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Modern Car Handbooks -How Useful?


Unkel Kunkel
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I have been trudging through  a car handbook that has come with a Skoda Yeti.

The car is delightful   to drive and a very practical  vehicle - but the handbook!

It reads more like one of  those “Patient information leaflets “ which are  designed not so much to help someone with their pills as   to act as a disclaimer for the manufacturer if one of two dozen very scary and unlikely things happen.

Every  section starts with a red triangle, an exclamation mark , and a stern warning which if ignored will result in  something  bad and probably fatal.

As an example, there is one which  gives instruction  for passengers on how they should sit in the vehicle.Apparently failure to sit up, facing front  - (properly now - pay attention at the back!)  could  it warns ,result in “death or serious injury”

The  brief bit on the battery makes it sound like a  live hand grenade.

There are  some photos and instructions on how to use the coat hooks...

The info. about   the fuel gauge found on page 31( of 198) is interesting:

”! Warning”  it begins , of course  ...”Never drain the fuel tank completely -risk of accident!”

OK , Well, I suppose if you splutter to a halt on a “smart “ motorway, that could pose a risk...

but perplexingly, It then immediately  goes on to say:

Never drive until the fuel tank is completely empty!”

 

 

 

 

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The one for a new Mini is the same; covers every possible model/variation/extra but does not tell you that simple thing of 'if you have this model....' so you  (my wife) ends up trawling through and trying to find stuff that is not fitted!  However, that for  a new Dacia Duster is very clear.

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My VW is the same, it's like trying to read war and peace just to turn of the tyre pressure monitors...... I know when i have got a puncture the steering is crap...... Then let's find the spare?...... Oh, your car does not come with one.... Aaaargh!!!!!!

Tony.

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i agree they have lost the plot, save the world and cut out all the irelevant pages that dont apply and the remaining would fit on a fag packet 

lots of diatribe no factual simple information about the small things you like to refer to tyre pressures every conceivable country option and size apart from whats fitted, or its on a stick  on label   ...where !!!  on the underside of the passenger door 

dont go looking looking for oil specs and capacities   is hopeless, 

but tells you you can clean seat belts with soapy water   grrr   !!!

any detailed spec is omitted in a feeble attempt to force you to visit the main dealer   its total madness 

Pete

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You're not supposed to touch them any more, hands-on is a no-no these days. Leave them to a big Main Dealer who has all the equipment and will charge you accordingly, for things like turning the 'interior courtesy light failure' dashboard warning off when you've just replaced the bulb yourself.

It's not surprising when even to change a headlight bulb you have to remove half of the front of the car... however we classic owners should be happy, we can get all sorts of obsolete things in shops these days that modern owners don't need, or don't know how to use...

 

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The first time I got "limp home mode" in the Jaguar (diesel) I turned to the hand book which said "You may have made too many short journeys, drive on a motorway at 50mph for 40 minutes". I drove on the motorway at 50mph for 40 minutes and "limp home mode" switched off!

If all else fails read the instructions. :)

Sadly I now get "limp home" due to water in the boot getting in to the car's "brain", it's not the boot lid leaking, but a vertical panel, a seam has failed, somewhere. So for the moment the Triumph is the more reliable car, it also leaks but fortunately has no brain. 

Doug

 

 

 

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Was skiing with friends a few weeks back, sharing a minibus hired from Geneva airport.  'Car' came with a very big handbook that I'm sure was full of useful information.  Buggered if I could quickly find out how tall the badger was though, so we took the traditional approach - closed out eyes, clenched, and assumed it was under 2m entering the multi-story car park :D

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1 hour ago, Mjit said:

Was skiing with friends a few weeks back, sharing a minibus hired from Geneva airport.  'Car' came with a very big handbook that I'm sure was full of useful information.  Buggered if I could quickly find out how tall the badger was though, so we took the traditional approach - closed out eyes, clenched, and assumed it was under 2m entering the multi-story car park :D

I can't bare the suspense, was it?😡

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that reminds me when we were first presented with audit testing  a Renault AE Magnum , never had to worry about heights with normal chassis cabs but we went under a low bridge and i suddenly thought heck will it fit  , you could look up the backside of the pigeons through the sun roof  . phew   could have been expensive

bit like driving a double  decker from the upstairs , brilliant things .

Pete 

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I drove home one late night from Dublin Airport and came to the toll on the M50, bombing along towards the barrier and suddenly realised a) there was an overhead height restriction and b) I was in the TD5 Discovery. There was an almighty bang when the roof bars hit the metal sign, which being on chains just swung up out of the way. Thankfully at that time of night there was no-one about bar the person in the booth, and I just threw the coins into the hopper and drove on. :(

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Modern cars tend to annoy me usually for the simplest reasons. Yesterday it was the daughter's Fiesta - a grinding noise from the wheels as she drove along. The wheel nuts are 19mm; except that they're not. There's a chrome cover over them that can't be removed except by drilling or cutting which makes them slightly larger than 19mm, but less than 20, so neither socket will work. Advice on the Net - from a huge number of complaining owners - is to grip the cover with pliers and prise them off, except that there's no room to get pliers around the wheelnut. I managed to round one off completely with no movement whatsoever.

Eventually it occurred to me to try the wheelbrace that came with the car... except there isn't one, just an electric inflator and a bottle of goo. No spare wheel! Thankfully I have a Mondeo which uses the same wheel nuts, and has a wheelbrace, so I tried that and it fitted first time. Even with the wheelnuts off the car and in a vice the covers wouldn't budge. Luckily I had four spares, from when the locking nuts were fitted to mine, and I could use some of those. How on earth are you meant to do that at the roadside, maybe in the dark or wet, with no wheelbrace in the car and maybe no-one having the correct size of socket in theirs?

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  • 10 months later...

Spent an hour this morning trying to find the oil filter on a Mondeo for an oil change... eventually had to come indoors and search the Net. It required a 27mm socket, which due to the restricted access had to be a spanner rather than a socket. The sump plug also needed a 21mm socket. I think the engine has to come out to do it properly.

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my son had a Xtrail with full service record needs a oil change like youres needs a big spanner , the  alloy filter housing had been done up 

by some gorilla years back and to get any effort on it removed  the whole assembly , so in a vice the filter hsg disintegrated rather than un do

the filter was completely stuffed  full of grot never been changed for ages ,  new cover sourced and all refitted    just what you want on a 

saturday afternoon 

why not just  a simple spin on ????

Pete

 

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2 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

why not just  a simple spin on ????

Pete

 

It's supposed to be regular maintenance, not a complete rebuild. I must confess to having owned that car for about 15 months now and this was the first oil change I've performed on it, it's covered about 8000 miles and the dealer was supposed to have performed a pre-sale service but the filter was unbelievably yucky. It also points upwards out of the side of the engine block, with about two inches access, so once the cover is unscrewed all of the oil dumps down the block, especially after you negotiate all the little pipes and cables around it. I hope it appreciates it.

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