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Car Talk (Page 38)
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subego  (op)
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Apr 20, 2024, 04:33 AM
 
I’m assuming the shift paddles are mainly there for engine braking in the mountains.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 20, 2024, 06:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
It is weird using paddles to shift as there is no cue that you've, like... shifted. I'll try again tomorrow.
There’s no obvious change in engine revs when you shift? Are you sure you activated the paddle shifting? On our Forester, you have to move the console shifter into a side notch to put the CVT into shifter mode. Otherwise, the paddles do nothing.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 21, 2024, 04:30 PM
 
I tried again yesterday. The red car sold in a day so we were in a different one with too much miles but since I was there...
I am used to more engine noise when shifting. After putting the main shifter in M, we did notice the dash showed the gear, and the paddle did shift, quietly. Gave it a second and the number changed and it did sound like the engine was slowing down.

Not in a good area to try highway ramps or steep hills. The hunt continues.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 21, 2024, 04:42 PM
 
Typical dumb question from me… why do you even want to use the manual shift?
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Apr 21, 2024, 08:29 PM
 
It honestly does not makes much sense.

Do you have some type of special driving use case? Why would you want to add shifting requirements to the convenience of an automatic/CVT?
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Laminar
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Apr 22, 2024, 08:43 AM
 
I had a rental Corolla once with a CVT that pretended to have 7 speeds. I wish everyone would just do the Nissan thing and own the fact that it's a CVT. I assume there's market research out there showing that customers expect paddles and they expect to hear the revs change as they accelerate and all of these things are accommodate peoples' expectations.

Nissan just has a little button at the bottom of the gas pedal travel that gets pressed when you put the pedal to the floor hard. That jumps the revs up to like 6000rpm so you get full acceleration.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 22, 2024, 10:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Typical dumb question from me… why do you even want to use the manual shift?
because... it's there? to see if it's useful. Maybe I'll never use it, maybe I will. But if I never use it should I be looking at vehicles that don't have it? Regular automatics? That sounds like work to evaluate a bunch of other cars. I'm assuming that I will like Subaru #5 circa 2021 as much as the others circa 1984, 1989, 1998, and 2010. It's 11 years of differences tho and subaru reddit is full of people complaining about the digital stuff - apps, lane change beeps, fuel economy feature (car shuts off at stop lights unless you disable every time you start the car). I want some new features of course. Carplay yes please!

Not dumb question because it made me wonder if I need it. Our other car is plain automatic.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 22, 2024, 11:06 AM
 
Maybe I’m mistaken, but I think every automatic has something like that for engine braking. My van has it, just not paddles.

Back in the day the automatic shifter would be P/R/N/D/1/2. It’s changed to where you have an M at the end that lets you go through all the gears. With my van, to do that you slide the shifter to the left in D, and then forward and back shifts through the gears.

You will rarely if ever need to use it. I’ve needed to override the automatic exactly once in my life, on the way down from 5,000 feet. It’s definitely not something which should strongly influence your decision.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 22, 2024 at 12:10 PM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 22, 2024, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
You will rarely if ever need to use it.
More precisely, you’ll only be required to use it in the mountains. It’s flat where I live, so I never use it.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 22, 2024, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
because... it's there? to see if it's useful. Maybe I'll never use it, maybe I will. But if I never use it should I be looking at vehicles that don't have it? Regular automatics? That sounds like work to evaluate a bunch of other cars. I'm assuming that I will like Subaru #5 circa 2021 as much as the others circa 1984, 1989, 1998, and 2010. It's 11 years of differences tho and subaru reddit is full of people complaining about the digital stuff - apps, lane change beeps, fuel economy feature (car shuts off at stop lights unless you disable every time you start the car). I want some new features of course. Carplay yes please!

Not dumb question because it made me wonder if I need it. Our other car is plain automatic.
Keep in mind, car forums like r/subaru are naturally going to be overwhelmingly full of complaints. Our 2020 Forester has all that digital stuff, and you can disable all of it if you want. Generally, though, I don’t find it gets in the way at all, and I’ve come to actually like some of it.

For instance, the car has sensors at the rear that sense a car coming up alongside and will turn on warning lights on the rearview mirrors to alert you. The really cool detail is that the system is speed-sensitive. It will start to alert you way in advance if it senses a car hauling ass toward you from way back.

