Just another d'oh day ... - Rita
Venue - sister-in-law’s. Present - me, older sister and sister-in-law. Subject of discussion – how to get from sister-in-law’s to another sister’s house some 20 minutes drive away. Object of a rather heated discussion – which was the easiest route to said sister’s abode.

I didn’t involve myself in the ¾ hour debate as I can’t read maps (responsibility for which I place entirely on the shoulders of Sister Dominic at the Convent who so castigated me for showing on a contour map a river flowing uphill that I suffer permanent retardation where all matters geographical are concerned. I am now of the ilk that tends to go three times around roundabouts, exits and then knocks at the first available house and asks “which the right road to where-ever”. I know that I can get from ‘here to there’ and back again but am never sure how to get to ‘there from there’.

Agreement as to route not having been decided, sister and I thought that that we would wing it (3 times around a roundabout etc) etc. and began our little sojourn. Within two minutes of leaving the house three oncoming vehicles flashed me. Checked that I had my headlights were on (it was just coming up to dusk). Everything seemed A-OK. Two more cars flashed me. Decided to turn into a side street, park and take stock.

I kicked all four tyres. They seemed alright – not obviously flat. Checked lights were on – yup, no problem. Bit of a worry as to reason for being flashed as nothing obviously wrong. Decided to retrace steps to brother. Phoned him on mobile and asked him to stay out front to watch for my approach to see if he could spot anything. Pulled up at his house. Wound window down – him grinning like a Cheshire cat. “Your full beam is on”. “Eh, says I, can’t be”. It was then that I realised that I didn’t even know how to turn on/off the full beam. He checked the beam. He was right. Showed me how to turn the beam on and off. Much laughter all round. Stress levels now high. Decided to abort trip and return to accompanying sister’s house and relax with a couple of stiff wines that necessitated an overnight stay.

On later sober reflection as to why I hadn’t known something so elementary as to how to put on/cancel the full beam I can only conclude that up that point I haven’t had to use that function on my current car. Perhaps the ‘I’ll learn it when I need to’ syndrome came into play. I still don’t know how the lights came to be on main beam in the first place.

Whilst there may never be a dull moment, there is ALWAYS a D’oh moment and I am usually the one experiencing it.

I surely can’t be unique in this regard tho’, can I ?



Just another d'oh day ... - Carmad 10000
yep pretty unique i would say :-D - nah just kidding, a lot of people do the same..
Just another d'oh day ... - Tom Shaw
Once bought a Cavalier and when I arrived home tried unsucessfully to find reverse to back into a parking space. Pulled the lever, pushed it, cursed it till I was blue in the face and gave up and parked it 100 yards up the road. Convinced I had bought a dud till a mate pointed out the collar under the gear knob. Red face or what.

I also had the same car for eighteen months before I accidently discovered that the interior light could be turned on by pulling the light switch back. I had thought that lack of a switch was a cost cutting excercise by Vauxhall.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
I also had the same car for eighteen months before I
accidently discovered that the interior light could be turned on by
pulling the light switch back. I had thought that lack of
a switch was a cost cutting excercise by Vauxhall.

>>

Tom, so it is possible to turn on the interior light on a Vauxhall without the doors being open? Would be very grateful if you could tell me how. You say by 'pulling the light switch back' - but my car has no switch on the interior light so am presuming you refer to something different?

Rita, have no shame about what happened to you! Not quite the same, but had been driving my Astra for a few weeks before my neighbour pointed out that I'd been driving (I guess since I got the car) with foglights on (yes I KNOW, foglight people, this was careless but at the time I honestly didn't know!) It can happen to all of us who don't have a lot of knowledge about cars - which is one good reason why I'm here and trying to learn a little more.
HF

Just another d'oh day ... - BrianW
An elderly neighbour, driving her Cavalier more after being widowed, asked for my assistance because she could not turn off the interior light and was woried that the battery would flatten.

I took the interior light apart, fiddled with it for about 20 minutes and finally resorted to removing the bulb!

