Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Manual Backup for Cars?

When technology fails, it's always nice to have a low tech backup. For many years my wife & I resisted buying cars with electric windows and door locks. Suppose the car goes in the water and the electrical system shorts out. How will you escape the car? We had one car dealer argue, "it's free", but it was not a matter of cost, we WANTED the old-fashioned locks and windows. Also today it's impossible to but a new car without power windows.

When my father rented a car recently, he & I were stumped. How do you turn it on? There was no keyhole for ignition; just a "Start" button. We pressed the button and nothing happens. We later learned that the start button only works while the brake pedal is pressed.

Another "power" feature on new cars is keyless entry. But what if you press your "key" and nothing happens?
This is the bane of drivers in the Bermuda Triangle of lost cars in Yonkers, NY.  According to the Consumerist,
"A nearby funeral home owner says he's had constant complaints about people getting locked out of their cars, including his brother who had to get his car towed away."
A "radio-frequency specialist says there's likely a malfunctioning device in the area that's overpowering all the other quick signal bursts from remotes with its constant strong signal. He says drivers who experience such a thing should bring their keyless remotes as closely to their cars' antenna as they can, to minimize possible interference.
Local employees have learned to park far away or else PUSH their car out of the no-key zone.

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