The start-restart function is a bit of a pain in the ass, at least for me. My wife doesn’t even notice it anymore. But, the button to disable it is pretty handy and pushing it every time I start up has become second nature. I’ve found that you can actually come to a stop without engaging the stop/start function by not putting full pressure on the pedal. FWIW, there are third-party mods you can buy and install that will permanently disable that function.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 22, 2024, 01:55 PM
 
I absolutely can’t stand those things. I could probably accommodate the required change in how I use the brake, but the sound will always drive me batshit.
     
reader50
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Apr 22, 2024, 05:16 PM
 
Seems like an engine restart at every traffic light will put heavy wear on the starter. A starter isn't the most expensive thing in the world. But being stuck at a traffic light with a blown starter will likely involve a tow, and possibly a traffic ticket. Plus being late for work.

I'm not sure the gas savings is enough to cover the eventual costs when the starter blows.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 22, 2024, 05:26 PM
 
Last time it came up, the savings turned out bigger than I thought. I think Lam knows.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 22, 2024, 05:50 PM
 
When the stop/start is active, my Forester starts a little counter that estimates how much fuel you’re saving.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 22, 2024, 07:09 PM
 
someone at /subaruoutback or whatever linked to a video about the gas savings, so that seems possible, and says they've put in a more robust starter to accommodate all the extra starts. So who knows.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 22, 2024, 08:42 PM
 
Tons of vehicles have the stop/start thing now. Not sure if it’s required, though.
     
Doc HM
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Apr 23, 2024, 05:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Seems like an engine restart at every traffic light will put heavy wear on the starter. A starter isn't the most expensive thing in the world. But being stuck at a traffic light with a blown starter will likely involve a tow, and possibly a traffic ticket. Plus being late for work.

I'm not sure the gas savings is enough to cover the eventual costs when the starter blows.
Mini's apparently have a separate battery for the stop start system which is buried deep behind the engine and requires a lot of dashboard removal to swap out. Once its failed the stop start stops starting. Seems like a lame idea if true.
This space for Hire! Reasonable rates. Reach an audience of literally dozens!
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 23, 2024, 07:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Mini's apparently have a separate battery for the stop start system which is buried deep behind the engine and requires a lot of dashboard removal to swap out. Once its failed the stop start stops starting. Seems like a lame idea if true.
That’s weird. The battery in my Forester is designed to work with stop/start systems. It’s an industry standard. You can go down to any parts store and get one. No disassembly required.
     
Laminar
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Apr 23, 2024, 08:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm not sure the gas savings is enough to cover the eventual costs when the starter blows.
They thought of that.

Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Tons of vehicles have the stop/start thing now. Not sure if it’s required, though.
It produces a measurable city mpg savings. If the car has the system turn on by default each time it starts up, manufacturers can use the city mpg rating that includes savings from stop/start. If the owner can turn it off and it stays off forever, they have to use the city rating without stop/start, usually 1-2mpg lower.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 23, 2024, 09:27 AM
 
For my van, that would save about a gallon per tankful.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 26, 2024, 02:00 PM
 
@andi,

Imgur was giving me issues, so I couldn’t post this at the time.



If I pull the shifter to the left in D, I can step through the gears.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 27, 2024, 08:03 PM
 
I think I would like that better than the paddles on the wheel. However it does present a useability conundrum... Shift down by moving the lever up? Shift up by moving down? It is consistent with the other options, kind of, if you imagine the top being stationary and moving more forward as you go down...

     
subego  (op)
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Apr 28, 2024, 01:35 PM
 
I guess the idea behind the paddles is keeping both hands on the wheel.

As for the shifter direction, this feels inverted, but I’m an inverted y-axis type, so I could get used to it.

Never actually used it in the 9 or so years I’ve had it.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 28, 2024, 06:05 PM
 
I forgot to mention, in manual terms, my van is a 9-speed.
     
Laminar
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Apr 29, 2024, 09:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I guess the idea behind the paddles is keeping both hands on the wheel.

As for the shifter direction, this feels inverted, but I’m an inverted y-axis type, so I could get used to it.
It's a hot topic in the automatic transmission community. If you're emulating a manual sequential shifter, then pull back to upshift is correct. Watch any of Ken Block's Gymkhana videos to watch a rally-style sequential manual shifter.

Some cars don't follow the convention and put + up top and - down below because something about "upshift" feels like it should be up, at least semantically.









     
Laminar
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Apr 30, 2024, 08:48 AM
 
This thread reminded me that my rearview mirror fell off sometime in the last year or two. Since it's in the racecar, I don't really need the mirror so I hadn't bothered putting it back up. But right now it's 40-70 degrees outside so it's actually not brutal to drive a car with no A/C, and I've been using it to commute. I bought the adhesive to repair it a long time ago so I dug that out and got the mirror reinstalled last night.



     
subego  (op)
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Apr 30, 2024, 09:05 AM
 
That’s not a windshield divot?
     
