Warning signals on modern cars. - argybargy

Probably preaching to the converted here, but I just wondered what people thought of some of the warning signals that modern cars tend to feature. Useful, or an aid to complacency?

I took the B Max on a longer drive this week: a round trip of 400-odd miles to Scarborough from North Wales via Hull and back. The car has enough power to spare for most situations, though the skin on the rice pudding remains intact. Only one glitch on the way, and that was when a cheery little jingle sounded in the car, and an orange warning sign popped up on the display along with a message about low tyre pressures. I pulled off the M62 at a junction, stopped the car when it was safe to do so, checked tyre pressures (bearing in mind we'd be travelling for a couple of hours by then and pressure would be slightly raised) but all was well. With further investigation I worked out how to reset the deflation sensor to accept the current pressures. So, apparently a false alarm.

However, the event threw me because the car is still unfamiliar. and all the way to Hull and onwards I was expecting further odd noises, though thankfully there were none.

A more general point occured to me afterwards, and that's the question as to whether these sensors and warning signals encourage complacency and lack of maintenance because we tend to become over reliant on them to tell us when things are awry, rather than doing the checks ourselves before we set off.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Warning signals on modern cars. - SLO76
The tyre pressure monitoring system (which is mandatory under EU law) in most cars uses the ABS system to monitor wheel speed in order to detect a light as of pressure. I find the system in my Polo regularly flagging up warnings despite pressures being fine. I can only assume the different tread depth on the tyres is throwing it off. Our CRV never does this.

I agree that drivers are becoming too reliant on technology like this but I still all too often see cars driving around with soft tyres. In particular the old fella next door to me in an old Polo which I've warned him numerous times that his tyres are nearly flat yet he does nothing about it. Perhaps if the police acted on dangers like this instead of coming down on drivers doing 10mph over the speed limit on a perfectly clear motorway our roads would be a safer place.
Warning signals on modern cars. - Mike H
The tyre pressure monitoring system (which is mandatory under EU law) in most cars uses the ABS system to monitor wheel speed in order to detect a light as of pressure. I find the system in my Polo regularly flagging up warnings despite pressures being fine. I can only assume the different tread depth on the tyres is throwing it off. Our CRV never does this

Our CRV has thrown a tyre pressure warning a couple of times, always in the same situation. I always check the pressure before a long journey, but after a few motorway miles the tyre pressure warning shows, presumably when the tyres have heated up, but there' s never a real problem - the pressures on each end of the car have gone up a bit, but are still equal on the same axle, and with the same differential between front and rear. Wouldn't expect it to flag this as an issue, as they should all still be turning at the same equivalent rate. Hasn't happened for a while though. Disconcertingly, it happened on the first long journey a week into our ownership, and took a while to fathom out the reset given the obscure nature of the CRV's info system.

Warning signals on modern cars. - Smileyman

Should be mandatory for all road vehicles to have bulb failure warning system, so to alert drivers when headlights, side lights, indicators or stop lights fail.

Edited by Smileyman on 11/08/2017 at 11:55

Warning signals on modern cars. - badbusdriver

Going by what I have read, tyre pressure monitors are not very reliable. Of course this may be down to the type of monitoring system. Maybe more sophisticated types in more expensive cars are more accurate?.

Our new jazz has collision warnings, and quite often when I overtake, I get the warning buzzer and lights flashing on dashboard, which is quite disconcerting. The car also doesn't like it when I park at my parents house. Their drive is narrow, so I park very close to the wall!. It also has auto wipers (and lights), which I find baffling, does anyone really not know when enough rain is falling on their windscreen that they need to use the wipers?.

Warning signals on modern cars. - Engineer Andy

Probably preaching to the converted here, but I just wondered what people thought of some of the warning signals that modern cars tend to feature. Useful, or an aid to complacency?

I took the B Max on a longer drive this week: a round trip of 400-odd miles to Scarborough from North Wales via Hull and back. The car has enough power to spare for most situations, though the skin on the rice pudding remains intact. Only one glitch on the way, and that was when a cheery little jingle sounded in the car, and an orange warning sign popped up on the display along with a message about low tyre pressures. I pulled off the M62 at a junction, stopped the car when it was safe to do so, checked tyre pressures (bearing in mind we'd be travelling for a couple of hours by then and pressure would be slightly raised) but all was well. With further investigation I worked out how to reset the deflation sensor to accept the current pressures. So, apparently a false alarm.

