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    Thread: Any worse ergonomics fail than the GM hazard switches from the 1980s?

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    1. Member MontoyaF1's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 12:14 PM #1
      I had a 1984 Buick Grand National when I was in college, and it had the standard GM hazard switch on the steering column (looked sort of like this):



      I hated using it, because once it was on I could never figure out how to shut it off, and when I did manage to turn it off I felt like I was snapping a chicken bone in half.

      Anyone else annoyed by this? Has any company made a switch that was worse from an ergonomics point-of-view?
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      10-02-2012 12:40 PM #2
      I remember that switch from my S-15 Jimmy SLT. To be honest, I've never figured out how to use it.. LOL

    3. 10-02-2012 12:42 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by too_slow View Post
      I remember that switch from my S-15 Jimmy SLT. To be honest, I've never figured out how to use it.. LOL
      You pushed the center in. TO shut it off, you pulled the collar around the center button out.

      The problem was the action was so stiff, it felt like you were going to break it.
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      10-02-2012 12:43 PM #4
      I remember this from my 1985 Celebrity. What a piece, thank god I never used it much.

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      10-02-2012 12:47 PM #5
      I submit this:



      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.

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      10-02-2012 12:49 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      I submit this:



      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.
      ahaha, I remenber those. Other cars had them too I just dont remenber what i drove that was like that.

      I think it was a old Fiat or something.

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      10-02-2012 12:56 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      I submit this:



      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.
      I don't think Ford of USA used that style of horn on anything other than the Fiesta.
      Many Euro cars of that vintage are similar. Later MGB's are like that.

    8. 10-02-2012 01:55 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      I submit this:



      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.
      My Fairmont has this, but even worse. There is nothing indicating that the horn is on the turn signal stalk. I actually thought the car didn't have one until I accidently honked the horn while trying to signal.

    9. Member the flying grape!'s Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:44 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      pic snip...

      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.
      My old Mercury Lynx had the horn on the stalk. It's fine if you are expecting or planning to honk the horn, but in an emergency situation, you're going to slam your hand into the wheel. And the result is the sound of your hand hitting the steering wheel.

    10. 10-02-2012 06:27 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      I submit this:



      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.
      Also when airbags first came out and the horn was moved to the little buttons on the sides of the steering wheel (I think the Aveo still did this until like last year ).

    11. Member WD-40's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 12:43 PM #11
      Ahh, the memories...

      For a switch that was going to be used so often, you would think that they would have put more thought into it.

    12. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 12:46 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by MontoyaF1 View Post
      I had a 1984 Buick Grand National when I was in college, and it had the standard GM hazard switch on the steering column (looked sort of like this):



      I hated using it, because once it was on I could never figure out how to shut it off, and when I did manage to turn it off I felt like I was snapping a chicken bone in half.

      Anyone else annoyed by this? Has any company made a switch that was worse from an ergonomics point-of-view?

      Go find a Super Beetle and turn the hazards on once.
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    13. 10-02-2012 01:38 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Go find a Super Beetle and turn the hazards on once.
      The super beetle's hazard is leaps and bounds better than that of the GMs.

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      10-02-2012 12:46 PM #14
      I had this in my 94 Camaro. I never had to use it but it took a while to figure it out to test it Then the collar snapped off.
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    15. Member devianb's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 12:48 PM #15
      Have it on my Trans Am. Id prefer a standard hazard button on the dash, but I never had a problem using it.

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      10-02-2012 12:58 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by MontoyaF1 View Post
      I had a 1984 Buick Grand National when I was in college, and it had the standard GM hazard switch on the steering column (looked sort of like this):



      I hated using it, because once it was on I could never figure out how to shut it off, and when I did manage to turn it off I felt like I was snapping a chicken bone in half.

