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New cars: are they as impossible as they seem for cartopping?

Hurry up and shop for a gen 3 Tacoma then! 2023 was the last model year. 24 for the 4Runner. Thereafter they have been “modernized”.
 
Why does one need a CD player? Just download your favorite songs to your phone and then connect the phone to your car/Subaru and play them. I don’t understand why people don’t connect their phones to their vehicles and use all the features available to them, GPS, texting, hands free phone, their favorite music, etc.
the music from my phone sounds like crap, with all the highs and lows filtered out and distortion at high levels. there's also the issue with power- My phone will charge from 0% to 100% in about 40 minutes but turn it on to use the playlist and that time drops to 2+ hours...
 
Just to play devil's advocate there is so much noise present in a car that I doubt it's possible to tell a difference in audio quality in most situations.

I can also remember shuffling CDs around inside a moving car (was still doing it a couple years ago) and it was more distracting than my current setup with phone and bluetooth connection. I'm able to control most of my phones music functions from the radio screen.

I'm sure there are plenty of cheap devices that allow you to install audio files onto them and then connect and play through bluetooth devices. I ripped all my CDs to audio files and then transferred them to a micro SD card which I then installed into my phone. Many car radios accept USB inputs so you could also put them on a thumb drive.

Alan
I tried that and even a $300 unit I was given sounded worse than my phone, as for noise modern cars have noise dampening insulation and active sound eliminating that actually uses speakers and inverse sine wave broadcasting to dampen and totally remove background noise (some frequencies like horns and sirens do not get deleted)
 
  • 300+ CDs
  • Don’t own a computer and don’t want to
  • Don’t want to give toyota the contents of my phone
  • Don’t want to talk on the phone via the car (or much at all really)
  • Certainly don’t want to text while driving. Whatever it is it can wait.
  • My Garmin is superior to any of the onboard nav or Apple Maps.
  • One must have Siri activated to use car play, and I haves Siri as locked away as I can. I’d prefer to delete that annoyance.
The only thing I like about my “infotainment” system is that I can turn the too-big and distracting display off.

You know what? I still have cassettes that work in the player in my garage. Cassettes work fine in a car too.
yup, when I connect to my "smart" usb for my phone it automatically connects to "customer care" and is monitored, plus it transfers many functions to my phone (like nav), which means I know need to manipulate that phone while driving- I use a dumb adaptor in one of the many cigarette lighter ports.
 
I think when the day comes that I find my 2002 Tacoma converted to a pile of rubble in my driveway (unfortunately Toyota won't pay for a SECOND frame replacement), I will strip it of anything useful which might be primarily the factory installed combo AM/FM, CD and Cassette player.

View attachment 140566

4wd / 5-speed manual, no power windows/locks/mirrors, no AC, no cameras, analogue display, driver airbag shutoff. The only real concession to "modern engineering" is that unlike it's predecessor you don't need to get out and turn the hubs to switch in/out of 4wd mode.

Pic is from 6 years ago, it has unfortunately deteriorated quite a bit since then. I dread having to shop for a replacement.
I know how you feel. When my 2002 Toyota Sequoia passed on to the "Great Junkyard in the Sky", I was rudely thrust into the modern world of Electronic Curses, er, Cars.

I like to direct my car, not have it direct me. Upon picking up my brand new 2022 Outback, I got on the interstate to come home. As I sped up and pulled out onto the the interstate, the car pulled back to the right! I got to the end of the entry lane and then moved over easily. As I pulled in behind a slow moving camper rig, I started to pass. the Outback pulled me back into driving lane and I finally had to muscle the wheel to get into the passing lane. I first thought the car was possessed, but actually it was my first introduction to the Lane Centering "feature" that I did not even know it had. If my wife had not been driving on home well in front of me, I would have turned off at the next exit, driven back to the dealer and demand they perform an exorcism!
I have since learned to turn off many, but not all, of the annoying electronic additions.

Perhaps one day a company will come out with a "Basic Car" or "Basic Truck" without the added, unwanted and unnecessary electronics, but with auto corporations' love of "added features" (and higher profit margins) on even the base trim levels, I am not holding my breath.

At least it does has a roof rack, but if we could only bring back rain gutters...
 
