Useless tech / equipment in cars

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Oct 8, 2006
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Start stop in my experience so far.
BMW- too aggressive
VW - about right
Land Rover - Never worked

Sunroof - love them, glad my Santa Fe has a massive one
Hill descent - fantastic on icy or muddy hills
Rain sensitive wipers - no issues, they are adjustable and work very well in my experience, one less thing for me to worry about
Paddle shift gear selection - I agree
Touch screen - my gripe is that they are out of date so quickly, mine is positivly useless now
Voice recognition- never use it, not interested in google collecting more data from me , kids love it though, it's a generational thing
Active High Beam - wish I had it, been out in an ID3 with matrix lighting it and it's bloomin amazing, some kind of whichcraft
Built in sat nav - never found one to be any good, but may help in an emergency
Headlamp washers in cars - I don't need to get my hands cold and dirty, so don't see the issue
+1, although our Karoq Sportsline doesn't have flappy paddles being a manual. Same thoughts on active high beam - pure magic! The only thing that annoys me slightly is the panoramic sunroof as I have nowhere to attach my magnetic amateur radio aerial!

There aren't many things on my VW Touareg that I don't use:-

Stop/start - used once in a blue moon now that it defaults to the previous status, usually off
Coasting - I was never comfortable with this and prefer to use engine braking, as I was taught
ESP Switch - never used it so ESP is on all the time

On the flip side, a sunroof is essential for us especially as so many modern cars have drab black interiors - hill descent control is useful off-road and on very steep public roads.

One of the things that really pigs me off is that the Traffic Information feature no longer works in the UK as VW UK have ended their use of TrafficMaster - so no dynamic sat nav routing.
Strange that VW UK have dropped the traffic information as the Karoq still has it. Indeed it is quite magical how it shows roadworks or delays ahead - and its <always> right! But there again I rarely use the satnav on distance journeys, but do use it as a street map for places I don't know.

I don't think I would ever again buy a car that does NOT have a rear view camera. Brilliant piece of kit for a caravanner as well as normal parking.
 
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May 7, 2012
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Stop/ start does save you money (not a lot) and helps the environment, so it cannot be reasonably criticised to me. The last car we ad did show the savings and it does add up.
I use the auto windscreen wipers and it works for me.
We have the overtaking warnings which are a good idea, although ours are possibly a bit too sensitive. I have turned off the lane assist though as that tries to prevent you changing lanes at times when you need to, which could be unsafe.
I do like the sunroof although I agree the use can be a bit noisy and when driving, possibly the tilt is the best option. Fully open is best when you are not moving.
The sat nav does not work for people towing although it will for the vast majority of drivers. The basic problem is usually the first and last bits o fa journey when towing so we always consult the sites instructions and Google to check it out.
We do not have a complex touchscreen system but do agree they are not good. This is something even the experts criticise as you need to keep your eyes on the road when driving. What we have mostly does not work when moving.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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Does your speed limiter reduce your speed as you come off of the straight and into a corner. I recall the first time I came across cruise control. I hired a Chrysler K car in Washington for a drive onto the Skyline Drive. Once on the drive I engaged cruise control as speed limits were enforced by the park police. Didn't occur to me to disengage it when a bend arrived. Must say the K car managed the unanticipated manoeuvre incredibly well. :eek:
The speed limiter is just that, it doesn't allow you to go faster than you have set it at , unless you physically accelerate through it as in a automatic gearbox kick down. So as you come into a corner you just relax off the accelerator as per normal , then accelerate up to your pre set limit.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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Stop-start may cause long-term battery issues although the higher battery specification and battery management system should counter that - VW Group recommend changing the battery at 5 years old or when battery "State of Health" (SOH) drops to 50% - I've just changed mine at 8-years old and it still shows 80% "SOH" which is probably due to me defaulting stop-start to off when the car was new.

I'm now left with a 105Ah AGM battery that still has useful life but is too big to fit the caravan !!
 
Apr 13, 2021
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Never use the speed limiter as I believe that I am capable of making my own decisions, I use the speed warnings though (set at 60)
I turn off the automatic mirror fold as this can be a problem with the extensions fitted and anyway I can always fold them with the switch if needed.
Sat nav in Ateca works great.
 
