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Thread: Who knew? (car related)

  1. #1
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    Default Who knew? (car related)

    I have an 07 Audi A3 that has been sitting for a year or so & I'm getting it ready to sell. New battery, start checking stuff, etc.

    The wipers wouldn't turn on. Took the arms off, the cover under the hood etc. to check if it was getting power (the fuse was fine). Of course I found it packed full of mouse nest which I vacuumed out and checked the voltage to the motor & it was fine. Linkage is all free, thought maybe brushes were hung up & thunked it a few times - no luck.

    OK - put it back together - maybe sell it as is, maybe figure something else out. I got it back together, then hopped into the car to move it & once I started moving, the wipers came on & worked just great - until I stopped & then they stopped. Moved again, wipers started. WTH? Some kind of weird computer thing? Oh well, park it & deal later.

    I went to the confuser & decided to google "audi a3 wipers stop when car stops". Damn google is handy. Turns out there is a sensor on the hood that won't let the wipers come on if the hood is open (I guess because they'll hit an open hood if tilted up to change the blades?). I had the hood unlatched because I was working on it. I went up to where I'd parked it, closed the hood all the way & tried the wipers. They work perfectly - even when stopped.

    Are these engineers just bored? Do they do these things just for the fun of imagining some poor slob not understanding why the wipers don't work?

    Oh well - at least it has wipers...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Our ‘15 Audi S5 wiper blades stop when at a stoplight if they are set on auto rain sensor mode. So when the light turns green you can’t see as you cross the crosswalk and enter the intersection.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    We had a truck driver that used to open his Peterbilt hood to check the oil each morning which was good, and while the hood was open he would wash the front windows because they were easier to reach. Then he would shut the hood forgetting to fold the wipers back onto the windshield, mangling them completely... About once a week, and among other things he was a republican.
    Finally I took the cylinder heads off that engine and didn't put them back until long after he found a job elsewhere

    So maybe Audi has a leg up on Peterbilt?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Our ‘15 Audi S5 wiper blades stop when at a stoplight if they are set on auto rain sensor mode. So when the light turns green you can’t see as you cross the crosswalk and enter the intersection.
    Our '10 & '14 A4s keep going even at a stoplight in rain sensor mode. Maybe it's configurable?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    We had a truck driver that used to open his Peterbilt hood to check the oil each morning which was good, and while the hood was open he would wash the front windows because they were easier to reach. Then he would shut the hood forgetting to fold the wipers back onto the windshield, mangling them completely... About once a week, and among other things he was a republican.
    Finally I took the cylinder heads off that engine and didn't put them back until long after he found a job elsewhere

    So maybe Audi has a leg up on Peterbilt?
    Maybe. I can tell you that they wipers will hit the hood if you leave them lifted. They don't mangle, but they do chip the paint & bang back down on the windshield. Of course that's only if you're dumb enough to move the car with the hood up. Therefore DAMHIKT
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    But every week?

    How much could Audi wiper arms cost anyway?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    But every week?

    How much could Audi wiper arms cost anyway?
    The every week is pretty sad. That being said, I do learn (relearn) every few months that it's easier to get out of the car after you've unfastened your sestbelt.

    Depending on where you buy - as much as $60 https://www.google.com/search?client...+a3+wipers+arm
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Yes, the engineers do sometimes get bored, but there is usually a method to our madness.
    Pet photography, the degree you get when you fail aromatherapy - Duck D.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Wish we had intermittent wipers on the jet I fly. They’ve got 2 settings. Loud, and WHAT?
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    A long while ago - about 1989 - I was at my eye doctor - his earlier patient came back in and said her car would not start - late 1980's BMW - after checking a few things, it developed that the car was about a quart low on oil - I happened to carry a quart in my car, so I dumped it in. Her car then started right up.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    If the wipers didn't stop when the hood is open them some schmuck would get bent over them chipping the paint on his hood.