Next morning got out her owners handbook and finally found the section which said you could turn on the interior light by pulling the light switch.
She had done that unwittingly whilst turning the light off.
So I pushed the switch in and replaced the bulb.
Sorted.
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
I think Vauxhall have learned from people leaving their interior lights on. On my 2000 Vectra, and Dad's 2001 Astra, when you lock the car, the interior lights turn themselves off regardless of whether you left the interior light switch on or off.
Just another d'oh day ... - TrevorP
Best story I heard - related over business lunch by the D'oh person -

New company car.
Spends ages trying to turn lights OFF.
Takes car back to Dealer.
Straight-faced Service Manager "Yes, Mr C . . ., it's a VOLVO,
- they are SUPPOSED to do that"

- smack forehead!
Just another d'oh day ... - volvoman
About 15 years ago I couldn't understand why the oil warning light kept flickering on our old Toyota Corolla (1975 vintage) auto. Kept checking the oil level which was fine then before a long journey one weekend I decided to put a little oil in anyway and see what happened. Wonder of wonders the oil light didn't come on anymore ! Intrigued, I decided to investigate when we got home and then discovered - to my total embarrassment - that the car had TWO dispticks - the most obvious of which (the one I'd been checking all that time) was for the automatic gearbox oil level !!

I still shudder when I think about it even now.
Just another d'oh day ... - Tomo
Well, no.

It happens to all of us (and this is the second time my carefully considered reply has vanished up,the ,,, er ..,. Swanee. Here is a shortie!)

Once upon a time switches were not perhaps standardized, but at least sufficiently differentiated on the dash so that, with a little experience of any one car, it was not too hard to get things OK.

Now it seems to me that so many things are put upon a couple of apparently similar. but not in every function identical, stalks that while a similar process may be gone through in respect of one vehicle, a switch to an another may even find one with inappropriate reflexes before one has stopped to think.

I've been through this in respect of fog lights between a Toyota Celica Supra and a Supra MK IV quite recently. (And Toyota are pretty bright, it must be to do with the do-gooding blighters, I think!)

Boring it may be, but perhaps we should all imitate the enbthusiast with the new buggy and spend a couple of hours in the garage with the manual, twiddling everything.

Anyway, be of good cheer (as I shan't be if this is eaten as well!)

Cheers
Tomo
Just another d'oh day ... - Dave_TD
Knight in shining armour time again... Xo)

HF, the headlight switch (the rotary one by your right knee!) - turn it clockwise one click for sidelights, another click for dipped headlights, and pinch it between thumb and forefinger and PULL IT one click towards you - Hey presto, inside light comes on!!!
And that rotary wheel thing next to the headlight switch is for adjusting the brightness of your instrument panel lighting. Yes, when I first had my Cavalier I thought there was a wiring problem with the speedo illumination, then I realised my big clumsy fingers were moving the dimmer switch when turning the headlights on!
Your foglight switch, IIRC, is next to the heated rear window switch. More than once I've been following a misted-up Vauxhall which has switched its fogs on!
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Knight in shining armour time again... Xo)

Oh dear - well thanks Knight for your rescue, yet again! I've managed to suss out the one turn for sidelights (which apparently I shouldn't be using anyway) and the further turn to dipped headlights. I've even managed to work out full-beam, believe it or not. HOWEVER, never knew that I could pull out the 'rotary switch' to make inside light come on! Amazing, will try it in the morning!

I have noticed the 'rotary thing' near my headlight switch - but have presumed to leave it well alone, thinking that it was related to the outside lights (as in headlamps etc, rather than the inside instrument panel! I'll give it a try tomorrow and see what happens!

I think you're right about the foglight switch too - since neighbour pointed out that I'd had them on, have just kept them off all the time (no serious fog)

And I can undestand your frustration at following a Vauxhall with fogs on, it ws probably me!

