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A Mechanic's Life - Tales From Under the Hood

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,141
    Just like the Toyota incidents, I don't buy it. Shifter locked out, brakes failing to respond, and accelerator broken at full throttle position ... all at once. And I assume, although not mentioned, e-brake cable broken, too.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    I'm not a mechanic but I assume these systems are not connected to each other through one computer?

    Worst case scenario he shold have been able to activate the e-brake although at those speeds it might have done very little and totally burnt the rear brakes.

    What about just turning the key off?

    And lastly he could have slowed down by gently scraping the middle divider until friction would cause him to stop?

    On a somewhat related side note back in 1997 when I had my new 1997 Civic back then with a 5 speed manual an odd thing happened to me a few times.

    I started the car in neutral, and suddenly my ABS and CEL lights came on and when I attempted to press the clutch it would not press, instead making a grinding noise. Transmission was in neutral, the clutch pedal would press in only about 1/2 inch before making the grinding noise (it was not like the gears were grinding, it was another weird noise), and nothing I could do to put the car in gear. I always thought the clutch was fully mechanical and independent of any components, mechanical or electronic so it was weird what caused it to be stuck. The dealer could never replicate the problem and it happened only twice or three times over the 4 years I had the car. After that incident in a way I believe that sometimes mechanical parts like brake pedals could "freeze up". :confuse:

    Anyways after I turned the car off and restarted it, no lights came on and everything worked fine. :confuse:

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,402
    yeah but we have synthetics now and way better oil filters---true, it might constitute a form of 'abuse' and I'm not recommending it, but I think a modern engine could survive a 30,000 mile oil change--changing out the filter should prevent sludge. I'd put certain limitations on the test of course: no towing, no extreme climates, no track racing, etc.

    MODERATOR

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Yeah, I don't buy it either. Especially since this was a 16-year-old; not only is such an event unlikely, but for someone who has driven so few miles? That's astronomically unlikely. I call BS on this one, and I'm interested to see how it sorts out.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    What about just turning the key off?

    According to the video clip, he tried that.

    No dice.

    Throttle wide open, can't shift into neutral, can't turn off the ignition, can't engage any brakes, but somehow the steering works just fine.

    And the driver's cellphone works, too...
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I call BS on this one, call BS on this one,

    I was too, until finding out he flipped the car 5 times. Not even a teenager would be so dumb to risk their lives over a lousy couple hundred grand.

    Also, why drive an hour? Better to dial 911, get a couple witnesses, then jam the car against the concrete divider and cry whiplash.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I was too, until finding out he flipped the car 5 times. Not even a teenager would be so dumb to risk their lives over a lousy couple hundred grand.

    Yet, teens get out and risk their lives every day doing stupid stuff in cars for NO money.

    I seriously doubt the driver had plans to crash his car, but then again, how many kids that crash racing other kids set out with the idea of crashing?

    IMO, the crash at the end was simply the culmination of the odds of a crash finally adding up and outweighing the luck the driver had enjoyed for the previous hour or so.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,141
    i thought about that... but you can always come up with a scenario.

    Like this one:
    kid is obviously brand new driver. At 16, is he even supposed to be out there alone? Anyway, speeds past cop, knows he is screwed, so let's try this trick! then it just gets out of hand. He can't figure out a way out of it and just keeps going, maybe figuring he'd run it out of gas as his way out. Unfortunately, his lack of skill catches up with him before that happens.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    It's a good theory but I don't think it's possible to keep your foot off the brake for a full hour without slowing down.

    Even the most skilled drivers could slip up and out of instinct slam on the brakes when approaching a hazard or slow moving vehicles in which case the vehicle would slow to half the speed it's going before the driver would "remember" that they're pretending their brakes don't work.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    Do you REALLY think using an "incorrect" otherwise quality oil would affect the life of a car's engine one twit over 200,000 miles?

    What do you think about companies that don't clearly label their products, oil or otherwise? This one is clearly labeled correctly. Why are they the exception?

    Bigger question, why survey my opinion about the potential risks before you as a consumer ask that question of the companies that are using confusing statements in their advertising?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,593
    You didn't answer my question.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    edited March 2013
    With minimal research there are a couple of important considerations. 1st was this car equipped with a Smart Key system or a regular ignition key and switch?