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Nov 30, 2022
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I have had stop/start on my cars for probably 10 years, and it's always switched on. I have never had the slightest issue with starter motors or batteries.
Auto matrix LED headlights? Simply awesome!
Auto lights, excellent, but some people don't seem to realise they work on ambient light so don't switch on. when foggy
Auto wipers, fully adjustable for speed so no issues there.
Adaptive cruise, another like from me
Likewise speed limiter (better known as licence saver)
Lane keep assist, or as I term it "Auto-swerve" I hate
Sun roof, love it, loads of light flooding in.
Heated seats, love 'em
Cooled seats (yes they exist!) Fabulous in the summer.
Heated steering wheel, great.
Voice activate sat-nav/phone/audi, brilliant.
Built in sat nav, OK but expensive to update.
Reversing camera and sensors, brilliant
360⁰ camera, bit of a gimmick but has its uses
Head up display for speed and sat nav directions, would hate to have a car without.
Flappy paddles, of limited use but handy for dropping down a gear (or two) when descending a hill.
Auto-hold on hills, love it.
Rear cross traffic warning, really useful if reversing out of a parking space (I always try to reverse park, it makes getting out again soon much easier.)
Electric parking brake, used to detest it, but now love it. Apply brake, feet of everything, touch the throttle and brake releases car moves off. Lovely
Auto-locking as you walk away, what's not to like.
Coming home/leaving home headlights, nice if you don't have street lighting
Smart city brake, undecided as it has cut in a few times on me.
Auto folding door mirrors, great as it saves them getting smacked when parked. No issues when caravan mirrors fitted as there is (just) enough clearance when folded.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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As mentioned I use most of the gadgets in my vehicle except stop /start which i find very annoying and although it is quick, it is not quick enough for me as I like to be in control of my vehicle.

I suppose that if the stop / start is activated and you are stopped at traffic lights and the engine switches off, legally you could use your phone as the engine is switched off? :unsure: Why a sunroof when you have climate control as that sort of defeats the purpose of having air con in the vehicle?

The issue for me is that the Stop / Start and the sunroof should be optional rather than mandatory as whether you use them or not, you still have to pay for them!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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As mentioned I use most of the gadgets in my vehicle except stop /start which i find very annoying and although it is quick, it is not quick enough for me as I like to be in control of my vehicle.

I suppose that if the stop / start is activated and you are stopped at traffic lights and the engine switches off, legally you could use your phone as the engine is switched off? :unsure: Why a sunroof when you have climate control as that sort of defeats the purpose of having air con in the vehicle?

The issue for me is that the Stop / Start and the sunroof should be optional rather than mandatory as whether you use them or not, you still have to pay for them!
Why don’t you try using your hand held phone when stopped at traffic lights, or in a traffic jam perhaps? . I think since you are still classed as “driving” the vehicle your legal defence might be a bit shaky. Have a read of the latest rules.
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Why a sunroof when you have climate control as that sort of defeats the purpose of having air con in the vehicle?

Only if not aware that sunlight also comes through a sunroof, for some like my wife, being in the sunshine is a plus. An even greater one, in that our sunroof has a blind to attenuate the sunshine.
I also greatly like as open top vehicle as possible, wind in my handful of hairs. If it was practical a convertible, a sunroof to an extent is a pragmatic compromise.
Add to that Climate control, of which I am a big fan, requires energy to work and so as well as being that bit more climate damaging, needs the engine running to work, the open roof does not.
However, sunroofs are optional, you can buy vehicles without them if they have no personal appeal, and I expect many can be used closed or open.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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As mentioned I use most of the gadgets in my vehicle except stop /start which i find very annoying and although it is quick, it is not quick enough for me as I like to be in control of my vehicle.

I suppose that if the stop / start is activated and you are stopped at traffic lights and the engine switches off, legally you could use your phone as the engine is switched off? :unsure: Why a sunroof when you have climate control as that sort of defeats the purpose of having air con in the vehicle?

