Moving Along ….

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Time passes, things change. Have you noticed that while most new cars are much harder to get into without a key, once you’re in – the glovebox is easy to access?

Because there’s no lock for that. Just pop the catch.

Locked gloveboxes seem to have disappeared about the same time that having two keys – one to unlock the car, the other to start the engine – did. That was circa late 1990s. Some late-model car gloveboxes don’t even have a handle to pull or a button to depress. In new Jaguars, for example, all you have to do is run your finger over a sensor – and it’s open sesame.

What else has changed lately? How about:

* Disappearing red lines -

You know, on the tachometer. Almost all new cars have tachometers – engine rev counters. So you can (in theory) avoid over-speeding the engine. That’s great. Except more and more new car tachometers don’t have redlines – so how are you supposed to know when you’re in danger of over-speeding the engine?

I am pretty sure Ford started this – or rather, started putting no-redline tachometers in its vehicles. Probably, it was done to save money. Instead of having car (and engine) specific tachometers – with redlines specific to that car/engine – Ford decided to go with a one-size-fits-all tach that could be used in multiple vehicles and also within a given model range – for example, both the four and six-cylinder (or six cylinder and V-8) versions of a given vehicle.Obviously, redlines had to go – because it would be silly to put a tachometer with a 5,500 RPM redline in a car with an engine that has a 6,500 RPM redline.

Of course, eliminating the redline pretty much defeats the purpose of having a tach in the first place. It’s a good thing all new cars come with electronic controls – including rev limiters – that automatically prevent the engine from being over-revved (unless you’re really determined and do it by dropping down into first gear at 80 MPH). Otherwise, you might have no idea you just crossed the redline – until about 5 seconds later, when the engine spits a rod through the side of the block.

Personally, I miss redlines. They provide useful info and pretty up the face of the tach.

* Burnouts – 

The procedure used to be (in an automatic-equipped performance car): Hold down the brakes with your left foot while easing the accelerator pedal down with your right. Ease off the brakes just enough to let the tires break traction, but without letting the car surge forward. As you feel the tires begin to spin, put your right foot down – and smoke ‘em! That trick is going the way of the catalytic converter test pipe. I’ve had a number of new cars to test drive lately that simply will not allow it. The computer cuts the revs if it detects you’re holding the brakes down. The only end-run I’ve figured out is to use the parking brake – provided it is the pull-up type, which permits some degree of control (push-in parking brakes are usually either on – or off – and you can’t modulate the force applied, which is necessary to a successful tire-fry). And even that has been Cloverized. In virtually all of the cars I’ve tested during the past couple of years, the parking brake is set up so that it barely has enough holding power to keep the car from moving when parked. But nowhere near enough to lock up the back tires when it’s moving (or trying to). Which is  critical for both a successful burnout and stunt man-style 90 degree turns (and 180 degree turn-arounds, too).

* Skid marks -

ABS has all-but-eliminated these. Because the brakes no longer lock – which means the tires don’t stop rotating while the car is moving. Which means, no black marks on the road. Or less of them. It’s still possible to slide and skid – and leave some rubber on the road as evidence of your passing. But one thing you can’t do anymore is the sort of driving we still see routinely done during movie car chase sequences: Lock up the brakes, heel the wheel over hard right (or left) release brakes – and power slide the car onto a sidestreet.  If you take a high-performance driving course, you’ll discover they turn off the ABS to teach you how to drive. How to really drive.

There’s a reason race cars don’t have ABS. Which ought to give you some idea why people who like to drive hate ABS.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  16 comments for “Moving Along ….

  1. GW
    November 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Most Robo-Clovers wouldn’t have a clue what do do with a redline.

    I am surprised some of them can even locate and remove the filler cap.

  2. ekrampitzjr
    November 30, 2012 at 12:22 am

    My understanding is that the lack of a redline on a tach is indeed the direct result of electronic engine controls that (supposedly) prevent overrevving. Knowing what the magic number is supposed to be would still be useful, as you said.

    Currently leasing a four-cylinder Mazda6 through the company (I work for Mazda at a low level, and let me emphasize again I’m speaking strictly for myself and not on behalf of the company). Its tach does indicate redline at a little over 6,000 rpm. On full throttle acceleration, which I seldom do, the engine speed in the 6 gets very close to that mark before shifting.

    Off topic: Mazda press conference at the LA Auto Show today. Chiefs confirmed that the all-new 2014 6 will get the Skyactiv-D diesel in US models in the second half of 2013. In the meantime the 6 will have standard a new 2.5-liter version of the Skyactiv-G four; the current 3 and CX-5 have a 2.0-liter version. The 2014 CX-5 will offer this new 2.5-liter as an option.

    The new 6 is going to be available in January, just weeks away. It’s our own design. The outgoing 6 shared a platform with the Ford Fusion. The Fusion is likewise all new for the new model year, but shares nothing with the 2014 6. When Ford told Mazda it was on its own, Ford was serious…

    Mazda chiefs also confirmed at the show what an executive told Car and Driver some months back: there will be no six-cylinder version of the new 6, nor is a Skyactiv V-6 planned. But you should see the upcoming 6 diesel race car, with some 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque from an engine using about 60% of production parts!

    Just thought you’d like to know, Eric. Zoom-zoom. :)

    • Tor Munkov
      November 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Re: Offtopical Zoom Zoom>> What would happen if an SUV was raised by a family of sportscars? If a family named him MazDa NavAho and abandoned him in Hiroshima with a half-empty bottle of saki and a share price dropped from $7 to $1.6 and a 4 1/2 Bil Mkt Cap miles behind defunct Suzuki or even 300,000 annual vehicles behind Iran’s Khodro.

