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Does everything have to be electronic?


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Wife calls:  car battery is stone dead in work parking lot.  No problem, I say.  I'll drive over and exchange it.  I grab a back-up tractor battery and some jumper cables and drive the three miles to her workplace.  I stick my key in the door lock, but nothing happens.  Only the electronic key fob opener will work the lock, and only if battery is live. 

 

With door locked closed, you can't release the hood to get to the battery.  

 

I call the Totota Service people.  They tell me it has to be towed in.  Are you kidding?  No, they respond.  

At the shop they connect an auxiliary power source via a cable somewhere under the car (I wasn't allowed inside to watch)  and open the door with their key fob device. 

 

I decline to let them change the battery.  I have them take the car outside and park it with hood open.

I jump the battery from my pickup, confirm that my key fob will still open the door  and drive it home to install the new battery, then drive it to my wifes work.  After work, she comes home, picks me up and takes me back to the dealership to pick up my truck.  

Could they make something as simple as jumping a battery any more complicated?  What was ao bad about mechanical keys?

 

I vote with my feet.  No more Toyota products for me.  I am just glad we werent parked out in the booneys at some remote trailhead. 

 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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17 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Wife calls:  car battery is stone dead in work parking lot.  No problem, I say.  I'll drive over and exchange it.  I grab a back-up tractor battery and some jumper cables and drive the three miles to her workplace.  I stick my key in the door lock, but nothing happens.  Only the electronic key fob opener will work the lock, and only if battery is live. 

 

With door locked closed, you can't release the hood to get to the battery.  

 

I call the Totota Service people.  They tell me it has to be towed in.  Are you kidding?  No, they respond.  

At the shop they connect an auxiliary power source via a cable somewhere under the car (I wasn't allowed inside to watch)  and open the door with their key fob device. 

 

I decline to let them change the battery.  I have them take the car outside and park it with hood open.

I jump the battery from my pickup, confirm that my key fob will still open the door  and drive it home to install the new battery, then drive it to my wifes work.  After work, she comes home, picks me up and takes me back to the dealership to pick up my truck.  

Could they make something as simple as jumping a battery any more complicated?  What was ao bad about mechanical keys?

 

I vote with my feet.  No more Toyota products for me.  I am just glad we werent parked out in the booneys at some remote trailhead. 

 

News flash: Toyota is not the only one. I just had a battery replaced in my 2017 Buick Encore. Glad I got AAA they replaced it here in my garage.

The guy had a portable charger unit. 

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Why?  It’s cheaper and easier to build it that way.  Fwiw my chevy’s all have a manual key for when the electronics fail.  It’s located under the door handle trim and you have to pry it off for access.  
 

my Toyota Tacoma (21) has manual key for doors and ignition.   I do admit I miss the convenience of having a key in my pocket and just touching the door to unlock and push button start.  

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I needed to replace the battery in my wife’s 2016 Ford Escort took it to Advance Auto Parts and despite the big sign on the window touting free battery installation they refused to install it since it was buried deep in the engine compartment. I finally found someplace to install it and it took him an hour. He got my business and a $20 tip. Automotive engineers deserve a special place in hell 

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17 minutes ago, Still hand Bill said:

Why?  It’s cheaper and easier to build it that way.

 

Actually no.  I believe it's so you will have to return to the dealership for service when something goes wrong, like your dead battery.  That's also why companies like John Deere have proprietary software running their machines.  A non-Deere shop won't have access to the codes so they can't help you when you break down.  It's another way for the manufacturer to make money after selling you the item, whether it's a car, tractor, lawnmower etc.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

all this computerized crap is for your security, convenience, and ease of operation......and 99+ % of it is worthless for the average driver and a PITA for most everyone else.

And every piece of it costs $1000+ to repair.  

CHK-CHING !

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Henry T. Harrison: I dread having to replace the battery in my 2018 Ford Escape. Like your Ford Escort, my battery is in the back under a plastic cover to protect the terminals. I've watched several YouTube videos on how to replace these batteries. Only one of the videos made sense; all of the others basically removed the front end of the car! I'll probably do it myself, but if it fails away from my home, I guess I'm screwed.

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Our new Ford Edge has an emergency manual key hidden in the fob.  Break it out, remove part of the door handle trim and insert key. Then you have 10 seconds to place the fob in the holder in the center console.  Not sure what happens if you don't get there in time. 

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2 hours ago, Calamity Kris said:

 

Actually no.  I believe it's so you will have to return to the dealership for service when something goes wrong, like your dead battery.  That's also why companies like John Deere have proprietary software running their machines.  A non-Deere shop won't have access to the codes so they can't help you when you break down.  It's another way for the manufacturer to make money after selling you the item, whether it's a car, tractor, lawnmower etc.

