posted Nov 20 2013 5:49PM
Why is the check engine light a thing? Can't they be any more specific? My first car was a 1971 Pontiac LeMans (a classic even then; I'm not that old). On the dashboard were like 12 indicator lights. If something went wrong, you knew exactly what it was. Plus, the engine only had around 12 or so parts, so if a light came on you knew what to fix (I exaggerate, but only slightly).
Now there's just the check engine light. If that comes on it could be the result of any of a hundred different things, some of which are more or less harmless, some of which are very bad indeed. And you have no way to know what the problem is without some kind of device you plug into the car's computer.
It's exasperating, especially when you factor in the fact that among the few other indicator lights are an airbag indicator. An airbag indicator! Who needs that? I've had an airbag go off in my face and trust me it's not the kind of thing that could possibly escape your notice. That airbag goes off, I assure you you'll know all about it. First of all is the noise. It's loud. Real loud. I've been to the gun range before, I've seen fireworks demonstrations up close, and the airbag is much, much louder, possibly because (a) it's literally right in your face and (b) it's inside an enclosed car, at least in my case it was. The accident that caused the airbag to fire took place in late fall, so the windows were all rolled up. Other than that is the airbag itself. As I said it's right in your face. And your chest. For a moment I was pinned to my seat, unable to move. Then the airbag deflated. My seatbelt had locked up, and it stayed that way. I learned later that they're supposed to do that, and the only way to unlock them is through some mechanical process that involves removing panels from the car's interior and etc. So I sat there for maybe five minutes trying to make it unlock before I finally gave up and just unlatched it.
But that just further illustrates my original point. Cars are needlessly over-complicated these days. Except for the dashboard indicator lights, of course. Whew, all right, rant over. Thanks for reading. Cheers.