Thanks Knight,
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dave_TD
There's a few other non-obvious little tricks and treats on those Astras, HF, most of them depend on what trim level you've got though. Do you know how to change the height of the top seatbelt mounting, to make the belt fit correctly according to how tall the driver is?
Do you know how to alter the headlight aim to compensate for carrying a heavy load in the boot?
Has your Astra got central locking? If so, are you aware of the deadlock function?
Has it got electric windows? If it has, do you know how to close both of them while locking the door with the key?
And... you do know how to dip the rear mirror to avoid dazzle at night, don't you? I'm not being patronising, these are just some of the things that I've been asked to explain before by female friends!
Hope this finds you well,
DTD.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi DTD, thanks for your posts and hope I am findng you well too :) Now the full extent of HF's ignorance is about to be revealed.

> what trim level you've
got though.


Erm, don't know what trim level even means, presumably to do wih diffeent functions/extras etc that were made when the car was first new.

But you've made me look at a few things today! First of all, tried pulling out the rotary headlamp dial, and lo and behold, there appeared an interior light! Thanks!
Do you know how to change the height of
the top seatbelt mounting, to make the belt fit correctly according
to how tall the driver is?


I didnt even know this was posible until you pointed it out to me, but checked today and sussed it out.
Do you know how to alter the headlight aim to compensate
for carrying a heavy load in the boot?


Yes and no, I think after reading yourpost I have some idea. ear the headlights switch, there is a dial that goes from 0 to 3, and has a picture of plus or minus dipped lghts. Have always left it as it was left by the previous owner, because I had no idea what it was for. Can I just ask, is 0 the right setting for an unladen car, or the other way round?
Has your Astra got central locking? If so, are you aware
of the deadlock function?


Yes it has central locking, just with key not this new-fangled infra-red thing. And I have no idea about the deadlock function, or even what this means.
Has it got electric windows? If it has, do you know
how to close both of them while locking the door with
the key?


No electric windows, thank goodness, the less electricals I have to worry about the better.
And... you do know how to dip the rear mirror to
avoid dazzle at night, don't you? I'm not being patronising, these
are just some of the things that I've been asked to
explain before by female friends!


I *know* you're not being patronising Dave, and I'm not sure wha you ean about dipping the rear mirror at night to avoid dazzle. I know how to move the mirror, of course, but not sure what you mean about dipping it.

This is all very much appreciaed, DTD, and is helping me a lot i my quest to learn. I have one further question, which I'm sure will sound silly too - but I have a switch with a picture o a car on it, above an orange line - again have thought to leve well alone - but I am puzzled as to what it means.

As I said the other day, I am not yet in possession of a handbook, and of course if I was, I would know all the answers and not have to keep asking you!!!! Of course.

Thanks DTD,
HF

Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
Erm, don't know what trim level even means, presumably to do
wih diffeent functions/extras etc that were made when the car >> was first new.


Correct, HF. All to do with that badge on the back (or on the front wings/doors) A "GL" will have slightly more extras than an "L" model, but a "GLS" will have more extras than a "GL" for instance.
there is a dial that goes from 0 to 3, is 0 the right setting
for an unladen car, or the other way round?


Correct again, HF. 0 = unladen, 3 = fully loaded up with passengers and boot also full.
Yes it has central locking, I have no idea about the deadlock function,


If you can turn the key left from the vertical position to a horizontal position, and then able to remove the key, you have dead locking. If however you can only turn the key 45 degrees to the left and then back to a vertical position to remove the key, then you don't have central locking. The term deadlocking means that if a lowlife thief were to smash a window, if he tried to lift up the buttons to unlock the doors, nothing would happen - they would remain locked. However, the more experienced lowlife has now figured out how to get around the deadlock system on older cars like yours - sorry.
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
HF,

Also depending on what age the Astra is, to turn on the heated rear screen, you might have to pull out the heater fan speed switch, and obviously push it in again to turn off.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi Dynamic

Confused now - I THINK that when I pull out (or push in, not sure which offhand) the heater speed fan switch, is when the foglights come on. I THINK my heated rear windscreen is to the right of the steering wheel - but will have to double-check in the morning, Sorry to sound so 'd'oh' (tying in with the thread) but I really am on a learning process here, and the more info I get the better!
Thanks
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
HF, from memory you've got a Mk3 Astra, with the separate radio display (correct me if I'm wrong?). The foglight switch should be just above the headlight switch.