Won’t matter soon as all cars will have a remote shut off switch.  It is easier and cheaper to do it all with a computer and electronics.   Without a manual key, you save the cost of the lock and hardware.  Besides most cars have electronic locks already.   Even a $1 savings is huge when you make millions of cars a year.  Ford did two front end suspensions for the ranger as one cost $6 less.  That $6 over 100,000 cars per year and 6-10 years pays for the tooling and support of two designs.  
proprietary software is an issue and I believe the courts got it wrong way back with Lexmark and it’s printers.  Unfortunately that’s the law now.  Wait until we have to pay “maintenance” fees to keep driving our vehicles or to use your refrigerator.  It’s coming as companies can’t make good $$ by just selling goods.  They need a steady cash flow and having to pay subscriptions really helps insure the cash comes in.   

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22 minutes ago, Still hand Bill said:

Won’t matter soon as all cars will have a remote shut off switch

 

They already do. 

 

And they have had the capability to do so for more than a decade.

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My Jeep Wrangler has two batteries.  To replace the small one you remove the front passenger tire and fender well.  Or you can come in from the top by removing the main power fuse panel.

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I guess I'm just spoiled working with heavy tractors.  You xan see and work on just about anything. 

 

I presume the car manufacturers have created capability to kill your engine at any time and force you to buy a new vehicle -- much like computer printers have a time chip that kills them right after warranty expiration, or the first time you insert a non-proprietary ink or laser cartridge.  Its a form of thievery. 

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Posted this before in the humor thread. I think it’s valid here. One could replace the “Chevrolet” with pretty much any other car maker. 
 

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My Camaro is set up so you can get into the car even if the car battery, or the fob battery, is dead.  If the fob battery is dead you can put the fob in the rear cup holder and the car will start.

 

Can't speak to other Chevy cars, but the Camaro doesn't have that problem.

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My FOB on my 2017 Buick Encore opens up and there's a key inside it. I have a key hole on the driver's door handle so I can get in the car if the FOB is dead but there's no where to put the key to start it since it's a push button start. I saw a YouTube video on how it will start but I'm skeptical about that video. My car guy says that won't work.

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My wife's 2018 Toyota RAV4 has a remote key fob. It has a mechanical key that will unlock the door. The hood latch is also mechanical. OP - What specific vehicle do you have as it might have a mechanical key included? If so, I'd dump on the dealer big time.

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Back in the early 2000's when I worked at a Chevy / Cadillac dealership, we regularly had cars towed in to have everything reprogrammed. Seems when DIY types like me, cleaned our battery terminals, the computer would lose its programming! $95 bucks we'll have you up and running sir!

Our techs had 9V batteries wired to cigarette lighter plugs that they just plugged into the lighter/power port to keep the computer happy while a battery was being cleaned or replaced.

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Not a car but we had issues with a new stove and the computer board. Board burned out twice, the first time as my wife was putting the Thanksgiving turkey in.

I found an outfit that makes appliances for off the grid living. No computer. A 9 volt battery fires it up. Nothing fancy but it's been working reliably for years now.

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Battery replacement in a modern vehicle requires an aux battery connected in parallel to avoid loss of computer programming.
When rebooted after a batter swap without aux, the vehicle returns to factory-delivered condition.
Radio stations, etc are all lost.
The fuel computer reboots itself to its normal settings.

My 1991 Toyota battery replacement is simple:  trip the external hood latch, open the hood, replace the battery.
My (non-working) AM/FM radio has no programmable presets, so nothing is lost there.
I have no trip odometer nor Bluetooth configuration to connect my iPhone with the car sound system.
The windows are hand crank, and the locks are easy to Slim-Jim.

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9 hours ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

My Camaro is set up so you can get into the car even if the car battery, or the fob battery, is dead.  If the fob battery is dead you can put the fob in the rear cup holder and the car will start.

 

Can't speak to other Chevy cars, but the Camaro doesn't have that problem.

So is the key an integrated part of the fob, or separate.  If integrated, how do you start the car with the fob/key in the cup holder?

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My solution: 

 

I ran two #10 leads from the battery terminals to a accessible place under the car.  I can jump a small aux battery or power source, like a motorcycle battery to the leads and the door locks will operate. 

 

Now all I need to do is get the auto door locks not to automatically lock all the doors when I stop to open my gate.  Not too long ago, I left the engine running. key in the ignition and closed the door (in the rain).

I heard that ominous "clack" as the doors locked tgemselves.  The car was running and I was locked out.  It was sitting in my gate opening, blocking my other car access.  I was ready to break out a window, when my wife drove in with her key fob.  

 

So back to my orig. question--Does all of this stuff need to be electronic?  How did we get here?  Did the manufacturers just turn the tech-heads loose to play? 

All of those convenience features might make us feel pampered and auspicious, but when (not if) they quit working, all of it is ridiculously expensive to repair --like a $175 bulb and $400 labor just to replace the iluminator in my F250 digital spedometer display, or $7500 quoted by the dealer to replace a toyota computer.

Couldnt we get by without all this stuff and open the door and start the engine with a key?

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Our Honda & our GMC truck have the key in the fob. On the Honda it would open the door and if the battery in the fob was dead, you had to hold the fob to the dash by the push button according to the manual. On the GMC, the key opens the door and locks the glove box under the center console. Don't remember how to start it with a dead fob. On the above post, there is likely a sensor in the cup holder. Cadillacs had it in the slot in the center console. IIRC

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, bgavin said:

Battery replacement in a modern vehicle requires an aux battery connected in parallel to avoid loss of computer programming.
When rebooted after a batter swap without aux, the vehicle returns to factory-delivered condition.
Radio stations, etc are all lost.
The fuel computer reboots itself to its normal settings.