    With Smart Key the operator has to push and hold the start button, and the vehicle will shut down. If it had a normal key, turning the key would directly open the power circuits to the PCM, BCM, and the smart junction box.

    The brake lights, which you never see come on during the video, are directly controlled by the pedal switch and a relay. I could look at the circuit a little more for cross references but with the smart key system the car would not start if there was a brake lamp circuit issue. Keep in mind, there is always room for something to change after the vehicle was started.

    If the throttle was genuinely stuck open, there would be no manifold vacuum to assist in the brake application. It would take both feet, but the manual operation of the brakes would still over power the drive train and from 110 mph, you can stop the car in about double the normal distance as you would without the engine pulling. Car and Driver (and others) have done some tests on this and there are also some you-tube videos of techs demonstrating various scenarios. They always stop the car, even with the throttle wide open.

    On some cars today, the shift lever is really just an input to a computer, but that is not the case with this Elantra. It uses a shift cable and has a manual valve and park pawl in the transmission just like we have used for decades.

    Sorry for the kid, but I'm not buying any of it.

    PS almost forgot.

    A kiss off of the median, or even one of the cops positioning to let him rear end the squad car would both set off the airbag system, and that results in a complete system shutdown as well.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    There is a lot if that around here, but everyone allows it for each other, but not me?

    There was one product on the shelf, I'll leave the name out for now that was clearly overdosed on ZDP, and it didn't even have the ILSAC donut on the bottle. That product used in a car experiencing above average consumption issues would easily contaminate the O2 sensors and catalysts. A similar product just down the shelf (Royal Purple) correctly identified itself as not for use in any vehicles after 2004, yet the first one did not.

    There is more to it than just "engine damage". Now answer my questions.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 1,521
    Same question that I asked isell...

    How do you feel about companies that use misleading statements in their advertising, whether it's an oil company or not?

    Now another question.

    Are you in favor of helping consumers understand the oil manufacturers labels and oil specifications, or would you like to keep consumers uninformed?

    From there, who does it serve to try and cast any doubts as to a consumers need to learn about and understand engine oil specifications?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,944
    edited March 2013
    With Smart Key the operator has to push and hold the start button, and the vehicle will shut down.

    I recall reading somewhere that the new "smart keys" will soon respond to multiple jabs of the button. Might have just been one automaker or maybe it's under consideration by the NHTSA.

    Back to 99 bottles of beer varieties of oil on the wall. :shades:

    (More like 999 - just counted 36 different kinds/weights of oil at Pennzoil, and that was just for the US market).

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    If I had a BMW, or similar car, with a high performance engine, I'd probably be wanting the correct spec oil put in. Your average Joe blow car? Probably not.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    kiss off of the median, or even one of the cops positioning to let him rear end the squad car would both set off the airbag system, and that results in a complete system shutdown as well.

    True. But 911 nor the cops would risk the liability. The kid spins out and crashes, is injured, now he's suing the city, the cops, and the car manufacturer.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Once again, thanks for your response and analysis.

    I came to the same conclusion.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,402
    Doc asks: "Are you in favor of helping consumers understand the oil manufacturers labels and oil specifications, or would you like to keep consumers uninformed? "

    Actually, THEY aren't much in favor of learning it and I'm not keen on trying to shove it down their throats. I know when to quit. :P

    MODERATOR

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited March 2013
    If I had a BMW, or similar car, with a high performance engine, I'd probably be wanting the correct spec oil put in. Your average Joe blow car? Probably not.

    Just curious... Why not use the correct spec oil 100% of the time?

    Chances are, it isn't significantly more expensive that an alternative oil that doesn't meet the manufacturer's specs.

    Assuming the lubrication specifications aren't encrypted in some form of impossible to understand code, or that the correct oil can't be located in the tri-state area... Why would you knowingly use a below-par lubricant?

    Even the cheapest cars aren't that cheap. So, if one puts 100K miles on a car, and changes the oil every 5K miles, we're talking about 20 oil change intervals. If the correct oil costs $2 more/qt, and the crankcase holds 5 quarts, that's a whopping $200 extra over the 100K mile life.... Or $400 over a 200K mile lifespan. Not that much coin at all...

    IMO, if money is that tight for the owner, I can only imagine the condition of the tires on the car after 50 K miles.

    Makes no sense to me...
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