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Thread: Lots of names for the same basic thing

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Lots of names for the same basic thing

    All new cars - for the moment - still have plain old tires and brakes... probably because so far, no one's figured out a fancier-sounding (and price-inflating) term.

    But one day, an inventive marketing guy will come up with it: Roll Assistance Aids, perhaps? How about Deceleration Control Units (DCUs for short) instead of just "brakes"? So much more "high tech." Instead of plain old gas gaps, why not razzle dazzle 'em with a Fuel Port Access (FPAS) System - maybe with with electric assist? That's got to be worth $500 ... at least!

    Most new cars offer a traction control system, and even though they all pretty much do the same thing - keep the drive wheels from spinning as a result of mashing the gas pedal, especially on wet or otherwise slick roads - there are more baroque and over-the-top names for them than Starbucks has for "coffee." Same price-jacking, too.

    * Mercedes has ASR - Acceleration Slip Regulation.
    * Toyota and Lexus offer VSC - Vehicle Skid Control
    * Honda, VDC - Vehicle Dynamic Control
    * BMW, DSC - Dynamic Stability Control

    At Ford, it's still plain old "Trac" - but just like the others, it adds a new billing point for the automakers, as well as a way to extract more money down the road when the thing begins to crap out on you.

    The automakers deploy all these fancy names - and even fancier technology - in part because it's getting harder and harder to differentiate a "luxury" car from just an ordinary car - and more to the point, to aid buyers psychologically, in terms of making them feel better about 5-6 years of $500 per month payments (about what it takes to acquire a $36,000 new car or truck).

    When even $14,000 cars can be counted on to have at least air conditioning - and very likely power windows, electric defrost, cruise, power door locks and a pretty decent audio system - and every car at the $25,000 level definitely has those onetime "luxury" appointments as part of its standard roster of features (and sometimes leather, too ), you've got to up the "bling bling" ante significantly to justify a price tag that's another 25-50 percent higher.

    Hence the alphabet soup of acronyms and electronic gew-gaws that one finds in almost every car above the $30,000 mark.

    But when ASR, VDC, VSC, DSC - not to mention Laser Assisted Cruise Control, DVD GPS and MPEG-playing stereos - filter down to the bottom feeders, what will be left to make a luxury car "luxurious"... other than its price?


  2. #2
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of names for the same basic thing

    On my VW it's "ESP".

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of names for the same basic thing

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    On my VW it's "ESP".
    Can it predict your future?

  4. #4
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of names for the same basic thing

    I don't want to know.

  5. #5
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of names for the same basic thing



    There are also things that are misnomers. Shock absorbers don't absorb road shocks. The tires and springs absorb the shock. What is called a shock absorber is actually a rebound damper. It dampens the tires and springs when they are bouncing.
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  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of names for the same basic thing

    Quote Originally Posted by grouch


    There are also things that are misnomers. Shock absorbers don't absorb road shocks. The tires and springs absorb the shock. What is called a shock absorber is actually a rebound damper. It dampens the tires and springs when they are bouncing.
    Yep!

    Interestingly, that's what they're (properly) called on motorcycles, too!

  7. #7
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Lots of names for the same basic thing

    Outside the USA shocks are called "dampers" anyway.

    BTW, it doesn't "dampen" the tires and springs, it "damps" them. To"dampen" it would have to spray water on them...

  8. #8
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    Re: Lots of names for the same basic thing

    This article with pictures has been posted on the main site:




    http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/...0&Itemid=10898


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