Cars and Driving [split]

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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Kellemora » 28 Aug 2014, 11:18

I've had radio gear in all of my cars, including cantankerous early ham radio gear that required tuning. Never had to take my eyes off the road to use any of it. Truckers yak on CB's 24/7, which actually keeps you more alert.

I've always driven with one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on the gearshift. Still do!
People who have ridden with me numerous times, didn't realize my car was an automatic, because I change the gears manually, using the transmission instead of the brakes quite often. Meaning I downshift coming to a stop and upshift when taking off and getting up to speed.

I offered a friend my car to use to go get parts for his. He said he didn't know how to drive a stick.
The look he gave me when I said it was an automatic was unforgettable.
I went ahead and drove him to the parts store, because I wanted to show him how the anti-rollback feature worked. There is a steep hill where we enter a secondary road leading to the main road. I pull up to the stop sign, having never touched the brake once, and the car stops without rolling backwards down the hill. I had purposely told him to watch my brake pedal, as I wouldn't be touching it while waiting to pull out.

These are just a couple of the safety features I have in my car that have not been available in any car since 1997. I began looking in 1999 for a duplicate of my car, as I had the money at the time to buy another one.
While doing some research, I did learn that like only 1 car out of each 7500 manufactured in 1997, was ordered with the expensive options I had in mine. They just don't put quality parts, even as an option, into anything made since then. They haven't allowed consumers to special order certain options since the 1970s either.

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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby Ice.Maiden » 28 Aug 2014, 16:35

It's sometimes difficult to obtain car parts isn't it, whether they last or not. Over here, you're usually OK with Fords, but the rest can be expensive or, other makes of parts can be substituted but might not last.

We have hands-free car phones, but I've never used them! Unless there was an emergency, I honestly don't see the need to be chatting to people whilst you're driving along. It's not just in vehicles either. I constantly see folk in shops, walking around and laughing away to friends or family. Why can't they wait until they get outside - or home? What on earth did they do before mobiles came in? I just find it sad.
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Re: Human Obsolescence

Postby pilvikki » 28 Aug 2014, 18:41

    so do I. especially when they have kids they're ignoring.
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    Re: Human Obsolescence

    Postby Ice.Maiden » 28 Aug 2014, 18:54

    :(

    I've seen that so many times.
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    Re: Human Obsolescence

    Postby Kellemora » 29 Aug 2014, 10:14

    The computer system glitch in my car requires replacement of the computer, the part alone costs well over a thousand dollars.
    I thought I might be able to get one from a junk yard or aftermarket for much less, but there is a problem here too. I cannot get the type of computer box which was installed in my car from a junk yard or as aftermarket. It doesn't exist. I have features in my car controlled by this computer box, which were special ordered options, nobody else opted for.
    So, if I do cough up over a grand to buy a factory replacement, it will be a standard factory replacement unit.
    The secondary display in my car will be like the display in my wife's car, well, her's is even a smaller unit than that. Her's is the economy computer box, not even the standard one.
    My point is, if I buy the standard computer box, I will lose all the special features my current box contains. They sold the last special features computer box way back in 2002 and will not make any more.
    The odds of me finding one in a junk yard somewhere is higher than my winning the lottery, and most junk yards would probably not know to look to see if it was a special one are not, simply because they are so rare.

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    Re: Human Obsolescence

    Postby Ice.Maiden » 29 Aug 2014, 14:48

    Hi Gary.

    Cars these days can have 40 or 50 microprocessors in them. Is it any wonder that if something goes horribly wrong, it's costly to replace? Maybe we should all go back to basics and forget all the "new-fangled" things we've been accustomed to? Oh ... give me a horse and cart! : )
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    Re: Human Obsolescence

    Postby Kellemora » 30 Aug 2014, 12:26

    What kills me more than anything else.
    Instead of making cars Safer, they make them More Deadly, then add computerized controls to make them appear less deadly, because the computers are supposed to overcome the deadly design flaws.
    This is nothing new, cars built back in the '70s had design flaws that required countermeasures to overcome the design flaw by adding extra mechanical components to the cars, not needed if the car was built properly to start with.
    I know this for a fact, because I worked for one of the companies that made these add-on stability controlling units. The mechanical devices worked so well, and were so cheap, many cars were designed using it in lieu of properly designed vehicles. They could make the cars cheaper, and cheaper, and cheaper, until today, cars are virtual death traps looking for a place to happen.

