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Thread: Six Features Every New Car Ought to Have - But Most Don't

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Six Features Every New Car Ought to Have - But Most Don't


    New cars have more gadgets than ever -- including things like GPS, DVD entertainment system, even "intelligent" cruise control that virtually drives the car for you. But along the way, some basic -- yet arguably more important -- equipment has been left off the roster.

    * In-glass electric defroster grid -- It's great to be able to see out of your back window on a frigid January day -- courtesy of an electric rear defroster. Most new cars have rear them. But how come virtually no cars have such a system for the front glass? Isn't it just as important to see ahead of you as it is behind you? (Land Rover is one of the few automakers to install a fine-wire electric defroster grid in the front windshield of its vehicles; it doesn't interrupt your forward view at all -- and the heated element clears the glass wonderfully on cold, snow/icy days.) Why this feature hasn't seem wider use is anyone's guess.

    * Oil level warning -- Every car has either a warning light (or a gauge) to warn you of abnormally low oil pressure, which can lead to major, even catastrophic engine failure if you keep on running the engine. But most cars don't have a system to warn you of low oil level -- unless you manually get out and check the dipstick. Problem is, your oil pressure light/gauge may not give you any indication of low oil level until you are running really low (more than two or three quarts down), at which point the oil pump pick-up might suck air instead of oil -- and your pressure could drop to zero. Running more than a quart or so low can be just as bad for your engine as running it with abnormally low oil pressure. Too bad most cars only warn you about one of these potentially serious problems!

    * Radiator ozone catalyst -- Back in the late 1990s, Volvo began fitting many of its new cars with radiators that had been coated at the factory with a special catalyst material able to convert smog (ground level ozone) into oxygen as air passes over the coated surface. Developed by Engelhard Corp. (a major supplier of catalytic converters for vehicle exhaust system) and marketed under the trade name PremAir, the special coating only added about $50 per car to the purchase price of a new vehicle -- but despite the nominal expense and huge potential benefit, most cars still don't come through with the PremAir catalytic "air scrubbing/ozone eating" coating, even today.

    * Safe, usable jacks for changing tires -- Many new cars jacks are flimsy things designed to be light and easy to store deep inside the guts of the trunk without taking up too much space. Whether they're actually usable (n particular, by women and those who may not have the arm strength of Hulk Hogan) often seems to be way down the list of car designers' priorities. A lug nut wrench with a handle more than six inches long (and thus, decent leverage) would be nice, too.

    * Transmission temperature gauge -- Excess heat can quickly destroy an automatic transmission; this is why some heavy-duty pick-ups and SUV come with transmission temperature gauges -- in addition to the usual water temperature, volt and fuel gauges. Unfortunately, most passenger cars don't offer transmission temperature gauges (or even idiot lights), which is too bad -- because an overheated transmission is just as bad (and expensive t fix) in a family sedan or minivan as it is in a beefy SUV or pick-up truck.

    * An extra bulb pack -- Most every car comes with a set of extra fuses, but very few (if any) new cars come with a replacement headlight (and tail-light/turn signal) bulb -- eve though these are items you're more likely to need someday than an extra 25 amp fuse. The automakers have left it up to you to think about having a spare on hand -- which when you think about it makes about as much sense as an optional spare tire.

    END

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Six Features Every New Car Ought to Have - But Most Don't

    * Oil level warning
    Rover cars used to have such a feature.... think it finised with the 3 Litre models

    * Safe, usable jacks for changing tires
    Weren't those bumper jacks hellish dangerous

    * An extra bulb pack
    Compulsory in some European countries.... I had had a full kit when I bought a new Volvo in Sweden
    I still carry spare head and tail light bulbs for car and motorcycle
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  3. #3
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    Re: Six Features Every New Car Ought to Have - But Most Don't

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    * In-glass electric defroster grid -- It's great to be able to see out of your back window on a frigid January day -- courtesy of an electric rear defroster. Most new cars have rear them. But how come virtually no cars have such a system for the front glass? Isn't it just as important to see ahead of you as it is behind you? (Land Rover is one of the few automakers to install a fine-wire electric defroster grid in the front windshield of its vehicles; it doesn't interrupt your forward view at all -- and the heated element clears the glass wonderfully on cold, snow/icy days.) Why this feature hasn't seem wider use is anyone's guess.
    Land Rover is just following the lead of its parent company! Heated windscreens have been available on European Fords for around 20 years, now standard fit on higher trim levels for much of the range.

  4. #4
    mrblanche
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    Re: Six Features Every New Car Ought to Have - But Most Don't

    There were some American cars that had a conductive coating on the windshield that accomplished this. Replacements were "pricey," to be kind! You can still see them...they're the ones that appear to be bronze when the sun hits them.

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    Re: Six Features Every New Car Ought to Have - But Most Don't

    Cars don't currently display parameters such as transmission temperature, but OBDII does broadcast that parameter. T

    I would not have a heated grid on my windshield, however. It shortens the range of a radar detector.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Six Features Every New Car Ought to Have - But Most Don't


    Compulsory in some European countries.... I had had a full kit when I bought a new Volvo in Sweden
    I still carry spare head and tail light bulbs for car and motorcycle

    I'm surprised it isn't here; and I do the same as you!

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