My memory fades when trying to remember where the heated rear screen switch is. I first thought you pulled the heater motor speed switch, but on reflection that was only on the Mk1 and Mk2 Astra. I think Vauxhall moved it on the Mk3 to a button under the fan speed and temperature control switches. The picture on the switch should have 3 wavy lines on it though.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi Dynamic.

>>If you can turn the key from the vertical position to a horizontal position...

Yes I can, so I have deadlocking, take your point about it being pretty useless in this day and age though.

>>from memory you've got a Mk3 Astra, with the separate
radio display (correct me if I'm wrong?). The foglight switch should
be just above the headlight switch.


Don't know if it's a Mk3, only that it's a 1992 J-reg, but you're spot on about the radio display, and the foglight switch being just above and to the left of the headlight switch, have just had a look.
My memory fades when trying to remember where the heated rear
screen switch is. I first thought you pulled the heater motor
speed switch, but on reflection that was only on the Mk1
and Mk2 Astra. I think Vauxhall moved it on the Mk3
to a button under the fan speed and temperature control switches.
The picture on the switch should have 3 wavy lines on
it though.


Your memory is excellent - on this one occasion the answer is half-way between your 2 suggestions! The switch with 3 wavy lines is in the middle of the fan speed switch, and is turned on by pulling this fan switch out.

Thanks for your help,
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
Don't know if it's a Mk3, only that it's a 1992 J-reg,


Yep, it's a Mk3.
Your memory is excellent


Only because I (and also Family) have owned and driven Vauxhalls for the past 16 yrs. Dad's always had Astra's, from the first model they made, right up until present day - that's why I'm so familiar with them. I have owned a Mk1 Astra, several Cavaliers, and now a Vectra.
Just another d'oh day ... - John S
HF

I hate to ask this, but:

(a) Did you get an instruction book with the car?

(b) Have you bothered to read it?

Unfortunately, many people don't believe it's necesary as there are so many common items in cars these days, but there are always a few 'oddities' that catch them out - and the Vauxhall interior light switch is the classic. The other one I can think of is the strange operation of the Nova rear wiper - difficult to switch off unless you knew the trick.

Seriously though, there's a lot to be got from the instruction book and it's worth at least one read. There's a safety aspect to this too - driving around isn't the time to be learning where the switched are! If, for example, it saves you driving around with misted up windows it could save an accident.

Regards

John S
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
HF, Did you get an instruction book with the car?


John S,

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=8952&m...e
Read the last paragraph :o)
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi John S,
I hate to ask this, but:
(a) Did you get an instruction book with the car?
(b) Have you bothered to read it?


As Dynamic has kindly pointed out to you on my behalf, I am still waiting for the instruction book, and will definitely read it when I get it.
Seriously though, there's a lot to be got from the instruction
book and it's worth at least one read. There's a
safety aspect to this too - driving around isn't the time
to be learning where the switched are! If, for example, it
saves you driving around with misted up windows it could save
an accident.


I agree - which is why, in the absence of said book, I'm so grateful to all you kind people on here who are explaining the things I need to know.

Don't worry,I'm not driving around dangerously misted-up and trying to locate switches. I know where all the vital ones are, it's just a few extras (like as you said the interior light) that are different from my previous car that I'm unfamiliar with.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
Don't worry,I'm not driving around trying to locate switches.
I know where all the vital ones are...