As I sped up and pulled out onto the the interstate, the car pulled back to the right! I got to the end of the entry lane and then moved over easily. As I pulled in behind a slow moving camper rig, I started to pass. the Outback pulled me back into driving lane and I finally had to muscle the wheel to get into the passing lane. I first thought the car was possessed, but actually it was my first introduction to the Lane Centering "feature" that I did not even know it had.

Were you signaling your turns/lane changes? Most of them won't try to correct you if the turn signal is on.

Alan
 
Were you signaling your turns/lane changes? Most of them won't try to correct you if the turn signal is on.

Alan
I am not sure. As I was in this vehicle for the first time, there was quite a bit of difference in the cockpit to absorb compared to the 2002 Sequoia that I was used to. Fortunately I quickly learned how to disable this feature along with others; I just wish that the dealership had told me it was activated!
 
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I liked the old canoe racks when we had drip rails. You could buy the ends and attach them with 2x4s.

For the last 25 years I have used a canoe trailer. Even a small car can pull one. Great for heavy canoes like wood and canvas.
 
I am not sure. As I was in this vehicle for the first time, there was quite a bit of difference in the cockpit to absorb compared to the 2002 Sequoia that I was used to. Fortunately I quickly learned how to disable this feature along with others; I just wish that the dealership had told me it was activated!
You had to be using the cruise control and then turned on the lane centering feature, it only works when using cruise control and must be activated by the driver.
 
I liked the old canoe racks when we had drip rails. You could buy the ends and attach them with 2x4s.

For the last 25 years I have used a canoe trailer. Even a small car can pull one. Great for heavy canoes like wood and canvas.
In the last several years I sold off my Quik-n-Easy rack which was great and attached to rain gutters. And I sold off my dad’s which he attached to 2x4’s for his rack. When vehicles with gutters disappeared these racks went into the garage rafters. And years later there was a market for them from guys who had older cars with gutters which they wanted the racks for because the racks were period-correct. I had assumed they would go the the scrap man when I cleaned out the garage.
 
I've gotta admit, this thread has got me a bit worried about replacing my daily driver (a 94 Ranger w/ 320(ish)K miles). When I went over it for annual inspection this past winter, I noticed a couple of spots in the frame were getting thin so I'll probably only get another year or two out of the old girl.

I suppose I could plate them & keep going but I'm thinking I might like to upgrade for something newer... maybe '98(ish) Ranger w/ a stick trans & a solid frame. With luck, it'll be low miles & might outlast me.

(oh, current ride has a cassette player but no USB ports. Not that it matters much, I rarely have the radio on as driving is my "alone time" and I usually prefer it to be quiet. In the event that I have a passenger; said passenger is in charge of the radio and I really don't care what they do with it)
 
You had to be using the cruise control and then turned on the lane centering feature, it only works when using cruise control and must be activated by the driver.
Actually, on my Outback the lane centering is on by default until you go into settings and turn it off. Then a yellow "warning light" comes on in the dash to let you know it is not turned on. The default setting is "ON" with no indicator light.

It would be nice if the dealer to let one know these things before hitting the road.
 
Actually, on my Outback the lane centering is on by default until you go into settings and turn it off. Then a yellow "warning light" comes on in the dash to let you know it is not turned on. The default setting is "ON" with no indicator light.

It would be nice if the dealer to let one know these things before hitting the road.
on the new rams the "active" vehicle stability is on which means it applies the breaks when there's wheel spin, which totally prevents you from accelerating on a snowy ramp or gravel shoulder to get up to highway speed safely. It also stops you from using wheel spin to clear the tire treads in sticky mud.
 
The other day as I was watching the ballgame a commercial kept coming up between innings, as they too often do. There was this cool dude, hauling his precious cargo of ATVs heading somewhere with his guy friends, and they were all laughing without a care in the world. And then...he pushed a button on the steering column, kicked back with an even bigger smile, and took his hands off the wheel. Self-drive option on all the new models. Would you purchase this whizz bang wizardry? And would you use it? Would you travel with someone who did? Hauling your precious cargo on top.
 
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Lane centering on my new 2024 Forester works ok for me, but my wife will not use it. Cruise control must be on and set to a speed for lane centering to be active. You must keep at least one hand on the steering wheel and provide at least minor random small steering wheel inputs or within a few seconds of no input you will be warned to keep a hand on the steering. You can manually steer over painted road lines to change lanes or pass with very small but noticeable resistance and audible beeps from the steering system as you cross over the lines. When active cruise control is off, you will still get warning beeps, but no steering resistance if you cross or get too close to a painted line.

