Some Things About New Cars

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To say cars aren’t like they used to make them is like saying flying commercial isn’t like it used to be.

For one thing, many new cars that aren’t electric cars (or even partially electric cars) have two batteries now. One to start the engine and other to re-start the engine. Over and over and over again. This is the second battery that is part of the automatic stop-start system pretty much all new cars with engines now come standard with in order to eke out fractional per-car increases in gas mileage and reductions in CO2 “emissions” that – when factored out over a manufacturer’s fleet of vehicles – helps the manufacturer comply with the latest slew of gas mileage and “emissions” regulations.

This second battery is necessary to keep the primary battery from being discharged to such an extent that it hasn’t got the power to start the engine when you try to start it. But it also draws power and so depletes charge – kind of like leaving the dome light on by accident. That’s why the ’24 Dodge Hornet I tried to test drive recently didn’t start – and eventually had to be towed to a Dodge dealer.

If you have a car with two batteries, it will likely also need to be towed to the dealer when the second battery needs to be replaced – because you probably won’t be able to replace it yourself as it’s buried deep within the guts of the car and requires that the car be plugged in – to a computer, at the dealership – to successfully replace it with a new second battery.


Almost all new cars already have what are styled “driver performance monitors.” The ones Biden decreed shall be required in new cars by the 2026 model year. The manufacturers of new cars anticipated the requirement and so are ready for it, already. You can’t see the performance monitor with your eyes but its eyes (infrared ones) are on you. If the system thinks you are “drowsy” or “not paying attention” it will cue harassing visual and audible corrections.

That’s all – for now. But more – to come.

When the decree goes into effect come 2026, the system will do more than just harass you. It will prevent you – from continuing to drive. Because you will be considered “drunk” or at least “impaired” rather than merely “drowsy” or “not paying attention” and the car will then assume the role of police – and pull you over. It is very likely, incidentally, that cars already fitted with “drowsy” driver and “eyes on the road” monitors as in the video above are also capable of pulling you over, too.

Their systems just haven’t been fully activated – yet.


Did you know you can’t swap out seats – if you don’t like the seats your car came with? Not if it’s a car made within the past 15 years or so and has airbags embedded in the seats. The seats are no longer just seats. They are part of an integrated system and removal of any part will cause the system to have a fit. It’s the same, by the way, for door panels – which also now have air bags embedded within as well as mini-computers called body control modules. This is one reason why repair costs have skyrocketed – and insurance costs along with them.

No more just unbolting the four bolts that hold the seat’s tracks to the floor – and installing a new pair of seats from some other car. It used to be that if they fit, it’d work. Like so many other things, you can’t do that anymore, either.

One more:

A real spare tire – one that’s the same size and type as the other four – is both rare and often extra-cost. What you typically get now is not even one of those “space saver” mini-spares that are for temporary use only. But at least they let you gimp on down the road instead of waiting by the side of the road for roadside service.

The “space saver” spare is going the way of the full-sized spare – in part because it takes up too much space in the trunk/cargo area of new vehicles, many of which (such as the few cars that are still available in a market that has gone over almost entirely to crossovers) don’t have a lot of space to spare.

Instead, they give you a tire repair kit which consists of a bottle of goo (to seal the hole) and small air compressor to refill the damaged tire once the hole has been sealed by the goo. This is great if all you’ve got is a hole. But if you have a tear – if the sidewall is damaged – no amount of goo will plug the hole and you’ll be waiting for roadside service by the side of the road.

It makes you want to go new car shopping, doesn’t it?

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  1. “What you typically get now is not even one of those “space saver” mini-spares that are for temporary use only.”

    I.e. the “donut.”

  2. Hi Eric,
    because you probably won’t be able to replace it yourself as it’s buried deep within the guts of the car and requires that the car be plugged in – to a computer, at the dealership – to successfully replace it with a new second battery.

    So basically New laptops are easier to battery swap (although harder than old laptops) . No matter how much of a fancy machine we have you just replace it and computer boots fine. I dont see why cant the same be with cars. also why cant a new battery be next to an existing battery.