HF, have you found the ejector seat, bullet proof screen, and rocket launcher switches yet? :o)

Clue, they're disguised; DON'T press the Hazard Warning Light Switch unless absolutely necessary :o)
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
HF, have you found the ejector seat, bullet proof screen, and
rocket launcher switches yet? :o)
Clue, they're disguised; DON'T press the Hazard Warning Light Switch unless
absolutely necessary :o)

>>

:D Thanks for the tip - seems I need that handbook sooner rather than later! At least I know now what the so-called sunroof is for - I'll try to keep it open in case I accidentally activate the ejector seat. Wish I'd known about the rocket laucher when that 'road rage' bloke had a go at me the other week.

After your long history of Astras, Dynamic, do you know what that switch with the picture of a car on it is? It's in the middle, near the ashtray.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
After your long history of Astras, Dynamic, do you know what
that switch with the picture of a car on it is?
It's in the middle, near the ashtray.


Is that the one with an arrow entering it? If so, it's the recirculator switch, so you can either select fresh air from outside the car, or recirculate the existing air inside the car. Handy when following smokey Fords, or cattle trucks :o)
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Is that the one with an arrow entering it? If so,
it's the recirculator switch, so you can either select fresh air
from outside the car, or recirculate the existing air inside the
car. Handy when following smokey Fords, or cattle trucks :o)

>>

No, there's no arrow entering it. It's a long rectangular button, with just a car above an orange line on it. I've seen the same thing on someone else's 1.6 M-reg Astra, but they didn't know what it was either.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - bazza
>> After your long history of Astras, Dynamic, do you know what
that switch with the picture of a car on it is?
It's in the middle, near the ashtray.
HF


HF

Been following your thread - having owned a MK3 Astra estate, that switch is the re-circ for your ventilation, it limits the fresh air intake when switched on, so cutting out smoke, fumes etc when needed.

Baz
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
> Been following your thread - having owned a MK3 Astra estate,
that switch is the re-circ for your ventilation, it limits the
fresh air intake when switched on, so cutting out smoke,
fumes etc when needed.
Baz

>>

Hi,

thanks Baz, for clearing that up for me, and eternal apologies to Dynamic who was right all along! Please forgive me, Dynamic, and thanks again to Baz.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi again, sorry but I have one final question. This is to Dynamic, DTD, and Baz.

Just underneath my headlight switch, there is a dial, can't explain this well but it's not a vertical round dial which you just move around by holding the switch and turning it, but I would say a circular but horizontal button, with notches, built into the framework of the car, that can be moved left or right - trying to think of a way to explain properly, it's like a volume button on an old radio - turn it one way for up etc. There is nothing on this dial at all to tell me what it's for. Since it's right below the headlight switch, I wonder if it's related to that. But would welcome any opinions/knowledges! Sorry for all this, and for all the people I've irritated, I WILL get the handbook soon, so please put up with me just a little while longer!
Thanks
HF (trying but still c**p with Astra buttons!)
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
Just underneath my headlight switch. I would say a circular but horizontal button,



HF, That'll be the dashboard light brightness/dimmer switch.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
>> Just underneath my headlight switch. I would say a circular
but horizontal button,
HF, That'll be the dashboard light brightness/dimmer switch.

>>

Missed this one last night - thanks Dave. It doesn't seem to affect the brightness of the dashboard lights - maybe it's faulty.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
>> HF, That'll be the dashboard light brightness/dimmer switch.
Missed this one last night - thanks Dave. It doesn't seem
to affect the brightness of the dashboard lights - maybe it's
faulty.


Yes, HF, if not rotated regularily, they can go faulty. Normally though the dash lights will flicker on/off rather than brighten/dim smoothly if it is faulty. Maybe the previous owner disconnected the wires from the switch and just connected them together instead. What you could try doing is rotating the switch back and forth a few times to see if you can wake it up.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
What you
could try doing is rotating the switch back and forth a
few times to see if you can wake it up.

>>
Will do, cheers Dynamic.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - bazza
HF,
Yes, dashboard dimmer, that's right - don't worry if doesn't work, it's only a "nice to have"! While I remember, I believe the headlamp adjuster motors can also play up and are expensive to replace - again, probably not cost effective.

