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Eyrie up!

Friday’s Substackery—Can they read my mind yet?—is now up and running. A discussion of the newer automobiles which neither seek nor are at all respectful of any input whatsoever from their lowly drivers, it uses the esteemed Eric Peters’ perambulations on said topic as the springboard for my own musings on same. Teaser:

In fact, only a cpl-three years back, my beloved mother in law up in NYC returned the brand-new Mercedes SUV she had just bought to the dealership and demanded her trade-in vehicle back—a low-mileage Benz SUV no more than three years old itself—after her new one automagickally shut itself off whilst sitting becalmed in Manhattan rush-hour traffic. Doing so once was one thing, mind; however, after it happened four more times in rapid succession, no contradictory input either sought or heeded by the car, my MiL had seen enough. She hie’d herself back to the dealer and got her old ride back, which she still tootles happily around in without complaint to this very day.

And why on earth wouldn’t she have done that, prithee tell? A car whose CPU shuts the engine off in snarled traffic is NOT any vehicle you want to be trying to drive in NYC, at any time of the day or night, snarled traffic being more the rule than the exception there. In fact, a car like that constitutes a very real hazard to life and limb, given the various and sundry obstacles to the consistent flow of traffic scattered like land mines throughout all of the Five Boroughs: road construction, stoplights, insane cabbies, and the aforementioned Critical Traffic, to mention but a few.

In crowded American cities like NYC, a car that shuts itself off in traffic for “safety” purposes is actually the very antithesis of what most people understand the word “safety” to mean.

Go ye and read of it, for It. Is. Good.

8 thoughts on “Eyrie up!

  1. This is why I’ll hold on to my 2011 Mercedes S550 until it literally falls apart under me.

  2. Especially if one is in the right parts of the Big Craphole when the car decides to shut off!

  3. Isn’t starting the car one of the highest stress points for wear and tear on an auto?

    Can you imagine driving a mile or two each day and it has to restart 20 times? Damn thing won’t last the 3 years to the next trade-in!!!

    1. Modern cars do not sustain the damage from starts as the older ones did. Fuel injection eliminates the worst carburetor issue, too much fuel washing the lubrication off the cylinder walls. Combine the FI with better metallurgy of both the cylinder walls and the rings and starting is not an issue. Not to mention the higher voltage ignition system generally yields a more complete combustion at the low speed startup.

      1. PLUS–can’t speak to cars, but newer Harley engines (since the later Twin Cam versions, I believe) have a couple of little oiler-jets down at the base of the cylinder that actually spray a light misting of oil onto the piston skirts when the engine is turned over.

        A really GREAT idea, I always thought.

        As opposed to the earlier engines, which rely on waiting until the engine is actually running and the oil is being pushed up to the rocker boxes by the oil pump, then flows on back down through the system to lubricate the heads, cylinders and pistons. Not a total-loss system by any means, but too close for comfort; puts a lot of unnecessary wear on the moving parts every time you crank the thing up. Kinda makes ya wonder how those old Shovels, Pans, and Knuckleheads managed to last so damned long.

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