Modern Cars-Self driving, CVT’s, Turbo’s, Safety Features

Today’s blog isn’t about music but about cars.

I am in the market for a new car; I’ve had my 2004 Ford F-150 for 15 years now and it has 260K miles on it.  I’m ready to get into something just a bit smaller.  Apparently, car sales are way down, while truck and SUV sales are up.  Of course, new vehicle sales are down all together, perhaps due to cars lasting longer or people not having enough money.

Let me just tell you; it’s quite a frustrating process.  Mainly because of all the new technology.  The more things there are, the more it’s liable to break. Most car manufactures these days have complaints and horror stories because they are using people as their personal trial rats.  It’s all over the internet, transmission failure at 40K, engines catching on fire, cars STALLING on the interstate, cars LURCHING forward.  Better technology but in some cases deadly.  It’s quite amazing how there is consistent remarks of “my car stalls, my car jumps forward” or Just how many are catching fire.

Let’s take a look at some of this

1)CVT transmission-The thing is a mess, doesn’t matter the manufacturer.  Nissan was one of the first companies that had awful trouble with these things.  Subuaru is another one, despite Consumer Reports and other places telling the public how great these cars are, just type in Subaru and CVT.  $7000 to 8000 repair.  They know they are bad because they just extended the warranty to 10 years and 100K miles on these transmissions.  My wife has a Malibu that’s been a great car, I noticed Chevy has updated this years model with the CVT transmission.  I can guarantee you this latest model will not be as reliable.  The idea is a good one but it’s an attempt to meet fuel requirements by the government and it’s simply not been perfected.  Just look at a CVT transmission from a scientific point of view, those pulleys are bound to break.  They don’t make them serviceable, you have to buy an entire new transmission.

Many cases of CVT transmissions causing stalling.  What do you do if you are pulling out in front of someone and the car stalls?  A Tractor Trailer?

2)Turbo engines-once again, another attempt to meet fuel requirements by the Government.  You’ll pretty soon not be able to get a naturally aspirated engine in a vehicle, they will all be turbos.  We will squeeze out 1-2 more miles to the gallon (although in some cases that hasn’t even been proved) at the expense of the engine.  You can’t take a four cylinder, throw it in a huge car and expect the turbo to carry it for 200K miles.  It will never last, the load is too great.  Lastly, many car companies are requiring PREMIUM fuel for the turbos or at least recommending it.  There goes the cost savings on fuel because now you can’t buy regular fuel due to the Turbo.  Luckily there are a few that will use your basic unleaded low octane but not many.

3)Lane assist, automatic braking, collision prevention, etc.  These are all new safety features.  Now I will admit I did like some of these in a Buick I drove awhile back.  However, once again, stories of cars basically driving themselves, driving people out of lanes. One lady said her car jumped off the road trying to correct her driving, haha.  The goal is to have a car that will drive itself.  SORRY but NO THANK YOU.  I do not want a computer to drive my car, I want to be in charge. I’ve had three wrecks my entire 24 years of driving, all were when I was young.  I can handle the blind spot notifications but I don’t want the car to move on it’s own.  I also don’t need something to keep me between the lines, perhaps this will one day prevent DUI’s, lol.

4)Poor visibility due to an increase in structure.  In some cases the increase in pillars and structures are a good thing, it improves safety.  At the same time if you can’t see around the car, it’s an accident waiting to happen.  Some of these cars have almost no visibility out the rear window of the car.

I think we have about 2-3 more years of some sort of “normal” car and after that there is no telling what sort of contraption you will get.  Self automated, lane assisting, collision preventing, turbo boosted, CVT powered car that ends up being Less reliable and more dangerous than what we had ten years ago.

It will all hurt us in the pocketbook as well.  You won’t be able to do any of the work your own; otherwise the manufacturer will void your warranty; or the part is so complicated that it requires one of their master technicians to service.

I fail to see the good in most of this.



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