Just got around to reading Issue 401 (and 402 arrived yesterday so t hat’s how far behind I am.) Any way, apart from t he usual stories about many of the cars I have owned, I came across Morley’s whinge about t he stop-sta rt f unction becoming ubiquitous in modern cars. It happens t hat my holiday look ing af ter my brot her’s cat – a terrific mogg y named Kelly – a lso gave me t he opportunit y to drive his Subaru Forester wit h t his feature.
Within minutes in Melbourne tra f f ic it became apparent that he, my brother, hated it and
so did I. There is a button which a llows you to disable stop-sta rt, temporarily, but it means remembering to do it each time you re-sta rt, and it means hav ing a prominent warning light on the dashboard. Forget to do it and you get to your f irst stop and t he engine stops. Less impatient people than me might not swear loudly each time that happened.
So, Morley add me to your list of stop-sta rt opponents, and if you f ind out how to disable it permanently, my bro will be interested since the manual doesn’t tell you. Can I add another whinge? Those door locks t hat activate 20 seconds af ter you sta rt, trapping you inside whether you want to be or not. Richard Creswick Virginia, NT
THAT’S A RELIEF; I was hoping it wasn’t just me that could gleefully stab a car engineer in the neck every time the damn car I’m driving cuts out at the lights. Partly it’s the element of surprise that gives me a rude shock. The number of cars I’ve owned over the years that would cut out at the lights, though not fitted with stop-start, just poor tuning or worn out carbys, have conditioned me to get ready to panic when it happens, even now, many years later. But I also detest the noise and vibration that occurs when the stop-start does its thing, and how anybody ever thought it would be a good idea on a diesel is beyond me.
Funny thing is, in the last couple of years that I’ve been spouting my hatred of stop-starts, I’ve actually run into a few people who reckon it doesn’t bother them. After a while. Which just makes me wonder what sort of misery and contempt one can condition oneself to tolerate. Mind you, that would explain why nobody in the crowd has bitch-slapped Bernard Tomic yet.
Hating stop-start kind of makes me feel a little hypocritical, though, ‘cos I’m the first one to jump up and down when a dopey politician starts promoting “our friend, coal” or claiming that wind turbines offend his stupid, cigar-smoking, poorpeople-bullying sensibilities. But I just reckon that
“ANOTHER WHINGE – THOSE DOOR LOCKS THAT ACTIVATE 20 SECONDS AFTER YOU START”
stop-start is a dolphin-hug too far. And besides, it’s stop-gap technology: Once we’re all driving plug-in electric cars (and if you’ve driven something like a Tesla, believe me, it aint all bad news) stop-start will be utterly redundant. And good riddance.
And I’m with you on the automatic door-locking thing. From what I can gather, it was a modification aimed at the USA market and designed to stop car-jackings. But it makes me wonder what happens when the cavalry arrives to rescue you from your crashed car, you’re taking a nap and the doors are locked. I reckon the solution Holden came up with a few years ago is a better one: Click the unlock button on the key once and only the driver’s door opens. Press it twice and all the doors unlock. That’s a great way to make sure nobody hiding on the passenger’s side of the car in an underground car-park jumps in with you to help with the drive home. Which, sadly, is apparently a thing these days. Mind you, anybody trying that on me would want to be hoping I hadn’t just been to the baseball-bat store on my way home after work.
ABOVE With over 20meg Ford As built, finding a motor for your DIY plane shouldn’t be too hard.
OPPOSITE PAGE Under attack – a man’s right to keep his motor running.