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

    1. Member Bibs's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 10:47 AM #126
      The push button wiper controls on the early 90's Geo metro were bad...when you pushed the "off" button to turn off the wipers, the action would often send the HI/LO/INT button flying across the cabin.
      Luckily, it's a Geo, so it wasn't hard to reach over and grab it off the passenger floor.

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    2. 10-03-2012 10:49 AM #127
      Quote Originally Posted by ValveCoverGasket View Post
      i nominate any switches around the cluster on a discovery 1 or 2




      impossible to see around the steering wheel to know which switch is where, and whether theyre pressed or not.
      Yes, it is fairly amazing how the wheel DOES hide every single one. It seems almost designed that way.

      Still nothing is more confusing than an older 911. The controls are just.....everywhere.......and for anything. Plenty of people here could spend an hour in one, and without an owners manual not figure out how to turn on the defroster, adjust the timing of the wipers, or open a sunroof.
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    3. 10-03-2012 10:58 AM #128
      Quote Originally Posted by rs4-380 View Post
      x48. never been able to remotely figure it out.
      That photo is missing the two "ejector handles" that go next to the console by the dial for autoheat. Those handles controlled the flap doors for heat. You could do ANYTHING with the dial and get nothing if you didn't pull the flaps open. Conversely you could set the dial to MINIMUM setting and if you opened the flap doors even 1/3 of the way you could roast a turkey in the car.

      My father owned an 88 Carrera for 10 years. You will never convince me that the climate system in that car worked well or worked properly.
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    4. Member rynodyno312's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 11:00 AM #129
      Quote Originally Posted by Ace_VR6 View Post
      The Worst button placement I have ever had to deal with is the trunk release button on the 2005 Ford Mustang GT my dad had. It didn't have one... Had one on keyfob though!
      My '05 GTO had similar odd ergonomics:

      There was no door lock button--you either used the key fob or pushed down the lock tab on the door, which then caused the other door to lock. The trunk release is a tiny button in the glove box most people wont find unless they look in the manual. Gas filler release was a dash button obscured by the steering wheel. Because the car was originally RHD, the radio controls were flipped and the e-brake was on the wrong side of the shifter. The power operated seats can't be quickly pulled forward to let rear passengers in or out, so you have to wait 15 seconds for the slowest power seats in history to move 8" forward. They also had to move the gas tank to meet US regs and it both cut down on trunk space and made it so the rear seats could not be folded down.

      The things like that were what ultimately led me to sell the car, even though it drove very well. 17 mpg didn't help either.

    5. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 11:09 AM #130
      The GTO was basically what happens when you take a 4-door sedan that was specifically designed for one isolated RHD market, then hastily/cheaply convert it to a coupe, then hastily/cheaply convert that coupe to LHD.

      Power seats in general are a huge ergonomic fail. Manual seat adjustments - even the Recaro-style recline knobs that people hate on VWs - are always faster. Power seats in a coupe that don't have a manual flip-forward feature are almost inexcusable.

      Though my car has the "no power lock button, driver's door lock tab actuates the passenger door power lock" setup and it doesn't bother me. About once a month, though, someone will come on to miata.net with a new '99 or '00 Miata and post something like "I just bought this car but the fobs are missing and the driver's door power lock doesn't work" - the driver's door isn't powered at all and these cars never had keyless entry until '01+.
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    6. Member rynodyno312's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 11:18 AM #131
      Quote Originally Posted by AKADriver View Post
      The GTO was basically what happens when you take a 4-door sedan that was specifically designed for one isolated RHD market, then hastily/cheaply convert it to a coupe, then hastily/cheaply convert that coupe to LHD.
      Yup. Even then I don't think the end product was bad; it was just a late 1990's car being sold in the mid 2000s. The styling didn't help either (I dont mind it but most people think it looks like a grand prix).

      At least the interior quality was good--much better than other GMs of the vintage. Was fun to drive after i redid the suspension, too. Just a terrible daily driver/only car, IMO.

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      10-03-2012 11:26 AM #132


      I always thought the air distribution icons on my old SPG were really confusing. This was before everyone used the little dude with an arrow pointing to his face, his feet, or both. Ergonomically it was fine, but the icons were

    8. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 12:08 PM #133
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post

      Still nothing is more confusing than an older 911. The controls are just.....everywhere.......and for anything. Plenty of people here could spend an hour in one, and without an owners manual not figure out how to turn on the defroster, adjust the timing of the wipers, or open a sunroof.
      speaking of switches everywhere for everything...

      how about all the semi-labeled switches in older RRs/jags/etc


    9. Member jeff1234's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 12:25 PM #134
      Placement of CD player on 6th Gen Civics, where below it, lies the cup holders which were covered by a flap. If you needed to change CDs and had a drink in the cup holder, you had to remove said drink and close the flap to replace the CD. Then to put the drink back, you had to release the flap to expose the cup holders again. Drove me nuts all the time.

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    10. Member patrickvr6's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 12:54 PM #135
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      That photo is missing the two "ejector handles" that go next to the console by the dial for autoheat. Those handles controlled the flap doors for heat. You could do ANYTHING with the dial and get nothing if you didn't pull the flaps open. Conversely you could set the dial to MINIMUM setting and if you opened the flap doors even 1/3 of the way you could roast a turkey in the car.

      My father owned an 88 Carrera for 10 years. You will never convince me that the climate system in that car worked well or worked properly.
      Those handles went away with the Autoheat cars and were replaced by servos that opened and closed the dampeners based on a temperature sensor in the duct and the setting of the Autoheat dial.