However, the event threw me because the car is still unfamiliar. and all the way to Hull and onwards I was expecting further odd noises, though thankfully there were none.

A more general point occured to me afterwards, and that's the question as to whether these sensors and warning signals encourage complacency and lack of maintenance because we tend to become over reliant on them to tell us when things are awry, rather than doing the checks ourselves before we set off.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?

For things like headlights, then I think it would be reasonably obvious to the driver if they weren't (even one) working, with (turn) indicators and rear fog lamps, then yes, I think a warning light to indicate failure would be appropriate, as a failure during driving would not be obvious until they either lined up with a reflective surface or had an accident/near miss as a result of another vehicle not knowing that they were going to turn (not a good situation). Checking lights before we set of is law/part of the highway code if I recall.

As regards the TPWS, they often get confused when clogged up with mud and water - it was reported as a fault (once) on the latest Mazda3 on HJ - not sure whether this was something just for Mazdas (didn't see any other reports), part (may be shared across other makes, but again, haven't see any yet) or just bad luck if the car owner was going through some really wet and muddy roads. Hopefully a quick clean and reset (where and how?) of the sensor would do the trick, though I'm sure it would be quite irritating if you couldn't easily stop or it kept going off a lot during a trip.

Warning signals on modern cars. - catsdad
My TPMS on the Civic has only triggered once, getting off the ferry in Santander. I stopped right away and, although not using a gauge, all tyres felt sound when given the obligatory kick. At that time I was unaware of the technology behnd the system and assumed it was a reaction to a lengthy sea trip and the rocking motion. I now know thats not a factor!

Anyway I drove a short distance to our hotel and checked the tyres the next day when I found one tyre was indeed a couple of pounds down. It proved to be a slow puncture but I was impressed how sensitive the system wad and yet has never triggered a false alarm.

It may help that I always renew tyres in pairs and have never had unevenly worn tyres on the same axle.
Warning signals on modern cars. - Terry W

Walk up to car, observe tyre walls.

If they look a bit bulgy/soft kick them to confirm.

If soft drive immediately to garage and use pump

If OK wait until I am filling up with petrol and the weather is dry

The old ways are often the best - avoids wasted hours with handbook trying to identify what the light means.

The last time that happened a radiator shaped warning light was illuminated. Checked handbook - found it meant low screenwash level. The traditional clue is a gurgling sound and lack of water. Both end up with the same action - stop and top up!!

Warning signals on modern cars. - oldroverboy.

Proximity sensor when (alledgedly) too fast or too close to the car in front....Strange hissing noise from the seat next to me.

Warning signals on modern cars. - argybargy

ROFL, oldroverboy. My passenger seat warning signal isn't so much a hiss as a constant chunnering sound which is occasionally interrupted by the repetition of shopping lists.

Interesting that the EU makes TPWS mandatory. Didn't know that.

The reverse warning always goes off for a few beeps when I back up to our house, as it senses the curve of the kerb in the close next to us before I straighten up. That signal is quite helpful, although again it could easily make me complacent if I rely on it totally rather than getting eyes on the obstruction.

I suppose all this stuff is useful, in that it'll help to soften us up ready for the general acceptance of driverless cars.

Edited by argybargy on 12/08/2017 at 10:54

Warning signals on modern cars. - RT

ROFL, oldroverboy. My passenger seat warning signal isn't so much a hiss as a constant chunnering sound which is occasionally interrupted by the repetition of shopping lists.

Interesting that the EU makes TPWS mandatory. Didn't know that.

The reverse warning always goes off for a few beeps when I back up to our house, as it senses the curve of the kerb in the close next to us before I straighten up. That signal is quite helpful, although again it could easily make me complacent if I rely on it totally rather than getting eyes on the obstruction.

I suppose all this stuff is useful, in that it'll help to soften us up ready for the general acceptance of driverless cars.

TPMS being mandatory on cars from 2014 caught me out with my winter tyre set - my car has the sensors in the valve, not the ABS type, so I had to get a set of 4 TPMS valves to fit in the winter set - fortunately with ebay they were "only" £120.

