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  #1  
Old 08-06-2014, 11:28 AM
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Complicated Cars Killing Father and Son Ritual

Complicated Cars Put A Dent In An Old Father-Son Ritual : NPR

Most cars don't have dipsticks anymore. You can't drink a six-pack with your friends and change the oil in front of your house.

For me, it wasn't so much my dad as it was time with my older brothers, who were constantly working on British roadsters and motorcycles. I was the ready assistant, like a well trained monkey, handing ratchets, allen wrenches and cold drinks to my very cool brethren.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:06 PM
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Easy solution, keep driving old cars
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:19 PM
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I went test-driving with a friend last week. Most cars (expensive over-engineered crap aside) do in fact have dipsticks. If anything, changing the oil in some cars is easier than it was years ago.

I liked how the FR-S/BRZ had the oil filter with the threads facing down, surrounded by a little lip so you could unscrew it a bit, let the oil run back down into the engine, bag it up, then finish unscrewing. No oily mess.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:21 PM
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Cars are not black boxes the same way phones and tablets are. Which one will a child see more of by the time he/she reaches driving age ?

Fathers and sons can still fix cars together (I need to clean out the intake on my new '2001 Jetta TDI...) but its tough...
...almost as tough as a father and son programming computers together (which I'd also happily do with my son)


Note: I'm also not considering the safety hazards of letting your 12y/o drive customer cars around a parking lot (as cited in the article....).

On one level, I'd rather he brick the laptop before he brick his car...
On another, I wish I could give him the feeling of satisfaction derived from replacing 2 subaru headgaskets and seeing the car run again


Being a parent is tough, no matter what year it is.

-Daddy
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2014, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
I went test-driving with a friend last week. Most cars (expensive over-engineered crap aside) do in fact have dipsticks. If anything, changing the oil in some cars is easier than it was years ago.

I liked how the FR-S/BRZ had the oil filter with the threads facing down, surrounded by a little lip so you could unscrew it a bit, let the oil run back down into the engine, bag it up, then finish unscrewing. No oily mess.
There are still a lot of choices in cars that can be worked on by the average human. And thanks to the internet, even some of the more high-tech and complex problems can be tackled.
But personally, I wouldn't even own any car that makes it difficult or impossible for me, or a typical shop, to check fluids. For a manufacturer of cars costing 50K to well over 100K, eliminating the dipsticks, and specific vehicle fluid requirements from the owner's manual, is the height of arrogance!

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:33 PM
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Who needs a dipstick when you have idiot lights?

I think that most complicated cars still have brakes that the average shade-tree mechanic can work on.

But I'm way set in my ways. I kept my flip phone for a long time and I'm liable to keep my '87 325i even longer. Already have kept it much longer. The '81 300SD will run again, I swear.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Who needs a dipstick when you have idiot lights?
Har, har... I was thinking along the lines of: "Who needs a dipstick under the hood when you have one behind the wheel...?"

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Old 08-06-2014, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Who needs a dipstick when you have idiot lights?

I think that most complicated cars still have brakes that the average shade-tree mechanic can work on.

But I'm way set in my ways. I kept my flip phone for a long time and I'm liable to keep my '87 325i even longer. Already have kept it much longer. The '81 300SD will run again, I swear.
I hear that Mercedes requires their StarTech computer to reset the system whenever the brakes are serviced.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:11 PM
is thinning the herd
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark DiSilvestro View Post
I hear that Mercedes requires their StarTech computer to reset the system whenever the brakes are serviced.

Happy Motoring, Mark
I believe that only to be true of SBC or EBC or whatever it was called, cars.

As for the lack of dipstick, the Mercedes that don't have them, you put in a an amount of oil, allow it to settle, key on the car. It says on the readout "add X.X litres of oil" you add an extra litre and your done. Wow that was easy. A friends BMW had a nifty digital dipstick on the iDrive on his 745Li.
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2014, 03:17 PM
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And someday the poor fool trying to keep that car running as the 2nd or 3rd owner is going to wish he had a dipstick cuzzin the readout done broke. I can see how it might be an attractive feature. I don't like being lulled into casual complacency by oil warning lights. It's a bad thing to miss. Low oil that is.
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2014, 03:39 PM
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I believe M112/M113s have a dipstick tube with no dipstick in them. There is a dipstick considered a factory tool. Its not pricey.

I see what you mean though.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2014, 04:03 PM
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Stop having kids, the world is over populated as it is.
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With best regards

Al

Check out the W114, W115 enthusiast website.
http://www.stroke8.org

http://www.w108.org

Join the Mercedes W108 group
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/mercedesw108/

My 280SL restoration

http://www.w108.org/gallery/albums/a...0959.thumb.jpg
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2014, 04:34 PM
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Stop having kids, the world is over populated as it is.
There has to be some penalty for sex.
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2014, 05:47 PM
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My youngest drove a 240D first and now drives an 84 Land Cruiser. He likes getting greasy and is better at it than I ever was. Today he decided all his zerks were crudded up and spent the afternoon taking them all out and cleaning them and regreasing everything. I personally would rather eat lint than do a chore like that, but I have to wonder how many 20 year olds even know what a zerk is....
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2014, 05:49 PM
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I foresee a market for dipsticks coming. Add on kits to give your car something that others don't.

Find a place in the lower block, drill a hole, tap it out and install a dipstick tube and stick from an old 240D.

Fifty years from now kids will look at old cars from the early 2000's and point to the dipstick. Then they will ask their Fathers, "Hey, what's that thing for?"
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