Perils of a Hi-Tech Car

Hi-Tech Car
© Tierney, Bigstock.com.

By SUZANNE WARING

I must tell you about the car we have been driving.

My husband was just certain that something was going to go wrong on the 16-year-old car to which I had a attachment, so we bought another one last December.

We looked at cars when the asphalt on car lots was turning to liquid and sweat was running into my eyes.

We looked at cars when snow and wind created swirling ground blizzards and slippery conditions.

We finally threw up our hands, closed our eyes, and pointed. I won’t tell you our car’s brand, because I don’t think it’s the car’s fault.

The problem is that the car we bought is smart, and we are in the dark ages.

First I want to say that there are some nice features about this car. I wanted white, because I had learned a lesson. A white car that lives on a gravel road doesn’t perpetually look as dirty as a dark green one. Don’t ask me why; that’s the way it works with the dirt on our road. Furthermore, we almost never wash our cars; occasionally, they get rained on.

I find it amazing that when we had our former car, all the cars in the parking lot were either dark green or black. Now when I leave a store, all of the cars in the lot are white. Previously, I had stuck a red ball on the antenna, but this car is so high tech that it has no traditional antenna.

I also wanted a back-up camera, telephone connection to my cell, and a thermometer, because it’s nice to know when the roads are freezing.

You would understand that, in this country, I wanted warming front seats, but I didn’t get them, because DH (social media for “dear husband” or “xo*#&” husband”) refused to have a sun roof because it might leak, and warming seats came only on models that had sun roofs.

Go figure: the climate for warm seats vs. the climate for a sun roof. It doesn’t compute. Of course, I’m usually where I’m going by the time the interior warms up, so I guess it doesn’t matter anyway.

This is the big problem with the car. I have yet to figure out the windshield wiper controls—or any controls for that matter. I usually start turning anything that turns.

On a bright sunny day, I had to drive home with the rear window wipers going pell-mell, because I didn’t know how to shut them off.

Oh, we have never figured out how to turn off the radio. We just turn the volume all the way down, and hope for the best.

Perils of a Hi-Tech Car

DH and I disagree about the lights. Do I need to turn on something else when I get into the car at night? Lights come on, and I drive home—do I need to turn a knob someplace for even brighter lights?

I suppose I do, because DH tells me there’s a knob for lights—somewhere. And…surprise! Six months after we had the car I figured out that lights come on UNDER the door when it is opened. What a deal!

DH has read the 500-page manual for the car. I refuse; I learn by doing.

Here’s the biggest irritation. Before purchasing a car, DH read up on the engine turning off when the car stops, such as at intersections. He could just see the car turning off when it’s below zero at a busy intersection, not to start again.

The car salesman assured us that we could turn off this feature. We thought that meant permanently. No, that means EVERY TIME we get into the car.

Furthermore, there’s a switch next to that one that I have no idea what it’s for, but I push it, too, just for good luck.

If that isn’t something to complain about, this car talks to us, but we don’t know the language. We have figured out that “beep, beep, beep” means we have crossed a white or yellow line when we’re dodging potholes.

Ok, but what does “duh, dum,” mean? We haven’t the foggiest.

Now get this: I was in a line of traffic at a red light. The light turns green, and I see a message that reads, “The vehicle ahead of you is moving.”

I kid you not. What did the car think? That I was taking a nap? With numerous inches of snow on the ground, at 37°, the car will say, “The roads may be icy.”

Come on! I’m more familiar with icy roads than a young car that talks back, and I know roads don’t freeze at 37°. I have gotten only a few messages so far, but I’m bracing myself for more.

DH is perturbed. As a former driver education instructor, he resents being told how to drive, especially by a car.

If we could learn the car’s language, we would seriously consider an intervention or at least let the car know who’s in charge. We are still wallowing around in skills from the 20th Century, but we hope that you, instead, are one up on your hi-tech car and have brow beat it into submission. MSN

Perils of a Hi-Tech Car