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« Fact for the Day | Main | G-Spots; Bailouts »

April 15, 2009

What's Really Important About a Car

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

My wife just bought a new car (a Ford Edge, if you're curious).

Since she lets me drive it once in a while, I thumbed through the owner's manual to find out what was what. I discovered the following:

The manual has 344 pages. The first nine are introductory material. This is followed by eight pages about the instrument panel.

Pages 18 through 74 are devoted to "Entertainment Systems." Then it goes on to deal with climate controls, lights, driver controls, tire changing and the rest.

That's 57 pages devoted to regular radios, Sirius radio, CD players, DVD players, MP3 tracking, headphones, remote controls and whatever other gizmos might be involved. And remember, this is covered before most information dealing with the operation of the car as such.

Woe unto us.



posted by Donald at April 15, 2009


About twelve years ago we bought some new tractors (Green ones.). They came with an operating video. After twenty minutes I turned off the video.They were still talking about the seat.

Posted by: Random on April 15, 2009 3:48 PM

This is because modern engines are far too complicated for the average person to work on, so car manufacturers don't bother putting much info on the engine other than where to put the oil. I long for the days of engines where you could see the ground through them. The less moving parts the better.

Posted by: JV on April 15, 2009 4:06 PM

We drove a Land Rover for 15 years - no radio, sliding windows, and our security system was an improvised wooden wedge for keeping the passenger door "locked". We sold it and bought a Toyota Landcruiser with radio, electric windows and and proper door locks; we added a steering lock. Some bugger stole the vehicle.

Posted by: dearieme on April 15, 2009 5:07 PM

JV has a good point. Onboard-computer-operated cars mean manuals are more redundant.

Also, I think those annoying plastic covers on most car engines nowadays are meant to actively discourage people from messing under the hood. Hell, on some cars, you can't even change your own oil or spark plugs without spending most of the day dismantling this and that first to get better access. As I said, I wouldn't be suprised if this is intentional, as this probably results in more "after sale" services provided by authorized dealers (at least for new cars and those still under warranty).

Posted by: Laikastes on April 16, 2009 5:10 AM

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