Yesterday I was returning home from Lake Placid with a brand new just purchased Placid Boatworks Shadow secured on my roof rack. on a long straight segement of road ahead, I saw an oncoming car make a quick left turn into a driveway as it crossed in front of me at a reasonably comfortable distance away. Seconds behind that first car, another immediately turned in a dangerous move to follow in my lane. If I had not been paying attention, I surely would have impacted his right front quarter. But with my hands on the steering wheel, even with lane centering on, I easily enough made an avoidance panic turn across the right white line to the luckily open shoulder and safely passed in front of the turning car, who thankfully by then had apparently began braking to stop before he would have struck my left side. Frightful. If I was the type to be in a road rage mood, I might have turned around to confront.
 
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Yes it's all to much tech. This could be part of why used car are holding there value? Iam with the less/ no tech crowd on this one for sure.
 
No. No. And No. the last thing we need is imperfect electronic crutches to allow drivers to pay less attention to the job at hand.

While I don't like the idea of a car doing the driving for me I'm also not completely opposed to the idea. In all likelihood self driving cars would make for safer drives and faster driving times.

If/when the time for self driving cars comes your vehicle will be connected to every other vehicle on the road. Your vehicle will be communicating with all the other vehicles around you.

If, for some reason, the car directly in front of you has to make a panic stop your car will be alerted even before the car ahead of you begins to brake. This will allow your vehicle to begin braking to match the car in front, avoiding a collision.

If your car needs to suddenly swerve to avoid something all the other cars around you will know it's going to happen before it actually does and they can adjust as necessary.

If there is an accident 5 miles ahead of you on the interstate there will be a daisy chain of communications as the cars at the accident scene begin alerting the following vehicles and all the approaching vehicles will know what's happening and what lane(s) to merge into to get around the scene.

Merging into a single lane for road construction will be a breeze since every car knows what every other car is going to do and when they're going to do it. Zippering together into a single lane should be flawless.

If it ever gets to this point no doubt there will be hiccups along the way and there will certainly be instances where the machines screw up and people get hurt or killed. And I think that's what rubs people the wrong way.

I personally think I'm a good driver and I want to be in control. If I'm going to get killed I at least want the illusion of control as it's happening. For this reason I don't like the thought of a self driving car.

On the other hand it's obvious that on the whole people make a lot of mistakes and there are also situations people simply can't avoid due to things beyond their control and even the best driver can't be paying attention to everything all the time.

If I make up a statistic to say that self driving cars will cause 5,000 deaths per year due to malfunctions but will avoid 15,000 deaths per year by working correctly that seems like it would be a good thing. At the end of the year 10,000 people would be alive who normally wouldn't be.

But it's also a scary statistic because most people (me included) like to think we're not going to be one of those 15,000 people who would otherwise die but that now we might be one of the 5,000 who die because a machine did something stupid.

In truth we'd probably all be safer but it's a hard pill to swallow anyway.

Alan

Alan
 
Where’s my little flying VW bubble that turns itself into a briefcase upon my arrival at work?
 
Do you fly on commercial aircraft?

Alan is not far off in describing the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System, already being implemented and operational on your next commercial flight.

TCAS, independent of any ground inputs, performs surveillance of nearby aircraft to provide information on the position and altitude of these aircraft so that the collision avoidance algorithms can perform their function. The TCAS surveillance function operates by issuing interrogations at 1030 MHz that transponders on nearby aircraft respond to at 1090 MHz. These replies are received and decoded by the surveillance portion of the TCAS software and the information is then provided to the collision avoidance algorithms.

Here are a couple of references describing for in the air what Alan described that may be coming in ground vehicles.
https://www.faa.gov/documentlibrary/media/advisory_circular/tcas ii v7.1 intro booklet.pdf

https://www.ll.mit.edu/sites/defaul...eventing-midair-collisions-harman-ja-6399.pdf

My Subaru already will brake gently if it detects an obstacle becomingtoo close in front of me while moving forward. it also will brake hard if I am backing into an obstacle ( kind of a pain if I am towing a small trailer, unless I remember to turn the system off first.)
 
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