Dummy lights in cars are stupid. You know what I’m talking about? Those little light up symbols on your dashboard display that tell you that you need oil or “check engine”. Check engine for what? A rubber doll with a candy ass? Did Santa Clause come and leave me something under the hood? How about fucking telling me what I’m supposed to check for?

It really irks me. Cars are more expensive then they’ve ever been. People drop 20 to 30 plus thousand bucks on a new car these days and the damn things come with dash displays that haven’t changed much since the 1980’s. I mean come on, it’s 2009. You can buy a laptop today for 300 bucks. You can get 19″ LCD displays for $100. The least they could do when you’re spending 20 plus thousand dollars on a car is put a fucking $300 computer in there that speaks to you in plain English.

“You’re gas cap is off”

“You’re running low on oil, please add two quarts”

“You now have three gallons of gas remaining or 72 remaining miles at your current speed.”

A friend of mine had a 1982 Cadillac that could tell you on the dash how many miles you could go on how much gas you had left. So why, twenty plus years later with all the advancements in computer technology and how cheap its gotten, does every car not come with these features? Honestly every car that rolled off the line by 1992 should have had these features. But even today we are still looking at little flashing symbols on the dashboard and beeping lights.

Beyond that, why are car alarms still going off annoying the fuck out of everyone. Nobody has cared about those things for the last fifteen years. We’ve all gotten to the point that it’s like “somebody just steal the fucking thing already and turn that damn thing off”. Couldn’t they, maybe, I don’t know, have it call your cell phone instead and say “this is your car, I’m in trouble”.

What the hell are these auto companies thinking? Why isn’t anybody, why isn’t everybody adding this stuff to every car?

It just annoys me. Where does this all come from? It comes from a story my mom told me about how she spent two days wondering what was wrong with her 2002 Ford F150 until my sister looked at it with her and after fifteen minutes they both figured out that flashing cryptic symbol and beeping meant the gas cap was off. The cover was closed but the cap was off. It’s like, by that year the car should just speak to you or at least flash a message in English on an LCD display on the dash saying “the gas cap is off”. Really for a $30,000 truck, is throwing a $500 computer under the dash really gonna make that big of a difference?

If I were building cars these days I’d have sensors on everything. It would tell you exactly what part in the car is going bad. For instance: “The o2 sensor is not sending proper information, would you like to know more?” if you hit yes, it will tell you what an O2 sensor is, where it’s located, if it’s a big problem or not and what’s wrong with it. You’d get the same kind of helpful information for every part in the car.

Every time you pop the engine oil cap off, the next time you start the car the computer would ask “did you just get an oil change” if you say yes, it starts counting miles and tells you when you need to get another one. Every time you start the car and go somewhere and then stop and put it in park, it logs how many miles you drove, what your average miles per gallon were, what your average speed was as well as all of your fluid levels at the time of the trip.

This kind of stuff could have been put into cars ten plus years ago. But it wasn’t. Instead, most of us are still stuck with dummy lights and the reason we’re stuck with dummy lights is because we’re stuck with dummy car companies.


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0 thoughts on “Dummy

  1. ROFL.  My “check engine” light has been on, on and off (mostly on) in the several years I have owned my current vehicle. I have no idea WTF if means. On the average day there are about two lights lit up, and then, on an esp. irritating day when I am running low on fuel that light will go on too, making it three. The check break is usually always on for no reason.

    You’re right it sure would be nice if they would be more explicit. but I have always had major issues with stuff like that. vehicles and vacuum cleaners. I have the worst relationship with vacuum cleaners of anybody on earth, I’m convinced.

  2. Honestly, your ideas are great, unfortunately the automakers would charge OR be charged more for those “super” computers.  It would definitely be nice, but I hear people complaining about it’s car talking too much…

  3. People just don’t have the money to shell out what they would charge for such features. Each of the sensors would add up, and even if it would still be a small percentage of the cost of building the automobile, the companies would still have to make a profit and charge you big bucks for this “advance” in technology. It’s just not economically feasible at the moment. Not that I see. But, if I had all the money I could want, sure, I’d want one.

  4. @MarksBeneathTheSkin – See I don’;t agree with that. This technology has been cheap and viable for decades now. They’re already putting the sensors in for the gas cap, oil, o2, and other fluid levels. All they need is a $100 (or cheaper by now) computer that reads this too you in plain English over your car speakers or on a little LCD display in your dash. Most of this stuff is dirt cheap these days and wasn’t that expensive eight or nine years ago.

  5. I can’t help but think some industry is paying against these technological advances. For instance, maintenance people make more money if we know less. But they don’t have an organized central, so… that’s improbable. Perhaps if we knew more, our cars would last longer, so less money for the car folks. I usually think this when something obvious hasn’t happened. Someone is making money in it.

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