Laminar
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Apr 30, 2024, 09:27 AM
 
The windshield has a black coating where the mirror should be mounted, but yes, it ripped out part of the glass. I glued the mirror and glass back in, we'll see how long it lasts.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 30, 2024, 10:54 AM
 
Any worries in general about the windshield cracking?

Just like the manual shift, the air conditioner is also something I’ve never used.
     
Laminar
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Apr 30, 2024, 11:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Any worries in general about the windshield cracking?
Like most things, that will be a problem for Future Me to deal with.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 30, 2024, 12:31 PM
 
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 30, 2024, 12:38 PM
 
In completely random car talk events, since I’ve owned my van, the exterior lights get killed when the motor stops.

Suddenly, now the running lights stay on.

This will screw with me because for years I’ve kept my lights always on.
     
reader50
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Apr 30, 2024, 01:32 PM
 
It's unlikely the behavior changed right after we talked about this subject. That would imply your van is monitoring your social media activity, and reporting important developments to Skynet.

Alternative: the exterior lights stay on when the ignition key is in the Run position. So they stayed on all along when your engine stopped during idle periods. You seldom got out of the car at stop lights, so only noticed when getting out with the key no longer in Run. In those cases, the lights were off.

Alternative2: a firmware update the last time your van was in the shop? Might be listed on your receipt.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 30, 2024, 02:05 PM
 
One of the advantages of a no-frills car is no Skynet connection.

My running lights always used to go off once the key was out of the ignition, or even with the key in the ignition but the ignition set to off (when I’m parked in my garage I leave the keys in).

Now they stay on no matter what.
     
reader50
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Apr 30, 2024, 02:16 PM
 
Check your owner manual. Besides a firmware update, this could also be a user pref. If so, a shop might have changed the setting. Or you even did it by accident, holding a button or two for slightly too long.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 30, 2024, 02:24 PM
 
Definitely not the shop. Sunday morning it was acting how it should. Sunday night it changed. My first assumption was the accidental preference change, though I tried messing around with every conceivable way that could have happened for 5 minutes.

I’ll dig out the manual.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 30, 2024, 04:56 PM
 
Did anyone else drive it and futz with anything?

This is not a good trend of breaking windshields with mirrors. Must be some kind of bad luck.

I've got the official terminal condition report from the trusted Subaru garage. The 2010 cannot be repaired to be a kid car. In addition to the timing belt and clutch which I knew were overdue, and the air shield is being held on w duct tape... he says the frame is rotted. So some lucky car salesman will hear us coming, but ah well we got our money's worth!
     
reader50
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Apr 30, 2024, 11:04 PM
 
If you can't find a user pref, and no one 'fesses up about pranking your van settings ... try a reboot. Every computer seems to benefit from an occasional reboot, despite what manufacturers say.

Disconnect a battery terminal for a few minutes. Or overnight if you're paranoid. note: don't do this if you're about to take a smog check. Or you'll have to run a bunch of miles before the test, so your engine computer returns to normal running mode.

New garage mechanics used to get pranked by their co-workers. Traditional stuff: small rocks in the hubcaps, plastic wire ties around the half shafts, with the ends sticking out to slap against frame pieces. One guy even discovered a harmonica taped to the drive shaft. Odd noises when he was at highway speeds. I could totally picture one of your pals changing an obscure pref setting.
     
subego  (op)
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May 2, 2024, 12:24 AM
 
I visited my dad this evening and somewhere between arrival and departure, the problem fixed itself.
     
ghporter
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May 9, 2024, 07:54 PM
 
Skynet heard you and corrected its lack of stealth. There you go.

Legit question: what is the draw of “no ethanol” regular gas? Ethanol is used to increase the octane rating of gasoline, which reduces knocking - which is not good on valve trains.

I wonder if it’s more about “the man mandating this”, or concerns about energy content per quantity of fuel. Because ethanol has only about 65% the energy content of gasoline per volume, but with ethanol at 10% of the fuel volume, that’s (takes off shoes to do the math) only about 3.5% less energy per volume. I can’t see that as a real issue, especially for most people driving cars with little supercomputers that dink with every aspect of the combustion process for every single piston firing…

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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May 10, 2024, 01:32 AM
 
Corrosion is the beef I’m used to.
     
Laminar
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May 10, 2024, 09:43 AM
 
Iowa used to have 87 E0, 89 E10, and 91 E0. The 89 E10 was always the cheapest, and a little extra octane didn't hurt. In theory you lose that 3-4% in gas mileage, but in practice driving conditions per tank vary by at least that much so it's hard to notice and definitely worth the $0.20/gallon savings.