  3. Will the heater still run when you are sitting at a red light, and the engine is off, or will the heater merely blow cold air? And how is this stopping/starting good for the engine? How retarded are we? Well we have been getting sexually assaulted at the airport by TSA goons for the last 20 some odd years, and have put up with it. Everyone (except maybe for folks here) dutifully masked up and got their jabs during the “plandemic”. Never estimate the power of people to forget history.

  4. God this is the WORST FUCKING SHIT I could ever imagine. I hate new cars so much, wtf. I couldn’t believe it when I saw cars shutting down after seconds and doing a super fast start when the light turned green.

    Seriously, how retarded is everybody that they accept this crap?

    • Hi Michael,

      I hate this stuff, too – and have no idea why so many blithely just accept it. I haven’t gotten on an airplane in years because I won’t abide Security Kabuki;I never “masked” – and I won’t buy a car equipped with these “features,” either.

  5. Why are new ICE cars so expensive? Because of the plethora of mandated technologies, -from “driver assistance” to drive performance monitoring; “safety features”, ridiculous emissions controls which much be added to make already very “clean” cars .001% cleaner, and stupid-ass ASS and other nonsense which [supposedly] delivers some ethereal “better mileage”. Now I’m beginning to get the picture: All of this complexity was likely mandated to make it so that ICE cars are no longer cheaper than EVs.

    The problem: EVs are too expensive.
    The “solution”: Make ICE cars just as expensive and non-durable so that there is no financial advantage to buying an ICE vehicle.

    Love for EVs is cooling as people catch on to the fact that they are a financial and practical nightmare. At this point, if they manage to start making EVs cheaper, people will simply buy them, as it is getting to the point where there is little practical difference between the EV and ICE cars -Not because the major detriments of EVs have been eliminated, but rather because just as many detriments have been added to ICE cars, with the only functional difference being range and convenience. If the price difference becomes great enough in favor of EVs, the public will likely just accept the inconvenience (or be forced to for financial reasons).

    They’re “leveling the playing field”. Not by making EVs better, but rather by making ICE cars worse.

    The senile pants-crapper in the White House may have actually done us a favor by imposing that 100% tariff on Chinesium EVs (as despicable as such a practice is). The tariff will likely be removed (If you start seeing Republicans suddenly touting “free trade” and “giving the American consumer a break” you’ll know that they are just going along with the plan to eliminate private cars for the masses. Why the Pants Crapper imposed the tariff is kind of baffling, considering that agenda. )
    Fuck “Israel”

  6. 50 grand to 100 grand for an electric or ice vehicle that will one day be scrap metal is not a wise choice of where to invest dollars saved.

    And … it’s gone.

    Not a rational decision, you will be saddled with too much expense, not that much benefit.

    50,000 dollars invested in energy stocks, utilities, oil companies will pay more and you won’t have to worry about the money being gone.

    50,000 in certificates of deposit at 4.00 percent will pay 2000 in interest.

    In other words, buying is not the thing to do unless it can make you money.

    If everything is free, you will have lots of money you will never spend. Free dwelling, free transportation, free food, free water and sewer, free clothing, footwear, everything will be free.

    You will work for free too. There will be free transportation to your workplace.

    You might not be free to make that choice.

    Stakeholders and decision-makers will make work choices for you.

    Arbeit Macht Frei!

  7. I can’t imagine why anyone wants to buy a new car. So it will depreciate thousands when you drive it off the lot? So you can pick the exact color? Not to mention that most are junk that can easily be broken, and you can’t fix? There is no real up side that I can see. I would rather a 15 year old Accord with 2k miles on it. Which is exactly what I have.

          • My ’07 Subaru (WRX) has 234K on it. Replaced the original clutch (standard) at 219K. It needs some maintenance, but still runs, and would make a great back-up. No tire nanny, no start/stop crap. And the Feds wonder why some of us hold on to such relics?