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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    A long while ago - about 1989 - I was at my eye doctor - his earlier patient came back in and said her car would not start - late 1980's BMW - after checking a few things, it developed that the car was about a quart low on oil - I happened to carry a quart in my car, so I dumped it in. Her car then started right up.
    Don't have to spend BMW money to get that feature. My little Honda generator has it

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
    Yes, the engineers do sometimes get bored, but there is usually a method to our madness.
    I'm sure there is - usually. I do hold to the "car designers/engineers should have to work on cars for a few years first" theory - just as architects should have to work as carpenters.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    wipers....pffft
    Since discovering Rain X, I don't even bother.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    My old BMW 3 series from the 90s would slow the wipers when you were stopped. Not stop them completely like the Audi above, but slow them dramatically. I always thought it was a nice feature
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    I'm sure there is - usually. I do hold to the "car designers/engineers should have to work on cars for a few years first" theory - just as architects should have to work as carpenters.
    Vehicle designers (yeah, I mean you, too, motorbike folk) should have to change the spark plug(s) and air filter on any vehicle they design.
    Head and tail lamps, too.

    Peace,
    How Many Knuckles Do You THINK My 60cm Long Fingers Have?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard38 View Post
    Wish we had intermittent wipers on the jet I fly. They’ve got 2 settings. Loud, and WHAT?
    Roger. Over.

    Peace,
    Clarence

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Vehicle designers (yeah, I mean you, too, motorbike folk) should have to change the spark plug(s) and air filter on any vehicle they design.
    Head and tail lamps, too.

    Peace,
    How Many Knuckles Do You THINK My 60cm Long Fingers Have?
    For sure bikes, trucks, motor vehicles in general. Adjusting carbs on a 4 cyl. bike? Replacing plugs without 3 hours of disassembly to get at 'em?

    One of my favorites is on VW Passats. To reach one of 3 bolts you have to take out to remove the ABS sensor, they very nicely put a hole in a support next to it so you can get a socket on it. Problem is, the hole is off by about 1/2" (oops 13mm) so the socket cannot go in. Did anyone ever try it?

    Don't get me started on having to work up under a dash.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    i'll remember this post next time y'all really get worked up on how much better the germans and japanese are at building cars than is detroit. . .
    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    For sure bikes, trucks, motor vehicles in general. Adjusting carbs on a 4 cyl. bike? Replacing plugs without 3 hours of disassembly to get at 'em?

    One of my favorites is on VW Passats. To reach one of 3 bolts you have to take out to remove the ABS sensor, they very nicely put a hole in a support next to it so you can get a socket on it. Problem is, the hole is off by about 1/2" (oops 13mm) so the socket cannot go in. Did anyone ever try it?

    Don't get me started on having to work up under a dash.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    i'll remember this post next time y'all really get worked up on how much better the germans and japanese are at building cars than is detroit. . .
    The dash comment was sparked by recently having to replace the heater blower resistor in my Chevy 2500HD. Getting the cover over all the guts above the passenger footwell took longer than the whole rest of the job together.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    IIRC, the plugs on my ‘57 Chev 283 were easier to change while lying on the ground under the car than from the top.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    IIRC, the plugs on my ‘57 Chev 283 were easier to change while lying on the ground under the car than from the top.
    I found that it was easier to tune the 283 in my '66 Chevy pickup if I got all the necessaries together, then climbed inside the engine bay to stand on the ground beside the engine.

    NOT kidding!

    Of course, I was 18 years old at that time . . .
    Rattling the teacups.

  23. #23
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    Default Who knew? (car related)

    In fairness, a lot of serviceability issues are a result consumer desire for convenience( power everything, ABS, air conditioning, etc) and pollution regulation compliance gear. Remove all that junk and changing plugs or a headlight lamp would revert to old-time easy.

    Kevin


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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Some cars aren't bad. I know many make fun of putting a car in the "service position" with the bumper, fenders, and hood off. While it is a pain to do, it really opens up a lot of space to work.