The issue for me is that the Stop / Start and the sunroof should be optional rather than mandatory as whether you use them or not, you still have to pay for them!
When we have driven with the sunroof open I normally would turn aircon off. Even on a nice winter day I’d have sunroof partially open and turn aircon off and leave heating on if required.
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I am not overly convinced stop star saves fuel in many cases where in "stop start" traffic hold ups, it's just too eager to intervene and can't yet see that three vehicles ahead are just starting to move.
My pet hate with its intervention [ assuming it's an ICE engine] is waiting to turn, like a right turn across traffic on a high density fast carriageway. There I believe it is more dangerous that without it.
As an engineer I don't like it on several counts, not least one more thing to fail.
Living and generally travelling in the countryside, I can in clear conscience switch it off knowing its real benefit is more in a traffic jammed urban environment.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Why don’t you try using your hand held phone when stopped at traffic lights, or in a traffic jam perhaps? . I think since you are still classed as “driving” the vehicle your legal defence might be a bit shaky. Have a read of the latest rules.
Definitely won't try that stunt in any court of law, but technically when the engine is switched off, you are not longer driving or in control of the vehicle.
Only if not aware that sunlight also comes through a sunroof, for some like my wife, being in the sunshine is a plus. An even greater one, in that our sunroof has a blind to attenuate the sunshine.
I also greatly like as open top vehicle as possible, wind in my handful of hairs. If it was practical a convertible, a sunroof to an extent is a pragmatic compromise.
Add to that Climate control, of which I am a big fan, requires energy to work and so as well as being that bit more climate damaging, needs the engine running to work, the open roof does not.
However, sunroofs are optional, you can buy vehicles without them if they have no personal appeal, and I expect many can be used closed or open.
We always use our climate control whether summer or winter. For the car to move any any direction requires the engine to be running so hardly going to damage the climate any more.

If you are going to use the sun roof blind why have the sunroof open? If stationary, simply get out of the car and feel the wind in your hair. :LOL: Many top spec vehicles the sunroof is not an option, but part of the standard equipment.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I am not overly convinced stop star saves fuel in many cases where in "stop start" traffic hold ups, it's just too eager to intervene and can't yet see that three vehicles ahead are just starting to move.
My pet hate with its intervention [ assuming it's an ICE engine] is waiting to turn, like a right turn across traffic on a high density fast carriageway. There I believe it is more dangerous that without it.
As an engineer I don't like it on several counts, not least one more thing to fail.
Living and generally travelling in the countryside, I can in clear conscience switch it off knowing its real benefit is more in a traffic jammed urban environment.
Not sure about other vehicles as I have a manual foot handbrake. When stationary in traffic, I always apply the handbrake as that is what I was taught, but the moment you lift your foot of the brake because the handbrake is applied, the engine starts anyway.
 
Jan 20, 2023
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The touch-screen menu for pretty much everything on my Volvo is awkward to use when on the move, it’s pot-luck trying to tap the right place and it’s actually quite a distraction to use it.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Definitely won't try that stunt in any court of law, but technically when the engine is switched off, you are not longer driving or in control of the vehicle.

We always use our climate control whether summer or winter. For the car to move any any direction requires the engine to be running so hardly going to damage the climate any more.

If you are going to use the sun roof blind why have the sunroof open? If stationary, simply get out of the car and feel the wind in your hair. :LOL: Many top spec vehicles the sunroof is not an option, but part of the standard equipment.

Then how come drivers can be their car in a pub car park with engine not running and charged with being over the drink drive limit. Wrt being stopped at red lights if course you are still driving as you have absolutely no idea when the BMS will restart the engine irrespective of if you touch the throttle or whatever stop/start requires to get it going again.

As an aside I remember a young lady driver was stopped at red lights with car in neutral and handbrake on, and she took a drink from a water bottle. A police officer saw her and she was fined plus points. There was no dispute about the status of the car. I thought it a bit OTT but that’s life.

Ever since then when driving solo I use a drinking tube inserted into a bottle.


