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Car Talk (Page 34)
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Thorzdad
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Sep 7, 2023, 07:57 PM
 
Went for walk tonight (it’s finally great weather!) and noticed a car in a driveway that had apparently had some severe front end damage. Everything at the front of the car was being held on by this crazy conglomeration of trash bags and black duct tape. Like, rolls and rolls and rolls and rolls of black duct tape, wrapped and criss-crossed in every direction possible all of the place.

From a distance, it looked like a huge mass of branches and shrubs stuck to the front of the car, but it was this huge crazy mess of tape and trash bags.

I kind of understand, though. Around here, even the simplest collision repair is being scheduled months out. So, if the car is still rolling, you do what you can do.
     
ghporter
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Sep 9, 2023, 02:08 PM
 
Vehicle damage, and long lead times for repairs, reminds me of something.

Last weekend, somebody tried to drive through our neighborhood’s gate early in the morning. By “drive through” I do not mean “ingress in an appropriate fashion,” but rather “open the gate with the front of the vehicle.” Of course our gates move sideways, so the driver was frustrated. No, we don’t know if this was a resident, but a vehicle matching the description, with or without license plates, is not visible in the neighborhood.

But now we have a big, bent sliding gate that has to be replaced, which is $$$expensive$$$. But wait! We had cameras installed at the gates for just such shenanigans. And the outside and inside cameras for that gate caught it all. The driver even seemed to pause, posing for the camera to catch the license plate.

The association’s “people” have the video, and hopefully the driver (or the driver’s insurance, or whatever) will start coughing up the dough to fix our very expensive gate damage pretty soon. I’ll point out that our association’s board is not anything like the memes.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
reader50
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Sep 9, 2023, 02:21 PM
 
Any normal car or pickup will have expensive front-end damage after a stunt like that. If they pushed the radiator into the fan, they won't have gotten far.

Have you seen the pics? Any idea how much their vehicle is messed up?
     
ghporter
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Sep 9, 2023, 02:27 PM
 
I got the downloaded video from the camera vendor (my wife is on the board, and I am pretty much “the” tech guy for the board). I was able to do frame captures, particularly of the license plate, and I’m quite impressed by the quality of the video.

The vehicle was poorly lit after the impact, but it should at least have a torn up bumper cover. The driver was able to leave the area without too much difficulty, so I don’t think it was as bad as radiator damage.

The consensus of both the vendor and the board members who saw the video is that the driver was either angry at the gate, or “impaired”, or both. This should be quite interesting as it plays out.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Sep 19, 2023, 02:56 PM
 
Just crossed a whopping 25K miles on my 8yo van.
     
Thorzdad
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Sep 19, 2023, 05:57 PM
 
8 years? Geez. We would’ve been closing in on 200k after 8 years on our cars.
     
subego  (op)
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Sep 19, 2023, 07:33 PM
 
A benefit of city life right at the boundary of a commercial district. Almost everything I need in my personal life is either in walking distance, accessible by train, or deliverable. I pretty much only drive for work, which is why the cargo van as my DD is going so swimmingly.
     
Thorzdad
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Oct 26, 2023, 07:14 PM
 
Is this correct?
The internet is telling me that, on an all-wheel-drive car, if you have to replace a single tire (like, say, your ex slashes one) you have to replace all four tires, or else all hell will break loose or something.

This can’t be right, can it?
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Oct 26, 2023, 08:52 PM
 
Should just be the pair, front or back. Unless the manufacture has done something terrible.
     
MacNNFamous
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Oct 28, 2023, 02:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Is this correct?
The internet is telling me that, on an all-wheel-drive car, if you have to replace a single tire (like, say, your ex slashes one) you have to replace all four tires, or else all hell will break loose or something.

This can’t be right, can it?
Correct. They need to be all the same rolling diameter, or your your differential will pick up the slack and burn shit up. If you replace just a pair, your center diff will be slipping the entire time you drive.

