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Clearwater AL

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New cars… (For those bored... something to read.) :)

Fifteen, twenty and 30 years ago when I bought a newer
or a brand new car after I signed the paper work and got the keys…
I’d get in the car I just bought, happy with my purchase.

I’d reach under the front of the seat and adjust the seat, I’d adjust the
mirror, with a quick review I’d adjust the A/C then tune the radio to my
favorite station or put in a tape and later a new thing called a CD.

Last year I bought a brand new car. I traded in our 2004 Mazda still
in perfect shape but had too many miles on it to consider it dependable.

After signing as much paper work as I did when I bought this house
the salesman says, “Ok, we’ve got some things we must go over
before you drive away.”

I sat in the drivers seat, he sat in the passenger seat Ann sat in the
back. We learned how to start the car… no key. Then he went over
the shifter which now has three functions besides P-R-N-D.
Then he went over the cameras, two icons that show up in the mirrors,
the crash alert system, the lane alert system and about at that point I
wasn’t remembering much as he went on for another 10 minutes.

Then he handed me the most important 20 page book I keep along
side the seat to this day… “The Quick Guide”. With pictures!!

The center of the dash has a 5” x 7” media screen.
Below that is a control panel that has 21 buttons, two knobs.
One knob has a ring that turns right or left for more functions
If you push down the ring, turn it left or right… more options.
In front of the steering wheel is another small screen in the
middle of the gauges. It shows speed in digits. I like that.

Overhead is another control panel with 9 buttons.
The drivers seat has four control buttons on the left side.

The signal light arm now has 6 different functions.
The wiper arm has 4 different functions.
The steering wheel has 6 more function buttons.

Ok, while I’m driving on a busy 3 lane interstate highway in the
middle lane doing 70 mph while watching the road, cars ahead of
me and alongside of me, I glance down or up and happen to push
the wrong button…

Slowly the seat gets warm. Out of 21 buttons I got to find the one
to turn it off. Ooops, wrong button the steering wheel is getting
warm. After some poke and hope both cool off.

It took two weeks to learn the Sirius XM radio.
Wanting to change the vent options pushed the wrong button…
there’s a map on the media screen wanting a destination.
Getting back to the Sirius XM screen takes 3 icon button strokes.

Push the wrong button and the media screen wants to know what
phone number you want to call or voice command a name.

Overhead to open the escape hatch (sun roof) hit the wrong button…
someone from OnStar wants to talk to you.
Push another wrong button and you wonder if you just opened
the garage door… (Hope I’m far enough from home that didn’t
happen.)

Push the signal light arm down for a left turn and bump the little
switch and that gives you your speed digitally now shows
your engine oil life is 69%. Mistakenly slightly twist the end ring
knob and now the little screen shows all four tire pressures.
spell is going to pot for some reason. FTD is kicking in
That’s just a few… a year later I have somewhat of an understanding
of the 35+ buttons and the 44 functions of this new car.

I have a new revere for jet pilots… (Mike). :)

Ok, I’m in the middle of a 3 lane Interstate, all lanes are solid and
the pack has crept up to 76 mph, the icons in both side mirrors are
lit up… on the media screen Ann has sent me a text. :)
 
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KimT

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Thanks for the story, Al. I got my RAV4 during the diagnostic fiasco that had me going back and forth to Mayo Clinic and U of F for nearly a year. Prior to that I sold my smart phone and bought a AARP-endorsed jitterbug phone that only cost $20 a month.

Just before I started looking for a car (I only had two models in mind so the search wasn't exhausting) I bought a new iPhone. After 8 hours of negotiating, walking away, going to other dealers, then being called back saying they had accepted my offer on the trade and out-the-door price, I wearily returned to sign the paperwork. The guy started showing me all the buttons and features but all I wanted him to do was show me how to sync my phone to the system. He didn't know how!!!!! I had to go through the manual and figure it out. When I went on my first out-of-town trip, the navigation system's orientation was wrong. It always showed North at the top instead of the direction I was driving. It was OK but not ideal so I had to pull into a parking lot and figure it out.

All the whistles and bells serve their purpose and I really like most of them. I honestly believe the backup camera helped the herniated disc in my c-spine to get better.

In 2016 we had a mild "Winter" so I kind of forgot about the heated seats (I don't have a heated steering wheel). Last year it got cold and a friend reminded me to turn on my seats. I couldn't remember where the button was located. Toyota needs to put better labels on stuff and not conceal them under steering wheels!
 

affected

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I'm stunned you didn't the car out for a test drive and already know those things :)
 

KarenNWendyn

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Most of the electronic bells and whistles are so complicated that I suspect most people will never use them.

I have always tried to get the basic models on new cars I have bought.

I wonder if self-driving cars (when they are commercially available) might be of help to PALS who still have some ability to transfer and walk but may not otherwise be fully able to drive.
 

Clearwater AL

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Tillie,

I did take it for a test drive. He was in the passenger seat talking as I was driving pointing out this, pointing out that, telling me where to turn and if I buy the car he'd go over everything in detail. Just enough to get through the test drive.

I picked the car up late the next day.... didn't remember a damned thing he said on the test drive. :)

My hat's off to anyone who can learn 35+ buttons and 44+ different functions on a test drive.
 
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beauty4everyone

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You're lucky it doesn't have a seat ejector button! On second thought, keep an umbrella handy, just in case.
(Happy driving and be safe.) B.
 

affected

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Good one Al, your first post sure read like you bought the car without having looked at it which had me wondering ... :)
 

Narrowminded

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And they wonder why there is so much distracted driving. They blame it all on the smart phone, but with all that going on around you from the car itself. It a wonder any of us get to or destinations unharmed. :)
 

Nuts

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I've had my care for about four years now and I just found the heated steering wheel button.

Who has time?
 

KimT

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Becky,

Perhaps I should continue looking.....I might actually have one :lol:
 

Clearwater AL

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Edited. On second thought... my post really didn't fit this Thread.
 
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