      • No offense John, but I can’t drive an old car as a salesman. Can’t drive, high-end, low-end. Middle to upper middle-road OK, and presentable, later models. Not rusted out, etc….
        I’ve tried every way possible too.
        The little shocker to me was when I tried the highest end trucks, at the time, Denali’s, and was accepted “cool truck dude”, stuff like that. But take and older, cheaper Caddy, etc….. No fricken way “hey boss, gotta take some off the top for this guy” Not kidding.
        Good and bad for sure, gotta pay to play.

        • I knew a fortyish guy, multimillionaire, who owned a distribution business on the west coast. He got busted for DUI; the state suspended his license. His lawyer pleaded hardship to the court — could his remorseful client please drive a modest scooter to and from work, to keep his business afloat? Request granted.

          So he bought a flashy, blue-colored Harley chopper, which he ostentatiously parked right in front of the entrance. The business prospered. Maybe his clients respected the bad boy image — ‘I’m rich; I can drive whatever the hell I want.’

          With the right attitude, you can pull off anything.

  8. Another fun aspect of the aging modern rig is wiring. Got mice? Neighbors Toyota went from home to dealer on a tow hook after the critters got chomping on a wire bundle. About a thousand to fix that mess.

    Wear and tear – daughters ‘09 Acura MDX one afternoon no window power, no door locks. Thankfully the Acura blogs online had the fix, the wiring from the body to the door “flexible” until a wire or two fracture inside their insulation inside the rubber bellows. Got the replacement online fortunately there is a plug on the door end no panel removal. Not so good, fishing the body side thru the sheet metal and getting it hooked up behind the kick panel. Several skinned knuckles and bad words I finally got it done.

  9. Just had an episode with batteries, plural.
    Wife’s 21 grand cherokee sat all winter, went to start, dead, dead.
    Jump, no, charge, no. jump with mega size truck w/2 batteries, dead.
    read .5 volts. dead.
    hmmm…. wonder if these are under the certified warranty? Read warranty, nope, but original 3-36 factory warranty does cover batteries. Call dealer get in-service date, yep all good.
    Use their phone emergency app, a little pita, but tow truck shows up in less than an hour. off to the dealer, fixed in a few days, no charge.
    Here’s the sad part….. both big and re-start batteries are under the seats. can’t get to them if you can’t move the seat (cause dead).
    They do provide jumper remote wires under the hood, but didn’t seem to matter if they are dead, dead.
    All our late model vehicles start after leaving for 4-6 months, not this one. Don’t know why, added a trickle charger cable for next time……………

    These cars are so freakin complex now it’s crazy, for a couple-few mpg’s………
    When will a ‘new’? Manufacturer come out with a no-frills car? When we stop buying them?
    Doubt it.

    • Make sure it’s a battery tender/maintainer NOT a trickle charger or you’ll fry the batteries with a long term hookup. Tenders have electronics that stop charging at “full” then just top off as needed. You can get the original Battery Tender for peace of mind and extra money but I’ve used the knock off ones with success for several years on the lawn tractor little battery and on the full size battery in the ‘91 truck.

      I have a 30 year old Battery Tender (metal case, it’s that old) I still use for the Harley every winter works dandy even with a modern scooter gel battery.

    • Damn, my 2018 GC has the same setup, batteries under the passenger front seat! Hadn’t thought about dead battery no seat movement.

      • yes, got a ‘maintainer’. Its’ a band aid at the moment, only because I didn’t have the time to find the draw. Dealer said limit is .1 mA, or 1 mA, maybe someone knows? They didn’t have the time to diagnose cause we needed the car back for a trip. And hence the temporary ‘maintainer’. It’s a great car relative though.