      Anyone else annoyed by this? Has any company made a switch that was worse from an ergonomics point-of-view?
      Had this type of switch on our Suburbans. Thanks for the horrible memories

    17. Member 1985Jetta's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:02 PM #17
      We have had and have currently a few 80's GM cars and its really not a bad switch. I would have liked to see a pull out high beam, rather than pulling the turn signal stalk toward you. That's my only complaint.

      Edit: Here's a list
      84 C30 crewcab dually
      86 cutlass supreme
      84 or so cutlass calais
      82 caballero

      past ones:
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      Last edited by 1985Jetta; 10-02-2012 at 01:12 PM.

    18. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:12 PM #18
      not worse than those old GM hazard switches
      but I find this really annoying on our E90.
      This is the only unlock button in the car.

      Would it really kill them to put one on the driver & passenger door??? Plus it's tiny.

    19. Member Spell Check Desk's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:26 PM #19
      My first car was an old Chrysler Cordoba and it had the hazard switch behind the steering wheel on TOP of the steering column. You had to pull it UP to turn it on. Because that makes so much sense.
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    20. Junior Member jhad03's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:35 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Spell Check Desk View Post
      My first car was an old Chrysler Cordoba and it had the hazard switch behind the steering wheel on TOP of the steering column. You had to pull it UP to turn it on. Because that makes so much sense.

      thats exactly how the old GM's where but the operation of the button was different. very bad location and design.
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    21. 10-02-2012 01:48 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      not worse than those old GM hazard switches
      but I find this really annoying on our E90.
      This is the only unlock button in the car.

      Would it really kill them to put one on the driver & passenger door??? Plus it's tiny.
      Well why not put a central locking button in the center of the car? The switch doesn't do just one door so why put it on the door if the scope of what it operates is all the doors?

    22. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:17 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by dub01 View Post
      Not only that, the lock button could be really sensitive. That made it easy to lock the keys in the vehicle with the engine running. We had a delivery driver that did that repeatedly.
      That's not an ergonomic fail though....

      Quote Originally Posted by BostonB6 View Post
      Try not to turn on your hazards 2-3X per trip when using the touch screen on the MFT. To make things worse, it's touch sensitive.

      that's awesome

      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      Well why not put a central locking button in the center of the car? The switch doesn't do just one door so why put it on the door if the scope of what it operates is all the doors?
      not sure if serious.... because you want to have buttons that you use often within the reach of the driver. That's what good ergonomics is, right?
      Another gripe about the E90 ergonomics. I always find the window switches quite a long reach.

    23. Geriatric Member ATL_Av8r's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:19 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      Another gripe about the E90 ergonomics. I always find the window switches quite a long reach.
      At least they're finally on the door. The E30/36/46 had the worst window switch setup ever
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      10-02-2012 02:31 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      Well why not put a central locking button in the center of the car? The switch doesn't do just one door so why put it on the door if the scope of what it operates is all the doors?
      Because it's the driver who would normally use the switch. And it's been on the door forever, why change it? And why make the button tiny and hard to find? I was driving a Fiesta and went to unlock the doors to let someone in, and it took me a while to find the switch that wasn't located where it should have been.

    25. Member the flying grape!'s Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:40 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by jettagli1991 View Post
      Because it's the driver who would normally use the switch. And it's been on the door forever, why change it? And why make the button tiny and hard to find? I was driving a Fiesta and went to unlock the doors to let someone in, and it took me a while to find the switch that wasn't located where it should have been.
      I must admit I was frustrated at first with my E60 when I couldn't for the life of me find the door lock button. It just wasn't where the button is on just about every other car. Then I found it and gave myself the forehead smack.

      Now that I know where it is, it makes sense to have just the one button in a central location, and it's not hard at all to reach.