Your best bet is to get a micrometer and measure the tread depth of your existing tires, then either hunt FB marketplace, or ebay, and buy a used tire, same brand, same size, with tread depth as close as possible to your other tires. How old are the current tires? If they're almost brand new you can probably get away with a brand new tire.

Is this your first AWD car? Wait until you discover the joys of diff maintenance and CVs.
     
andi*pandi
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Oct 29, 2023, 03:31 PM
 
^ this
although I haven't always done it if the other tires are reasonably new. Never thought of saving the other tires or looking for similar. Around here used auto parts isn't much done.
     
MacNNFamous
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Oct 29, 2023, 05:48 PM
 
Yeah, usually have to get a used tire shipped from a few states away. Still cheaper than a brand new set tho.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 29, 2023, 06:19 PM
 
Just got re-plated. Surprisingly, my fair state didn’t fuck it up… much.




I kinda like the typographic contrast between the script and everything else on the original, and the baseline pseudo-ligatures on the new one are just dumb, but otherwise I think it’s been improved. Good call on removing the Lincoln face, and it’s at least nominally more clear my plate number is in fact 1685911B. You just kind of had to know that with the old one.

Phun local phact: trucks are not allowed on Chicago’s famed Lake Shore Drive, and as indicated on the old plate the state classifies my van as a truck. Pickups are also classified as trucks, and the CPD just loves nailing out-of-staters on it. Welcome to Chicago!



Edit: the new one also has too much space between the “Illinois” and the plate number.

Edit2: both have issues with going too close to the edge of the plate. Normal-sized plate holders partially obscure the top and bottom text. It was driving me nuts until I picked up slimline ones.
( Last edited by subego; Oct 29, 2023 at 06:49 PM. )
     
reader50
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Oct 29, 2023, 07:43 PM
 
Maybe we'll move to Euro-style plates sometime. Less tall, and a lot wider. When our plates were standardized, I think there were fewer cars, and therefore, fewer digits on the typical plate.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 29, 2023, 08:05 PM
 
US plates are the aspect ratio of freedom.
     
andi*pandi
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Oct 30, 2023, 12:12 PM
 
new plate is more readable without lincoln, but they've taken an ok font and squished and stretched it like silly putty. Top all caps 140% wide or something, and bottom 90% artificial small caps and kerned too much. I wonder if it would be readable/recognizable at distance.

People, they make fonts designed to be condensed or narrow..

The excess white space above the number is due to them not adjusting for the previous height of the cursive Illinois. They might not want to have adjusted the stamping machinery.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 30, 2023, 12:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
they've taken an ok font and squished and stretched it like silly putty.
Illinooooooooooois
     
andi*pandi
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Oct 30, 2023, 12:46 PM
 
ILLI-NO-IS
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 30, 2023, 12:54 PM
 
I’m thinking they should have put a small, blue Lincoln head in the top left corner, maybe one-and-a-half times the height of the font. That would make the space between the plate number and the top text less bothersome.

It would also balance out the plate better, though designing something which works for tag and no tag is a tall order (we’re a two plate state).
     
reader50
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Oct 30, 2023, 02:01 PM
 
When you dispose of the old plate, suggest shredding it or something. Or hammer it unrecognizable. Plates have been known to vanish from trash cans, only to reappear on toll roads in other states. Also occasional jewelry store robberies, and lots of parking violations. You'll know it happened when you start getting toll bills in the mail for hundreds of dollars from Florida. Or the cops are waiting to speak with you when you get home, asking what you did with all the free liquor.

btw, why did they replace it? The old one doesn't look damaged.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 30, 2023, 03:34 PM
 
I’m filling in some blanks but would deduce after the redesign they replated everyone. When I went to renew my tag (in May) they gave me the temp one you see in the picture and said I’d get a new plate.

Since I love my van so much, I was actually planning to keep the plates as a memento.



Edit: if I had to guess, the reason they forced it was confusion over the “B”. It was a pretty moronic system.
     
Laminar
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Oct 30, 2023, 04:11 PM
 
In Iowa they replate after 10 years. In the last couple of years they went from a fairly benign white/light blue plate:


To a bolder blue/yellow combo.


