Do cars think we're stupid?

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Okay, I appreciate that cars are loaded with micro-computers so that I don't have to think about stuff anymore. Rear-view mirrors automatically dim, headlights come on and off when they're supposed to; all without my having to do anything.

But one thing that totally pisses me off is when my car thinks that I'm going to lock the keys in it and incessantly 'dings' at me until I remove the key from the ignition. With the door open, I put the key in the ignition and turn it to accessory so that I can listen to the radio while cleaning around the driver's side door and removing stains from the carpet. Sure, I can understand if I turn the car off and open the door while the key is in the ignition that the car might think I'm going to forget to remove it. But WTF! I open the door and put the key in with the door still open and it needs to bitch at me? Now, if it just went "ding-ding-ding" and then shut up, I could accept that; but the dinging never stops until the key is removed.

So get this.... After 6 years of putting up with this on my 2002 Alero, I finally just traded it in on a brand new 2008 Altima 2.5SL. Nissan is so proud of their key-less entry and ignition. You can unlock the door, start the car, drive away; the key never needs to leave your pocket. No more risk of locking the keys in, right? Well, this weekend I decide to wash and shine it. I get to the part where I want to clean around the driver's door. Since it has a monster BOSE stereo with XM Radio, I want to blast some tunes while I go about my cleaning. I open the driver's door with the key in my pocket, lean in and press the big yellow button once for 'accessory'. But before I can reach over to press the radio button.... you guessed it.... ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding nonstop.

I give up :ohcrap:

posted by  xsicdn

I feel your pain, I like to do the same thing, but that incessant dinging is enough to drive one crazy. got to install a door switch overide or something.

what bothers me most about these "inteligent cars" is that on most cars with automatic headlights, the lights only come on if it is dark, or you turn them on manualy. I don't know about other states but here in NJ it is the law that if your wipers are on your lights must be on. But since people are used to their lights turning on automaticaly, they often dont think (or even know how!) to turn their lights on when it is raining. This is also a problem when it is foggy, if it is day time it will be bright and the headlights won't come on, but visibility is still poor, and turning your lights on would alow others to see you much easier.
I just think that "inteligent cars" encourage ignorance and laziness in the general public.

posted by  dvdrose18

I hate that too...Some newer cars don't stop dinging when you don't have your seatbelt on either, which gets annoying if you're going shopping and the stores are like a mile apart.

I was thinking about putting a piece of tape or something to press the door button in so it doesn't ding, but you have to press it pretty hard so I don't think that would work. There's gotta be some fuse for it though. I'll try to find it and tell you guys what happened.

posted by  chris_knows

you could just pull out the switch and cap the wires off, of course you would have to figure out wether it is a normaly open or normaly closed switch.

posted by  dvdrose18

I couldn't find the fuse. Elaborate on your idea (which switch).

posted by  chris_knows

the switch on the door that you were going to put tape over, instead pull the switch out and you have 2 options.
1) cut it off and either connect the wires together, or cap them off apart, depending on what type of switch it is. This is a hard to undo solution that will disable all uses of the switch
2) install another switch in series or parallel depending on the same as above, so you can flip the switch when you want to disable the door ding. this is a little more dificult, but is the more inteligent solution, so you can just overide the ding when you want to, but have the warning when you need it.

posted by  dvdrose18

Yessssss I did it!

I just unscrewed the little button and pulled out a little wire and it's done. Takes about 30 seconds to turn on or off. I don't think I'm gonna put a switch in though, it's too complicated and seems like a waste of time.

posted by  chris_knows

Great, at least one of us is happy :clap:

The Alero didn't even have a visible switch. I think it might have been somewhere in the body behind the door hinge. The Altima has a switch just below the door latch. My possible low-tech solution is to jam a piece of wood between the door latch and frame, thus pushing in the door sensor button.

If I recall correctly, my 1972 Ford Cortina had a push button that you could also pull on. It would click into place and disable the door switch. Simply closing the door pushed it back into normal operational mode. Clever Brits!

posted by  xsicdn

Let's be honest, as a general population, we are stupid. From people overinflating the hell out of their tires to gain a few MPG to people thing cruise control is like autopilot and end up letting their cars hit other people. It sucks that we all have to pay, you'd think that if people can be trusted to push 2ton hunks of plastic and metal at highway speeds they could be trusted not to lock their keys in the car.

posted by  giant016

absolutely, especially automatics. we dont drive the car, it drives us and tells us what to do, with beeps and shit

posted by  muchojackdaniel

I personally find the technology in newer cars unnessecary imo. My car only beeps when you open the door with the front lights on-the rest of the time she shuts up. Its so simple and basic which really follows the "less is more" philosophy. The only thing I could do with is a digital radio and a hands free kit for my phone but even that isn't really that nessecary.

posted by  fudge

Success! I just hope someone at Nissan sees this and says "Oh my god, our customers are jamming sticks in their cars to get around our *features*"

posted by  xsicdn

I hear that. In NH it's only a law to wear the seatbelt if you're under 18, so I never wear it. Shortly after I bought my car I pulled the plug under the seat so no ding/no light. Then I tried it on my girlfriends old car (newer focus) and the friggin SRS light came on.
You can't win.
Now most hondas wont let you close the door with it locked. It must be locked from the outside or w/ a remote. That is a much better idea than the car yelling at you, why couldn't they all just stick with that?

posted by  DBain

My door thing is the exact same. Just unscrew that one screw at the bottom, and with a knife or flathead screwdriver pull the rubber piece off (careful, it's attached to a cable) and disconnect the wire inside. Then screw it back on and you can't tell. Your way works too though.

I've seen what some people do is just run the seatbelt around the back of the seat and click it in. Works for the cars that you can't pull the plug on.

I remember my mom had an '89 Acura something a long time ago, without a remote, and you had to lock the driver's door from the outside which was really annoying.

posted by  chris_knows

I always put on my seatbelt whenever I get into a car to the point where you don't notice that you've already done it up. Trust me you should make it a habit and put them on whenever you hit the streets as even if you're a safe driver someone else might plow into you.

posted by  fudge

According to Ontario law, you must wear your seatbelt, unless you're driving in reverse lol.

posted by  chris_knows

I've tried to get out of the car before without unlocking my belt. Not fun. :doh:

posted by  97Talonchik

i dont have to worry about my seat belt. it hugs me every time i get into the car. damn automatic seat belts they drive me nuts.:banghead:

posted by  DARKtEAGLE

I'm a big fan of Hondas, but they tend to be on the bossy side. For instance, my Honda Fit ( has a feature where it'll adjust the radio volume based on how high the engine's revving. Sounds nice in theory, until it suddenly cuts out at a stop light! Fortunately, it can be turned off.

posted by  lisawylde

They've been putting that in cars for like 10 years. It's nothing new, but yea really annoying. I can control the volume myself..

posted by  chris_knows

yea thats a good point

posted by  supersoad1

I think we should wear seat belts even on driving reverse and automatic seat belts are convenient in some instances

posted by  trainingwheels

I'm ok with my car assuming that I'm stupid; I've forgotten to turn off the lights as I leave the vehicle, and the little beeps help me out.

posted by  Speedster12

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