    11. Member dopaz's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 01:55 PM #136
      Quote Originally Posted by jeff1234 View Post
      Placement of CD player on 6th Gen Civics, where below it, lies the cup holders which were covered by a flap. If you needed to change CDs and had a drink in the cup holder, you had to remove said drink and close the flap to replace the CD. Then to put the drink back, you had to release the flap to expose the cup holders again. Drove me nuts all the time.
      It only took them three years to correct that, the 99-00 sixth-gen Civics have a double-din opening in the upper part of the dash.

      Now 911's, they were confusing for decades!

    12. Banned seadoo2006's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 02:11 PM #137
      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!

    13. Member cockerpunk's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 02:14 PM #138
      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
      Quote Originally Posted by kwik!gti
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      10-03-2012 02:19 PM #139
      I raise all of you ...

      The Pontiac G5 trunk release button ... hidden away where you'll never find it!!


    15. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 02:51 PM #140
      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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    16. Member cockerpunk's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 02:55 PM #141
      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.
      Quote Originally Posted by kwik!gti
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    17. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 03:06 PM #142
      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
      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.
      The defroster: that's weird. Usually the windshield is that \_/ shaped icon and the rear window is a rectangle.

      The sliders/fan speed: I bet that control board contains resistors or rheostats to control the fan speed and vent position and they've simply failed into full fan speed/full vent open mode. The "all or nothing" fan speed is a common symptom of a failed fan speed resistor (aka blower motor resistor). For whatever reason car companies decided that putting big high-power resistors in series with the blower fan to reduce its speed made more sense than making a marginally more sophisticated but vastly more efficient motor speed controller.

      I bet if you cracked that thing open you'd find some blown resistors or failed solder joints.
      Last edited by AKADriver; 10-03-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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    18. Member GolfTango's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 03:38 PM #143
      I've had a few Cavilers as rentals. And none of them had the cigarette lighter in the socket. So I've stuck many a keys in there resulting in sparks. What was GM thinking putting that there?!

      Last edited by GolfTango; 10-04-2012 at 12:06 AM.
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    19. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 04:01 PM #144
      NA Miatas have the lighter socket in the same spot. A lot of people remove them and put in S2000-style starter buttons.
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    20. Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 04:56 PM #145
      Quote Originally Posted by patrickvr6 View Post
      I present the air cooled 911 climate control system. Controls are scattered all over the car and it is absolutely mystifying. The only saving grace is that no matter where you put all those switches nothing really changes.

      Every track day I go to where there are instructors makes me laugh. In the summer "it's hot in here" and they start fiddling with the controls, knock yourself out it won't make a difference. In the spring/fall/rain "it's foggy/cold in here" and they fiddle with the controls.

      They don't do jack ****. Aftermarket exhaust obviously makes it worse, I don't even know why they have controls.

    21. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 08:55 AM #146
      Quote Originally Posted by wantacad View Post
      I don't know for what reason but some MK2's have this as well . why didn't VW keep it on the dash!?!
      If you saw the steering column harness required, you'd want it on the column too basically, with a dash switch, and the way VW wired it, the pwoer from the turn signals runs from:

      Battery, to the fuse box to ignition switch.
      Switch back to box, out to hazard switch.
      Hazard switch decides if you need key-on power (for turns while running), or battery power (for hazards at any time).
      Power is sent back to the fuse box, then to the turn relay.
      From the relay, back out to the hazard switch again (if the hazards were on, this is where it sends power to L and R).
      From the hazard switch, back toward the fuse box, to the column harness, for the turn signal stalk (for the t/s, L or R).
      From the stalk, back to the fuse box again, then out to the lights.

      With the hazard integrated into the column, you only have:
      Battery, to the fuse box to ignition switch.
      Switch to box, to turn signal stalk (the hazard portion decides key-on or battery power).
      Stalk to the fuse box, then to the turn relay.
      From the relay, back the turn signal stalk (to decide L/R, or both, for hazards).
      From the stalk, back to the fuse box, then out to the lights.

      It's a wiring nightmare. in the 00-02 Cabrio, where they put it back to a button on the dash, the main harness is routed much the same, except an additional relay controls the hazard function.

      Quote Originally Posted by GI-JOE View Post
      I've always hated the trunk and fuel door switches in older fords. You had to lean over, open the glove box and then press a tiny button.
      THis, and any, hidden trunka nd fuel door buttons are for security. If your car is broken into, the trunk is not easily accessible. Newer cars just use the alarm to disable the trunk button circuit.

      Quote Originally Posted by McBanagon View Post
      Exactly. The only one that makes sense is the temp slider, and maybe the defrost. The bottom two? It's anyone's guess unless they have an owners' manual, or ask on The Samba*.
      I found an 84 Vanagon in the junkyard, with the owner's manual. Now, I'm not a physicist or anything, but I'm no idiot and I understand how the arrow system works, bascially you can gradually close an open specific vents and areas blah blah blah. I studied that owner's manual for 20 minutes and still did not walk away with any proper understanding of the vent controls for a Vanagon. None. Roof mounted AC switches, dials on the dash, the doors, and vents themselves... wtf.

    22. Member McBanagon's Avatar
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      10-04-2012 09:21 AM #147
      Quote Originally Posted by VDub2625 View Post
      I found an 84 Vanagon in the junkyard, with the owner's manual. Now, I'm not a physicist or anything, but I'm no idiot and I understand how the arrow system works, bascially you can gradually close an open specific vents and areas blah blah blah. I studied that owner's manual for 20 minutes and still did not walk away with any proper understanding of the vent controls for a Vanagon. None. Roof mounted AC switches, dials on the dash, the doors, and vents themselves... wtf.
      Honestly, I owned one of these things for years before I knew what that bottom lever was for. There was a diagram that said "for defrost, all to the right," so I just left it on the right and didn't touch it.

      http://www.gowesty.com/library_article.php?id=311

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