      I know a guy from Donar Agency Detroit Mad Men where they hire the food stamp choir to emulate the proud self-sufficient Zulus who ride Springbok Deisel Moto-Gazelles while chanting zu-zu-zuuum yeh yeh yeh yehhh yeh zuuum.

      You can get them Skyactiv deezelles here quick mon, just call them Obamacars and make sure they accept EBT. MazDa uses Chase J. P. Morgan financing already who also issue those cards.

      The ad was emotionally diffentiating and remarkably memorable brand platforming I read somewhere.Just apply for drivestamps and specify which engine you want. I like the section V* with 22s myself.

      PROBABLY NEED A NEW PARTNER NOW that Ford’s moving on. Maybe you build an Amazon Cardle FORWARD with Red WHITE AND Blue circles.. Sell the car at cost, but you need special oil, gas, and computer upgrades all the time only from Amazon. Also the zoom zoom song plays thru the speakers every hour. You have a stereo and plasma screens, but they’re always playing ads and you can’t shut them off. Every 100 miles, you have to drive to a Sponsor G,E, Haliburton retail establishment and buy something, or the car shuts down.

      I do hope the diesels get here soon, I’ve undyed quite a lot of heating oil #2 in advance.,it’s just regulatory bolshevism has stopped them thus far I’m sure.

  3. BrentP
    November 30, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Glove box locks are kind of pointless. Even in the old days the glove boxes were made of theft resistant materials like rigid cardboard. That’s if you couldn’t just reach under the dash and up and over into the glove box. Thus I really cannot see a point in locking it. Meanwhile the stronger center console storage areas seem to be getting locks.

    As to the tach, the one in my ’12 has a marked redline and when it’s reached the entire tach lights up red. Perhaps the markings are falling aside for just having the whole thing change color? Then again, with nearly everything being an AT the tach is just mostly decorative anyway. For all I know MT cars could get a different graphic than AT cars.

    • IndividualAudienceMember
      November 30, 2012 at 8:35 am

      BrentP wrote, “Glove box locks are kind of pointless.”

      You should have seen the interior after the criminals had smashed the heck out of it. They tried hard to get into the dashboard glove box,… but they couldn’t!
      They got the radio though. And they broke the back of the seat while leaning back into it to kick the stereo loose.
      Surprisingly the 1990’s G.M. glove box worked. Plus One for me!
      And my registration and other info stayed with me,… this time.

      On a lot of websites People talk about putting in ammo boxes in their cars with locks to store a self-defense gun in while they are at work and such.
      A.k.a. glove box.
      Like a strong box/construction gang box,… for some.

      Also,… Whoops, pardon the double post.

    • MoT
      November 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Yeah, I remember my parents 65 New Yorker with it’s “lock” and how looking underneath the dash I could plainly see it was some sort of pressboard material! It wouldn’t stop a determined thief that was damn sure but it could keep a casual one at bay.

      • November 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm

        The main advantage – as I see it – is to keep valets and car wash attendants out. It’s true a thief will just rip the door right off. But a valet won’t (usually) do that, for all the obvious reasons.

        • BrentP
          November 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm

          I wouldn’t let such people in my car in the first place. The last thing I would be concerned about is the worthless to anyone else contents of the glove box. Valets in Chicago have been known to do things like swap wheels out for cheaper ones or damaged ones.

          • Mel Torme
            December 1, 2012 at 1:15 am

            Oh, come-on, Brent, you know very well what Chicago valets do:

            Ferris Bueller’s friend Cameron’s valet parking agent

            If anyone reading this hasn’t seen this movie, there is something wrong with you.

          • BrentP
            December 1, 2012 at 1:49 am

            I thought hooning and such went without saying.

          • methylamine
            December 1, 2012 at 6:05 am

            @Mel:

            Automatic loss of posting privileges here too if you haven’t seen Trading Places, produced by Aaron Russo…funniest movie ever and a nice big middle finger to the elitists, too.

            RIP, Aaron Russo.

            If you haven’t, have a look at his movie Freedom to Fascism or his interview with Alex Jones revealing his tell-all conversation with Nick Rockefeller.

          • December 1, 2012 at 10:49 am

            Aaron was a great man. He is missed immensely.

          • Mel Torme
            December 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

            I have indeed seen Trading Places, Meth, but I had no idea that Aaron Russo produced it.

        • methylamine
          December 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

          @Mel–

          Phew! Your posting privileges remain intact :) (like I have anything to say about it)

          Trading Places–funniest movie ever made.

          The Alex Jones interview with Aaron Russo is a stunner. If you want to really hear the psychopathic elites’ game plan, you can get most of it in that one hour interview.

          RFID chips for us; if you piss off the PTB, your chip’s turned off. No job, no purchases, no renting, no loans; you stop existing.

          For them? It’s a “KMA” card–“Kiss My Ass”, they can do whatever they want.

          Again, it displays the short-term thinking of a psychopath; “I’ll get what I want!”. Never mind you’ll destroy everything in the process and descend to the same hell as everyone else.

  4. IndividualAudienceMember
    November 30, 2012 at 8:17 am

    No redline.

    I never knew.

    I can’t remember the name of the band that sang a song with redline in it. ….Fun times.

    This is the first time I’v

  5. IndividualAudienceMember
    November 30, 2012 at 8:21 am

    No redline.

    I never knew.

    I can’t remember the name of the band that sang a song with redline in it. ….Fun times.

    This is the first time I’ve been able to access this site today.
    I wonder what’s up.
    I doubt it’s on my end, every other website seems fine.

    … no redline. – shakes head -

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