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      10-02-2012 03:04 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by jettagli1991 View Post
      Because it's the driver who would normally use the switch. And it's been on the door forever, why change it? And why make the button tiny and hard to find? I was driving a Fiesta and went to unlock the doors to let someone in, and it took me a while to find the switch that wasn't located where it should have been.
      My Mk3 Golf had its central locking button in the center of the dash. It's not a "all cars have always done it this way" thing. Central locking buttons are often placed on the door because it's a door-related function, but there's plenty of precedent for lock buttons in the dash or center console (along with window switches placed likewise).
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      10-03-2012 12:16 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      not worse than those old GM hazard switches
      but I find this really annoying on our E90.
      This is the only unlock button in the car.

      Would it really kill them to put one on the driver & passenger door??? Plus it's tiny.
      I think you are complaining a bit too much. Why:

      1. You have another unlock button. Its on your key fob
      2. You can program the car to unlock your doors when the keyfob is pulled out of the receptacle. You have a choice of just the driver door or all 4.

      What more do you want?
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      10-03-2012 02:11 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      Had this type of switch on our Suburbans. Thanks for the horrible memories
      Oh god ... I remember that little bastard in our 1987 Suburban growing up ... the horror!

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      10-03-2012 02:14 PM #29
      after two years of ownership, i have still not figured out the HVAC controls on my 951



      WHY ARE THERE TWO SLIDERS, WTF IS THE DIFFERENCE
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      10-03-2012 02:19 PM #30
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      10-03-2012 02:51 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
      after two years of ownership, i have still not figured out the HVAC controls on my 951

      WHY ARE THERE TWO SLIDERS, WTF IS THE DIFFERENCE
      Okay, is this what you have?



      I'm going to take a stab at it.

      On the left you have a recirc button, which closes the outside vent, and below that, a windshield defrost button, which opens the defroster vent.

      Then fan speed knob.

      Then the sliders allow you to open the upper (dash) and lower (floor) vents to different levels.

      Then the temperature knob, then the A/C button.

      Disclaimer: I have not driven a post-1985.5 944/951/968. However upper and lower vents are the only functions that aren't present on the other knobs, and it's got up and down arrows.
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    32. Member cockerpunk's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 02:55 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by AKADriver View Post
      Okay, is this what you have?



      I'm going to take a stab at it.

      On the left you have a recirc button, which closes the outside vent, and below that, a windshield defrost button, which opens the defroster vent.

      Then fan speed knob.

      Then the sliders allow you to open the upper (dash) and lower (floor) vents to different levels.

      Then the temperature knob, then the A/C button.

      Disclaimer: I have not driven a post-1985.5 944/951/968. However upper and lower vents are the only functions that aren't present on the other knobs, and it's got up and down arrows.
      the button is the rear defroster, the electric one.

      the windshield defroster is a lever in the middle of the upper two vents (no kidding).

      the sliders, idk, i can't tell any difference in airflow anywhere regardless of where i put them, and the fan speed.


      also, the tripmeter on the 944 is a joke to. its literally a fin in one of the vents, you push it to zero the trip.


      its like they ****ed it all up on purpose.
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      10-02-2012 01:07 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by MontoyaF1 View Post


      Anyone else annoyed by this? Has any company made a switch that was worse from an ergonomics point-of-view?
      I had an immediate flashback to my mom's 1980 Cutlass Supreme. It's the only one of my parent's cars where I remember where the hazard switch was because it was so confusing.

      I can't think of any worse ergos than that switch

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      10-02-2012 09:58 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Haubbs View Post
      I had an immediate flashback to my mom's 1980 Cutlass Supreme.
      LOL, same flashback to my grandma's 80's Cutlass Supreme.

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      10-02-2012 01:32 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by MontoyaF1 View Post


      I hated using it, because once it was on I could never figure out how to shut it off, and when I did manage to turn it off I felt like I was snapping a chicken bone in half.
      not only was it a pain to figure out at first, but the fact that the cars that had that switch also had steering wheels that where something like 24" in diamter, lol. you had to be a contortionist to reech around the wheel to operate the thing, or risk severing your arm off when you would reach through the wheel while driving to use the switch
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