't enough for it. I had to be rescued by the AA several times, once from half-way up the M5. After over a year of all the mechanics round here theorising and trying everything to no avail, someone said that they'd heard of a friend of a friend of a friend who'd had the same trouble, and he'd cured it by getting a new distributor. So off I went to a junkyard and picked up one from a scrapped car for a few quid. Swapped it over with mine, and, after a bit of jiggling around with the timing, it worked a treat and I never had the problem again.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 01:38 PM

Toys, that's why.
Like a dictionary, you get 300,000 words so the ones you want are certain to be there.

If I want a new car I will get what I get, and probably electric window winders, and hope 1) I don't drive into a rising flood** (it happens in the dark) and 2) the water doesn't kill the electrics**.

Q Otherwise how ya gonna open the doors?

A When the car fills with water and there ain't any air left.

Or through the sun roof (don't want) as long as it isn't electric.

** have seen this scenario happen, reported on TV. He used the sun roof.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Greg F.
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 12:02 PM

Question is, why put all of that unnecessary, overcomplicated, bizarre electronic shit into automobiles in the first place? This isn't about better mileage or less pollution, its techno-jimcrackery.

Makes autos a pain in the ass and a constant aggravation to operate, obscenely expensive to repair, one has to memorize a 400 page manual so as not to screw up irrevocably, and if a battery goes dead or there's a glitch, you're stranded with no work-around until the IT techs can figure out what's wrong- a mechanic can't help you.

Why consumers put up with this techno-cramming is beyond me. Hell, its a vehicle fer chrissake- supposed to start when you want, stop when you want & get you from here to there.

And I fear its only going to get worse.....


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Senoufou
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 08:19 AM

And another thing! My husband's Meriva's petrol indicator is busted, so we have no idea how much fuel is in the tank. I've developed a marvellous sixth sense, and get us to a petrol station before we run out. We also have a small plastic petrol container in the boot just in case.
Dennis the Menace's son told us it was a problem with the 'sender'. It sits in the fuel tank and sends a signal to the gauge on the dashboard, showing the level. But it isn't sending. And of course, it's hugely expensive to fix. So we haven't bothered.
Blooming cars!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 08:19 AM

May hap that some bright spark who knew how to (ha!) got the radio going enough to sell it to you. Like an emergency code maybe.

My car radio is so weired, the volume knob is embedded in the dash, the station buttons well below and the display part of the general controls/clock.

So weired, only another Yaris owner would want to steal it (and dis-assemble the whole dash). Luckily when I left the door badly closed and the light drained the battery (about 1 week) I found that fancy codes were totally unnecessary. Mind you the cheapo radio is a pain - no RDS. On long journeys I can never find a frequency that works before I need to find another. 6 presets is not enough.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: DaveRo
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 08:11 AM

The front-back balance got reset. Maybe they updated the software as well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: Senoufou
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 08:09 AM

Cars are an entire mystery to me. My little old Fiesta suddenly showed a strange lit up thing on the dashboard. Quite a pretty feathery circle type of a thing. I was worried it meant a disaster was imminent (oil leak or some such) so I took it to our village garage in a panic.
The proprietor's old dad was there (everyone calls him Dennis the Menace, but not to his face) and he sarkily said, "Dew yew reckon thass a bit chilly terday eh? Well, thass a snoooflake telling yer ter moind the oice!"
Cheeky bugger. I can tell if it's icy without my car displaying a lit-up snowflake.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mysterious car electronics
From: DMcG
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 08:04 AM

Bad example: the seat belt unfastened is the one thing that is different (continuous beeps until they are sorted)

Ok, low fuel warning...


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