    Then there is the stupidity of my rover with it's Buick derived engine. To replace the coils or even just the wires, you need to pull the intake. Thankfully they last 100k miles
    Last edited by Art Haberland; 08-04-2019 at 04:02 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    I heard a piece on Radio Lab on NPR yesterday where they dissected the incidents from a few years back where Toyotas suddenly and unaccountably accelerated, resulting in a number of fatal accidents. It turns out that at the time, they had one computer running the accelerator with no back up. Now, like airplanes, they have three redundant systems to avoid those kinds of things. One factor though was that the circuity on these computers is now so small, on the nano level, that literally, it is possible for a stray cosmic ray to cause a circuit to engage, hence the need for redundancy. Odd that tech can fail at times like that.
    Gerard>
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerarddm View Post
    I heard a piece on Radio Lab on NPR yesterday where they dissected the incidents from a few years back where Toyotas suddenly and unaccountably accelerated, resulting in a number of fatal accidents. It turns out that at the time, they had one computer running the accelerator with no back up. Now, like airplanes, they have three redundant systems to avoid those kinds of things. One factor though was that the circuity on these computers is now so small, on the nano level, that literally, it is possible for a stray cosmic ray to cause a circuit to engage, hence the need for redundancy. Odd that tech can fail at times like that.
    When Audi moved beyond the NSU-Audi of 50 years ago, with sales making encouraging headway in the US, a major issue cropped up with the driver not being able to disengage the cruise-control on motorways.

    Disaster.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by carioca1232001 View Post
    When Audi moved beyond the NSU-Audi of 50 years ago, with sales making encouraging headway in the US, a major issue cropped up with the driver not being able to disengage the cruise-control on motorways.

    Disaster.
    And they too had a "spontaneous acceleration" era.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Vehicle designers (yeah, I mean you, too, motorbike folk) should have to change the spark plug(s) and air filter on any vehicle they design.
    Head and tail lamps, too.

    Peace,
    How Many Knuckles Do You THINK My 60cm Long Fingers Have?
    I would add fanbelt to that list.How many of you have had the "interesting" experience of changing a fanbelt on an Issigonis era Mini?I used to have a Citroen that blew a headlamp bulb every winter and one side of the car made the job extremely difficult,while the other side was impossible.I was happy to pay a small amount to get the job done as my hands just wouldn't fit in the space.I would have paid a bit more to see the designer attempt the job.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine View Post
    Yes, the engineers do sometimes get bored, but there is usually a method to our madness.
    I'm about four months into "repurposing" a piece of embedded code, onto a different hardware platform. The guy who wrote it originally had the usual choice between elegantly simple, and crazy confusing cool - If there was an elegantly simple option, he went the other way to avoid boredom.
    I have dropped the code size by close to a third so far, after a ruthless slash and burn, and consequently have something that excutes faster, and is far, far easier to understand.
    So yeah, there was method, but also a huge dose of madness. It's been pretty entertaining, in a "What happens if I start pulling this loose thread" sort of way.

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    I would add fanbelt to that list.How many of you have had the "interesting" experience of changing a fanbelt on an Issigonis era Mini?I used to have a Citroen that blew a headlamp bulb every winter and one side of the car made the job extremely difficult,while the other side was impossible.I was happy to pay a small amount to get the job done as my hands just wouldn't fit in the space.I would have paid a bit more to see the designer attempt the job.
    Mark one Ford Focus headlamp bulbs!

    Without access to youtube it would never have been changed.
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Spark plugs in a Chevy Astro van are a real treat.

    Jeff C

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    A friend had a Chev Monza Spyder with a V-8 engine. To change spark plugs you had to put a floor jack under the engine, remove the engine mount bolts, and jack the engine up about three inches to get enough clearance to get a plug wrench on the plug.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    For every seemingly impossible fastener to get to, a technician somewhere has developed an ingenious method of getting it loose. It is also why we spend a small fortune on tools.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanM26 View Post
    For every seemingly impossible fastener to get to, a technician somewhere has developed an ingenious method of getting it loose. It is also why we spend a small fortune on tools.
    Like when we started using magnets to get cables through internally routed push bike frames?

    Peace,
    Robert

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Who knew? (car related)

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Like when we started using magnets to get cables through internally routed push bike frames?

    Peace,
    Robert
    Harbor Freight has been a Godsend. Buying a bunch of tools to cut, grind, and weld on is no longer a super expensive experiment. Once we figure out a system with the cheap stuff, we buy the good stuff and cut, grind, weld.

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