        I was just going to replace the batteries myself to avoid the hassle, but both totaled $400 +/-, and it ended up not being a hassle at all with the pretty efficient ‘roadside’ assistance thing. I was actually trying to figure out how to get the batteries out without being able to move the seats, and they had to come out which I was dreading, or jump it while I moved the seat back and forth. PITA!
        Glad it was under full warranty. And why the last 15+ years I only own verhicles that are under full warranty, or I don’t own them. I think they only way right now, maybe forever. Sad.
        Now it’s possible one of the batteries was really just bad (shorted?) and killed both in 4-5 months, but don’t know at the moment.

        • Our 2018 is the first time I bought extended coverage near when the factory coverage ended. Mainly to cover the electronics!

          Hope your ‘21 drives better than my ‘18. It has very poor on center steering feel and is all over the road in a stiff wind. Alignment and new tires didn’t help.

          • hmmmm. had a 18-V8 gone, and now a 21-V6 (new body style-frame). Neither felt an exaggerated on center feel. While I agree they do have a very slight on center feel, my comparison is to a very long wheelbase pickup, so I just attribute it to the shorter wheelbase.
            Maybe go drive a new one to see for yourself?
            While we miss the V8, my wife and I agree the 21 is a better vehicle by a small margin even with the V6 that we’re not fond of.

    • I got tired of replacing batteries due to constant draw when parked. Installed a disconnect on the negative battery terminal. A bit of a nuisance to pop the hood and twist switch to reconnect, reset some settings, but no battery issues since when parking for a week or two at a time. $20 fix, 5 minute install.

  10. It’s like there’s a long term game of oneupmanship going on between companies:

    Apple: “Hey, I bet I can get people to voluntarily carry around a spy device.”

    Facebook: “Oh that’s easy. I bet I can get them addicted to the point of ignoring everything around them!”

    TikTok: “I bet I can make mutilation cool and trendy!”

    I predict The Next Big Thing on the newest social media platform will be self-immolation. Set yourself on fire to save Palestine, or Israel, or because Orange won the election.

    Same thing happens with the airlines:

    US Air (way back when): “I’ll bet I can get someone to fold themselves into a toddler-sized chair for $149.”

    Southwest: “I’ll bet I can get someone to trample grandma to get a better seat, for $49.”

    Frontier: “I’ll bet I can jam in an extra 3 rows, offer a teaser rate of $39.99 and entertain passengers with cranky passenger fights by not offering wifi or food!”

    Spirit: “Hold my beer while I paint up my planes in Dollar General livery…”

    Automobile manufacturers are looking at all this and wanting to play along too.

    • “I predict The Next Big Thing on the newest social media platform will be self-immolation. Set yourself on fire … because Orange won the election.“

      In my dark and twisted fantasies that would save a bunch on Jet A and helicopter (ride) maintenance.

      Doo ittt! I triple dog dare ya!

    • >I predict The Next Big Thing on the newest social media platform will be self-immolation.
      More likely self-emasculation.
      Because Humans Bad*, Male Humans Double Plus Bad*.
      *Ungood, for those who speak only the purest Newspeak.

  11. Eric: “It makes you want to go new car shopping, doesn’t it?”

    Well no actually it doesn’t. As I hate a lot of what is on new cars it makes it really easy to resist buying one. Unlike some of my friends I would be almost as happy driving a ’72 C10 as driving a new truck. From my perspective as long as an item can still do what you need it do why replace it. My microwave was built in ’87, the washer in ’03, the fridge in ’02. You get the picture; old stuff is just easier to work on and lasts longer. I will concede that newer computers are faster but I’m happy with my old one.

  12. More?‘ — eric

    Yes. Telematics.

    ‘Vehicle telematics combines GPS systems, onboard vehicle diagnostics, wireless telematics devices, and black box technologies to record and transmit vehicle data, such as speed, location, maintenance requirements and servicing, and cross-reference this data with the vehicle’s internal behavior.’

    All of the top-ranked telematics references on Evil Google pertain to fleets — probably because Evil Goggle is a corrupted, slanted, pay-to-play search site. But most privately-owned vehicles for the past 10 to 15 years communicate wirelessly back to home base without their [putative] owner’s knowledge, consent or control.

    Why the frickin’ mystery?


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