Incidentally, for anyone else with TPMS sensors in the valves - the battery only last 5 years and can't be replaced on it's own - so from 2019, if you're buying a 4-5 year old car it could prove expensive sooner than you think - as it's a MoT fail if the warning is lit.

Warning signals on modern cars. - badbusdriver

I had a 1979 saab 99. If someone was sitting in the front without their seatbelt on, a very bright, red, warning light showed on the dashboard. It also had 'daytime running lights', a safety feature which has taken several decades to become 'standard practice'. They could be switched off via a completely seperate switch from the main lights.

Warning signals on modern cars. - Wackyracer

Unless a car is fitted with run flats I really can't see any point in having TPMS.

Having said that my mother did manage to drive about 8 miles on a completely flat tyre once and was still completely unaware (I have no idea how she didn't notice, was probably too busy talking to her passenger about how Mildred likes rich tea biscuits or some other nonsense that fills her head most of the time). Even if she did have a car with TPMS I doubt it would make her stop or think about it, she drove a car with the charge light on until the battery was completely depleted and the engine stalled, the light? oh that's been on for 2 days!

Warning signals on modern cars. - RT

Unless a car is fitted with run flats I really can't see any point in having TPMS.

Having said that my mother did manage to drive about 8 miles on a completely flat tyre once and was still completely unaware (I have no idea how she didn't notice, was probably too busy talking to her passenger about how Mildred likes rich tea biscuits or some other nonsense that fills her head most of the time). Even if she did have a car with TPMS I doubt it would make her stop or think about it, she drove a car with the charge light on until the battery was completely depleted and the engine stalled, the light? oh that's been on for 2 days!

It works well if you have a slow puncture - at least for most people!

Warning signals on modern cars. - Wackyracer

It works well if you have a slow puncture - at least for most people!

I've managed to detect slow punctures for the last several decades using my eyes, a thumb and a tyre pressure gauge to do a final check.

Warning signals on modern cars. - RT

It works well if you have a slow puncture - at least for most people!

I've managed to detect slow punctures for the last several decades using my eyes, a thumb and a tyre pressure gauge to do a final check.

That's impressive - if you run over a nail early on in your journey, you can do all that on the move?

Warning signals on modern cars. - jc2

Unless a car is fitted with run flats I really can't see any point in having TPMS.

Having said that my mother did manage to drive about 8 miles on a completely flat tyre once and was still completely unaware (I have no idea how she didn't notice, was probably too busy talking to her passenger about how Mildred likes rich tea biscuits or some other nonsense that fills her head most of the time). Even if she did have a car with TPMS I doubt it would make her stop or think about it, she drove a car with the charge light on until the battery was completely depleted and the engine stalled, the light? oh that's been on for 2 days!

Recently,I was walking near where I live and heard a loud noise-it turned out to be a large "Chelsea Tractor"which had probaby had a rear(NS) puncture but there was no tyre left and the alloy wheel was starting to disintregrate-had a spare on the tailgate but it carried on it's way.

Warning signals on modern cars. - bathtub tom

TPMS being mandatory on cars from 2014

Not quite. My 2014 Yaris hasn't got them.

It was mandatory for new models from some date, but didn't apply to existing models. Hence the 2014 facelift model has them.

Warning signals on modern cars. - RT

TPMS being mandatory on cars from 2014

Not quite. My 2014 Yaris hasn't got them.

It was mandatory for new models from some date, but didn't apply to existing models. Hence the 2014 facelift model has them.

TPMS was mandatory for new models from 1st November 2012 - for older models without TPMS they could still be sold until 31st October 2014 - so some 2014 didn't have it.

Warning signals on modern cars. - argybargy

We used to have a W reg Mini; orange in colour when we bought it one rainy evening, orange and rust red in colour once the sun came up. One day, without realising it, I ran over an enormous nail which became lodged in the tyre.

The tyre deflated over several days, something which didn't become apparent until it was almost totally flat, because as anyone who has owned a Mini will know, the great fun of driving the car is not only being able to take bends without slowing down, but that every bump in the road feels like a kick up the backside with a hobnail boot. The nail had actually worked its way through the tread of the tyre and out of the sidewall by the time I found it.

Edited by argybargy on 12/08/2017 at 23:08

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car