Not a fan. The plates for my RX-8 came from my Focus, which I bought in 2013. This year they sent me the new plates, which are the yellow/blue ones. When I get it back on the road I'm going to trade them out for some black plates.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 30, 2023, 04:22 PM
 
Yeah… that design is a scam to get you to order custom plates.
     
MacNNFamous
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Oct 30, 2023, 04:37 PM
 
I'm going to paint my plates. As long as the #s are legible I can't imagine a cop caring that much.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 30, 2023, 05:05 PM
 
Not drawing attention to oneself does wonders in terms of cops not caring.

The OG yellow Wisconsin plates were one of my favorites as a kid.
     
reader50
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Oct 30, 2023, 06:46 PM
 
I've owned cars in CA for decades, and never gotten a fresh plate in the mail. And I keep my cars until they die, so most have gone past a decade. I don't think CA replates unless you request one. For damage, vanity, etc.

I did wonder what your registration fees are spent on. Prison labor apparently. Now I wonder what CA spends my registration fees on.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 31, 2023, 12:02 AM
 
When did they last change the plate? I feel like it still looks like it did in the title sequence of L.A. Law.
     
reader50
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Oct 31, 2023, 12:56 AM
 
CA posts all the plates here. But they left out the years each one was issued. I've seen the black ones before, but they're getting rare. I think they all remain issued until you request a new one, or the vehicle is junked.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 31, 2023, 01:14 AM
 
WTF is this shit?

     
Thorzdad
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Oct 31, 2023, 06:55 AM
 
Indiana here. The standard plates here are an interesting experiment in dark patterns, subtly nudging everyone to opt for the (arguably) more attractive “patriotic” option, warming the hearts of any real ‘merikan who sees it.

The subtle zzz on the official bmv image of the standard-standard plate is an especially nice touch, as it really is sleep-inducing. It’s a really fugly plate.


     
Laminar
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Oct 31, 2023, 07:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNFamous View Post
I'm going to paint my plates. As long as the #s are legible I can't imagine a cop caring that much.
Iowa released plates for one of the small private colleges that had a black background:



Vendors started selling either vinyl sticker kits or strategic license plate frames to cover up all of the text except Iowa and the plate number:



After the DMV saw a massive spike in people supporting a weird small private college, then ended up releasing an actual black plate.
     
andi*pandi
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Oct 31, 2023, 11:23 AM
 
I still have fondness for the original bug plate, even though the new one is nicer.



( Last edited by andi*pandi; Oct 31, 2023 at 01:55 PM. )
     
andi*pandi
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Oct 31, 2023, 11:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
WTF is this shit?

our website is fun and friendly!
     
reader50
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Oct 31, 2023, 12:52 PM
 
I guess they used a square brush for the arrow head - but used it for the whole thing. Then drew over it with a circle brush for the ends and long line. Then distorted the (originally) straight line into a curved version to mimic a curvy road.

This probably took a high schooler more time than doing it properly, without the jaggy tracks along the edges. And they forgot the yellow center lines.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 31, 2023, 01:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
⌘X
⌘0
⌘V

Fixed it for you. Gratis.
     
MacNNFamous
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Oct 31, 2023, 02:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
When you dispose of the old plate, suggest shredding it or something. Or hammer it unrecognizable. Plates have been known to vanish from trash cans, only to reappear on toll roads in other states. Also occasional jewelry store robberies, and lots of parking violations. You'll know it happened when you start getting toll bills in the mail for hundreds of dollars from Florida. Or the cops are waiting to speak with you when you get home, asking what you did with all the free liquor.

btw, why did they replace it? The old one doesn't look damaged.
You don't keep all your old plates in the garage?
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 31, 2023, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 1, 2023, 02:28 PM
 
Trying the Rain-X wiper fluid. Not sure about it. Unsurprisingly, it’s very streaky, and I can’t stand a dirty windshield.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 1, 2023, 04:05 PM
 
Spotted in the wild!