 
Nov 30, 2022
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The touch-screen menu for pretty much everything on my Volvo is awkward to use when on the move, it’s pot-luck trying to tap the right place and it’s actually quite a distraction to use it.
Many manufacturers have listened to customers and are installing switches again for the most common functions, such as heating and ventilation.
Personally I feel that doing everything on a screen (a la Tesla and others) is dangerous in so much as it requires a driver to take their eyes off the road to look at, and navigate, a touch screen. Switches don't move and muscle memory will guide a finger to it without having to look away from what's important, the road ahead!!
 
Nov 30, 2022
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Then how come drivers can be their car in a pub car park with engine not running and charged with being over the drink drive limit.

In a pub car park or similar the offence is being "Drunk in Charge" and that is very different from, and a lot harder to prove in a court than "Driving whilst the level of alcohol in the body exceeds the proscribed limit" The former has a get out if the driver can show there was no likelihood of them driving (in a motor home preparing for bed etc). The latter is an absolute offence with no get out clauses.
For mobile phones the offence is simply holding one whilst driving. Stationary at traffic lights, with the engine switched off, is still classed as driving.
Don't blame me, I am just trying to explain hiw tge law operates.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Then how come drivers can be their car in a pub car park with engine not running and charged with being over the drink drive limit. Wrt being stopped at red lights if course you are still driving as you have absolutely no idea when the BMS will restart the engine irrespective of if you touch the throttle or whatever stop/start requires to get it going again.

As an aside I remember a young lady driver was stopped at red lights with car in neutral and handbrake on, and she took a drink from a water bottle. A police officer saw her and she was fined plus points. There was no dispute about the status of the car. I thought it a bit OTT but that’s life.

Ever since then when driving solo I use a drinking tube inserted into a bottle.


The pub car park is probably a totally different ball game.

I can recall a similar incident where a person drinking from a bottle while stationary got a ticket from an over enthusiastic officer, but the person argued about it in court and the ticket was cancelled.
 
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Aug 12, 2023
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The touch-screen menu for pretty much everything on my Volvo is awkward to use when on the move, it’s pot-luck trying to tap the right place and it’s actually quite a distraction to use it.
What functions are you trying to do?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The pub car park is probably a totally different ball game.

I can recall a similar incident where a person drinking from a bottle while stationary got a ticket from an over enthusiastic officer, but the person argued about it in court and the ticket was cancelled.
This article from the RAC gives a good summary of the recent legislative changes affecting mobile phone usage.

 
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Jul 18, 2017
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This article from the RAC gives a good summary of the recent legislative changes affecting mobile phone usage.

I think Mr Plod answered the question quite comprehensively in post #42 and anyway i was not serious, just musing as unlike some, I never use my phone when driving although I have an in car system. I ask them to phone back later or send a text.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I never use my phone when driving although I have an in car system. I ask them to phone back later or send a text.

Now that poses an intriguing question, quite how then do you" ask" them if never using the phone?;)
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Now that poses an intriguing question, quite how then do you" ask" them if never using the phone?;)
Now that's an interesting question , I remember a car advert showing text messages being able to be received and sent from the car. Anyone had a car with that facility. ?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Now that's an interesting question , I remember a car advert showing text messages being able to be received and sent from the car. Anyone had a car with that facility. ?
I can set the iPhone to respond to incoming calls telling the caller that I am driving and will contact them later. Apple Car Play makes it quite easy to set up and the phone knows when it is in the car.


ios-15-how-to-send-auto-reply-text-iphone-focus-mode
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Now that's an interesting question , I remember a car advert showing text messages being able to be received and sent from the car. Anyone had a car with that facility. ?
Yes. The system reads out the text message to me if I accept it.

Now that poses an intriguing question, quite how then do you" ask" them if never using the phone?;)
My co-pilot would normally give them the message. However in the vehicle it is a simple matter of pressing a button and telling them you are driving.

Perhaps for the pedantic I should have carefully explained and said that the only conversation I have while driving is a very brief conversation instead of a long drawn out conversation as one cannot concentrate on the road while having a conversation. In my humble opinion concentrating on the road is more important! (y) :)
 

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