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    Re: Human Obsolescence

    Postby Ice.Maiden » 30 Aug 2014, 17:35

    Some're better than others, but generally speaking, I think you're right. Again, it boils down to making money. If cars were built to last, profits'd drop. The same goes for most everything we use on a daily basis - washing machines, freezers, tumble dryers, cookers. Where once they lasted for years, they now seem to pack up just as the guarantee runs out!
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    Re: Cars and Driving [split]

    Postby Yogi » 09 Sep 2014, 10:41

    NOTE
    This topic was extracted from a thread that went off topic too far but was good enough to keep in the discussion forums. Please feel free to continue Cars and Driving discussions here.
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    Re: Cars and Driving [split]

    Postby Kellemora » 09 Sep 2014, 12:11

    I have to get my dig in about cars here.
    Most reputable companies, from the mine to the retailers shelves, have a fairly universal markup for their products at each step of the way.
    The exceptions to this are, as an example only, the jewelry and cosmetics industries with their 1000%. I won't get into the drug companies exorbitant markups here.

    In the automotive industry, parts used in their manufacture are marked up higher than any other raw or manufactured parts in any other industry.
    The final product, the completed cars, have over a 5000% markup, compared to other products using similar components and parts. How they get such a high markup is a study posted on-line several times this past month.

    What I liked about the study is how it compared LIKE KIND parts to the volume produced as supplies demanded.
    Naturally, buying a replacement part for a car is much higher than the price of the part as it is calculated into the cost of the car.
    The article went on to show the number of similarly constructed units manufactured for each industry. It showed the process of manufacture, and the cost to manufacture the component, and how it equated to the number of sales expected for that specific unit.
    I don't have it in front of me, and can't find it again right now. But to give you an idea of what I mean, I'll pull an example from my hat.
    The primary Logic Board (cars main computer unit) is smaller and simpler to make than a computers motherboard, it is more like a graphics card in your computer. However, I will use the more expensive motherboard that contains the graphics, ethernet, and sound cards built-in.
    The cost to manufacture a motherboard for a computer is less than the cost of an individual card.
    For this comparison, the expected sales of the device manufactured is only 10,000 units.
    Item - Cost to Manufacture - vs Price paid as product component - vs sold as replacement part.
    Computer Motherboard each - 14 dollars - 24 dollars - 65 dollars.
    Appliance Motherboard each - 12 dollars - 30 dollars - 120 dollars.
    Car Motherboard each - 12 dollars - 84 dollars - 924 dollars.

    Computer Switch Board x 100 - 16 dollars - 30 dollars - 73 dollars.
    Appliance Switch Board x 100 - 18 dollars - 40 dollars - 160 dollars.
    Car Switch Board x 100 - 14 dollars - 100 dollars - 1,200 dollars.

    In other words, if it goes into an appliance it is higher than if it goes into a smaller consumer item. But if it goes into a car, it is grossly overpriced every step of the way. Yet the cost to manufacture was nearly the same.

    I do realize how a raw material is used and what is made from it plays a large part in the cost of the final product. This is usually due to the labor costs involved in making the item.
    A sheet of steel rolled flat costs much less than one formed into a fender.
    But that same sheet of steel could be tempered, cut, formed, and treated to make the mainspring for a watch. So the labor costs involved are high despite the low volume of material used.

    In my comparisons above, we were talking about a printed circuit board with the same number of parts, using the same manufacturing methods, and in the same quantities. So how is one final product at retail only sold for 73 dollars, and a LIKE KIND product with the same sales volume sells for 924 dollars. Same channels of distribution, and same manufacturing cost. Why the excess markup?

    Somebody has to pay for those 35,000 dollar per minute car ads you see running 24/7 on TV, it's not the company, it's the buyer of the car paying for all these useless ads. Plus the exorbitant profits for the dealers and car makers.

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