I’d like it more if it was stamped by a convict, the way God intended it.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 1, 2023, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Indiana here. The standard plates here are an interesting experiment in dark patterns, subtly nudging everyone to opt for the (arguably) more attractive “patriotic” option, warming the hearts of any real ‘merikan who sees it.

The subtle zzz on the official bmv image of the standard-standard plate is an especially nice touch, as it really is sleep-inducing. It’s a really fugly plate.


We get our share of Indiana plates around here. I don’t think I knew the non-flag ones existed.


Edit: I mean, I’m sure I’ve seen them before, but they never registered. I assumed the In God We Trust one was the default, which I’ll admit I thought was kind of weird.
( Last edited by subego; Nov 1, 2023 at 04:44 PM. )
     
reader50
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Nov 1, 2023, 05:06 PM
 
The standard Indiana plate is easier to read. Less clutter behind the digits.

Guess I'm in the minority - I'd have chosen the Standard version. No bank robberies planned, so the cluttered plate has no advantage for me. And if my car were stolen, I'd want the easy-to-read version on it.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 1, 2023, 05:58 PM
 
I’d probably go with the standard.

I’m not sure about easier to read. The thin letters with serifs aren’t the best.


Oh… I just noticed my new plates have an almost imperceptible anti-forgery sticker baked into the coating.
     
Thorzdad
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Nov 1, 2023, 09:45 PM
 
They are both the “standard” plate. You have to choose one or the other.
     
Thorzdad
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Nov 1, 2023, 09:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Oh… I just noticed my new plates have an almost imperceptible anti-forgery sticker baked into the coating.
Yeah, we’ve had something like that on our plates for several years now. Sort of a hologram-ish watermark thing. You can barely see it.
     
Laminar
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Nov 2, 2023, 08:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Spotted in the wild!

I’d like it more if it was stamped by a convict, the way God intended it.
I think we got our first set of non-stamped plates around 2012ish maybe? According to Wiki, Iowa phased out stamped plates between 2000-2011. So the car I bought in 2004 probably had printed plates and anything we had stamped hit its 10 year mark in that period and got replaced, too.

The yellow/blue design won the vote at the state fair for new standard plates, but the runner-up, "Flying Our Colors," became available as a specialty plate. I like it even less.

     
subego  (op)
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Nov 2, 2023, 10:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
They are both the “standard” plate. You have to choose one or the other.
On the BMV site the bridge is named “Standard Passenger”, and the other one is named “In God We Trust”.

They may both be standard, but some appear more standard than others.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 2, 2023, 10:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I think we got our first set of non-stamped plates around 2012ish maybe? According to Wiki, Iowa phased out stamped plates between 2000-2011. So the car I bought in 2004 probably had printed plates and anything we had stamped hit its 10 year mark in that period and got replaced, too.

The yellow/blue design won the vote at the state fair for new standard plates, but the runner-up, "Flying Our Colors," became available as a specialty plate. I like it even less.

This looks like a seagull with its neck caught in a chain-link fence.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 2, 2023, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
CA posts all the plates here. But they left out the years each one was issued. I've seen the black ones before, but they're getting rare. I think they all remain issued until you request a new one, or the vehicle is junked.
I got so distracted by that… thing to the point I forgot to get into the meat of the topic.

Is the one with the mistral looking typeface the default? Can you still get the L.A. Law one?
     
reader50
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Nov 2, 2023, 01:54 PM
 
It appears theoretically possible to special-order in the older colors. Provided you order a whole lot of them. Also, current law requires reflective paint, so the retro colors will look different under some circumstances.

No idea about the older white styles. Current DMV pages don't seem to have any retro color choices.

But you can rest easy - if a retro order goes through, the resulting plates will be legit other than reflective paint:
The original stamping plates were recovered from Folsom Prison, so the plates will have the original fonts, but California law states that all plates must have reflective paint.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 2, 2023, 03:36 PM
 
What’s the current default? If you don’t mind the intrusion, what kind do you have?
     
 
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