Then a few years ago they realized they could start with even shittier gas and mix in some ethanol to get it up to 87 octane, so there's no more 89, just 87 E0, 87 E10, and 91 E0 or E10. In the last couple of years they added in 88 E15, again $0.10-0.20 cheaper than the 87.

Ethanol absorbs water, much more than pure gasoline, which is good up to a point. If some humidity or moisture makes it into the gas tank, the ethanol will carry it through to combustion and you'll never notice. With gasoline the water separates out much earlier and settles, causing issues when your engine tries to run on water. Generally you can drain the tank and refill with good gas and you're all better.

But once ethanol reaches its saturation point with water, the ethanol/water mix separates from the gasoline. You end up with a layer of octane-reduced pure gasoline and a highly corrosive layer of gummy shit that ruins fuel systems. This is why people especially hate ethanol in seasonal equipment like mowers, snowblowers, boats, and motorcycles - a perfect storm of conditions make things very difficult. They sit for extended periods of time in the off season, their fuel tanks are generally low tech and not emissions-controlled so they're probably exposed to humid outside air through a simple vent, and they often have low-tech carburated fuel systems that are easily rendered useless by a little bit of debris. Recovering from an ethanol-induced clog likely requires full disassembly and cleaning, if not complete replacement of many components.

https://petroclear.com/resources/dont-be-phased.php

For a daily-driven modern car E10 or E15 is no problem, but some of the ire from ethanol's effects on small engines probably spills over and people are grumpy.

I only keep 1 gas can around for my mower, snowblower, motorcycle, etc., so I keep 91 E0 in it. I finally got rid of my 2 stroke weed whacker this year and went electric, only to have the electric one die the second time I used it. I have to figure out how to get that returned after I already threw away the receipt.
( Last edited by Laminar; May 10, 2024 at 02:59 PM. )
     
Thorzdad
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May 10, 2024, 01:59 PM
 
These guys are running what is essentially E100 this year

     
reader50
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May 10, 2024, 04:11 PM
 
Going to pure Dino juice means local corn farmers aren't getting a cut. I'm not sure which way red states would go. Full Dino to support oil companies, with executives who probably live in big cities? Or high ethanol content, to support local farmers who live ... locally. This also supports big oil companies too, just not as much.
     
Thorzdad
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May 10, 2024, 05:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Going to pure Dino juice means local corn farmers aren't getting a cut. I'm not sure which way red states would go. Full Dino to support oil companies, with executives who probably live in big cities? Or high ethanol content, to support local farmers who live ... locally. This also supports big oil companies too, just not as much.
Heh. The fuel Indycar is using this year is 100% made from waste from sugarcane fields. So, no Iowa farmers are getting a cut.
     
andi*pandi
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May 10, 2024, 05:28 PM
 
So, I did it.

After months of searching cars.com, testdriving 2021 models with new digital goodness, I got to try this baby out:

 


Check out the gear shift on this thing, it's like Atari!
 




I still thought I could make the 2010 into a kid car if i did the timing belt and clutch. But the shop said the frame was rotted and no point doing any repairs at all, even that air shield ^ held together with duct tape. Shop guy thought we had 6 months. Well a new creak developed 2 weeks ago and after it getting progressively louder... We ended up creaking into the dealer driveway after white knuckling it the whole way there.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Really, here it is. 2023 16k miles and all the beeping electronic things. :crossfingers:
( Last edited by andi*pandi; May 10, 2024 at 05:52 PM. )
     
subego  (op)
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May 10, 2024, 07:21 PM
 
That last photo is quite the glamour shot!

     
ghporter
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May 13, 2024, 05:18 PM
 
Laminar, thanks for the in-depth explanation. Here in San Antonio, while it does get humid, it’s not likely to get so bad that properly maintained (closed) fuel system will accumulate enough water vapor to saturate the ethanol in the gas.

The EPA says that the phase separation you mention would happen at above 0.5% by volume. The article states that’s about “3.8 teaspoons of water” per gallon before phase separation.

Which makes me think that one way this might happen is when Joe Customer doesn’t fully tighten his gas cap, or forgets to completely close his capless filler door. Or that there’s a leak in the recirculation plumbing. Please fill me in if I’m missing something else that’s more likely and/or more destructive.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Laminar
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May 20, 2024, 08:55 AM
 
You've got it right, any modern car will be fine. This issue is usually lawn mowers and boats and stuff that just vent straight to atmosphere. As temperatures go up and down it sucks fresh outdoor air into the tank, then when it gets cool the humidity in the air condenses in the tank.
     
MacNNFamous
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May 23, 2024, 12:13 PM
 
You know you can pickup a nice CarPlay deck from Pioneer for like $200 right? Have one in several of my vehicles. Works perfect.
     
 
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