My 1991 Toyota battery replacement is simple:  trip the external hood latch, open the hood, replace the battery.
My (non-working) AM/FM radio has no programmable presets, so nothing is lost there.
I have no trip odometer nor Bluetooth configuration to connect my iPhone with the car sound system.
The windows are hand crank, and the locks are easy to Slim-Jim.

So how do you close the trunk without a special Bluetooth phone ap?

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Had a Caddy in once for a head light replacement. IIRC the cost was over $800. You had to remove the front number, then inner and outer fenders to access it. The bulb alone was just under $300! I recommended doing both an HR refused. Saw him again in month for the other one. The bulb was huge with a ballast on the back.

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Scary stuff! Keeping my old pickup and Muscle car, but we need to have one new SUV, next year or the year after.  I sure don't want any of those issues. Must be something retro out there! For certain, living where I do, it won't be electric.

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For what a new rig costs these days, you'd probably do just as well with a restored classic. You'd look good, you can fix it, not nearly as much crap to fail, an actual knob to adjust things! 

I love having to put on glasses and stare at the center info center to do anything and then take both hands off the wheel to lift my right one up to the screen. Thennnnn, " Oh crap, what the hell did I hit" .

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2 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

So is the key an integrated part of the fob, or separate.  If integrated, how do you start the car with the fob/key in the cup holder?

The key is inside the fob. Pull the two apart, unlock door. Put them back together and place in cup holder. Engage clutch and push the start button. There’s a nice deep V8 rumble and it’s time to play.

 

Oh, and get a new battery for the fob.

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

The key is inside the fob. Pull the two apart, unlock door. Put them back together and place in cup holder. Engage clutch and push the start button. There’s a nice deep V8 rumble and it’s time to play.

In high school, I had a '48 Chevy 1-ton truck that had a starter button on the floorboards rather than on a key fob.  It wasn't a V8 but it had a nice 236 in-line 6.  It didnt have remote starting, warning chimes to drive you crazy, a cell phone bluetooth connection, an FM radio, or auto-dimming headlights (that only work on straight roads).  But it did have the stakeside flatbed that I built, a VERY low granny gear and a very low rear end gear ratio that enabled it to climb or tow just about anything.  The deep green body was like new with all mouldings intact.  I stupidly sold it for $400 in 1968.  If offered a new 1-ton pickup today, or that old '48, I'd have to give serious thought.   

 

Oh, also, it would start and run in the event of an EMP.  All you needed was $0.25 /gal leaded regular gas. It had no computer or dash full of harnesses.  Its electronics consisted of the 6V battery leads to the starter button and starter motor, the head and tail lights, and the inside dome light. 

And yes, (God forbid!) it had the rifle rack (usually with rifle or shotgun) in the rear window, typical of the time. 

 

It always got me where I wanted to go just fine, along with the woman to whom I am still married.  It even had seat belts!

 

I wanna go back!  I don't really need or want all this wondrous electronic gewizzardry and ridiculous cost.   I repaired the '48 myself, including an engine rebuild.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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1 hour ago, Eyesa Horg said:

For what a new rig costs these days, you'd probably do just as well with a restored classic. You'd look good, you can fix it, not nearly as much crap to fail, an actual knob to adjust things! 

I love having to put on glasses and stare at the center info center to do anything and then take both hands off the wheel to lift my right one up to the screen. Thennnnn, " Oh crap, what the hell did I hit" .

That is what the two keepers are, completely restored mechanically - needed is my Wife's replacement vehicle.  She doesn't care to drive either of mine, and vice versa!

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Rip Snorter said:

That is what the two keepers are, completely restored mechanically - needed is my Wife's replacement vehicle.  She doesn't care to drive either of mine, and vice versa!

This has made me feel nostalgic. 

 

I wonder if today's young people will even remember all of their disposable, planned- obsolescence, image-focussed automobiles. 

 

Probably they'll all be trying to socially atone for once driving a filthy internal combustion vehicle, (while  then still climbing aboard passenger jets to tour the world at their leisure).  

 

But if the oceans keep rising, as folks are insisting they will, everyone will need to drive solar-electric boats and eat fish.   LOL.

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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11 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

This has made me feel nostalgic. 

 

I wonder if today's young people will even remember all of their disposable, planned- obsolescence, image-focussed automobiles. 

 

Probably they'll all be trying to socially atone for once driving a filthy internal combustion vehicle, (while  then still climbing aboard passenger jets to tour the world at their leisure).  

 

But if the oceans keep rising, as folks are insisting they will, everyone will need to drive solar-electric boats and eat fish.   LOL.

Oceans rising, not! Human caused Global Warming, not, Solar Cycles, yes!  The narrative ever since Silent Spring has been pure BS! Just look at Gore's predictions - didn't happen.  To use their phrase "Follow the Science", but choose genuine Science, real knowledge and research by actual Scientists not political hacks!

Edited by Rip Snorter
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