Baz
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi Baz, and to you too Dynamic,

Actually I have sussed that it *does* in fact work - thanks Dynamic for the tip, I think I was wrong all along in the supposition that it wasn't working - (won't tell you why!) but it certainly seems in full working order after a few turns of the dial.

Thanks
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
Re: HF, dashboard dimmer switch:-
I think I was wrong all along in the supposition that it
wasn't working - (won't tell you why!)


HF, could it be that you didn't have the headlights turned on maybe?

Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi Dynamic,

Erm.....not quite. Ok I'll come clean, seeing as I don't have a technical reputation to maintain anyway.

First of all, it was the radio lights that I was looking at, not the dashboard lights. Then, when I realised my possible error, it was daytime, and although I turned the lights on, the daylight made it impossible for me to see the dimming/brightening of the panel. Don't say a word - please!
HF (just living up to my name)
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
Ok I'll come clean,
Don't say a word - please!


OK, I won't mention anything about the lights being on, but no one at home :o)
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
>> Ok I'll come clean,
>> Don't say a word - please!
OK, I won't mention anything about the lights being on, but
no one at home :o)

>>

No, best left unsaid. Would hate to see anything slandering my amazing abilities as a car-tech wizard. ;)
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Blue {P}
Hi HF. I did wonder if maybe you'd done it in the daylight but didn't like to ask! :)

Don't worry though, your technical reputation is still intact! :)

Blue
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi HF. I did wonder if maybe you'd done it in
the daylight but didn't like to ask! :)
Don't worry though, your technical reputation is still intact! :)
Blue

>>
Hello Blue,

You should have said! I have just been through and confessed a supremely stupid moment - and feel really silly about it.

But if you ever have any comments at all about my extremely ignorant and untechnical posts - please just write them! You can't offend me, I am now unoffendable!

And yes, my reputation as far as technical things go must be intact!!!!! Thanks for pointing that out Blue - some people might thnk you were taking the pee, and the other 0.000001% might not.

Well, nearly bedtime - but Blue don't take seriously any of that above stuff - only messing around, you know i have a high opinion of you and would never pick an argument!

Take care Blue and happy uni-ing,

HF

Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Oh dear
I know I promised no further questions - but there is just ONE more, if you don't mind. After this I think I will have full knowledge of my Astra buttons.

Underneath the steering wheel column, just about at the point where my knees are about to touch it, there is a small almost square (3D square I mean) piece of plastic, that can be pulled out of the place where it's meant to be. It's connected by wires to *something*, and on this piece of plastic there is a switch, one side of which says 'sensor', and the other side says'manual off'. I've left it alone because I'm sure ex-owner has a lot more knowledge than me, but would still like to know what it's for. Sorry for the extra question, this really will be the finl one abot knobs and switches, I assure you!

Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
I know I promised no further questions - but there is
just ONE more, Underneath the steering wheel column, just
about at the point where my knees are about to touch it,
there is a small almost square (3D square I mean) piece of
plastic, that can be pulled out of the place where it's meant to be.


You've finally stumpted me HF. I have absolutely no idea. Is it on the left or the right of the column? A complete guess would say that is where the manual choke should be, should it have had one fitted.
It's connected by wires to *something*, and on this piece of
plastic there is a switch, one side of which says 'sensor',
and the other side says'manual off'.


Puzzled?Sounds like an on/off switch for the motion detectors (ultrasonics) That is of course if the Astra has an alarm fitted. shrugs shoulders.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
You've finally stumpted me HF.


No, I don't think I have! It's right in the centre of the column, and the car doesn't have manual choke. However......
Puzzled?Sounds like an on/off switch for the motion detectors (ultrasonics) That
is of course if the Astra has an alarm fitted. shrugs
shoulders.


Yes!! I think you've got it! There IS an alarm fittd, only it doesn't work anymore. Guess that's what the sensor was for!

Congratulations on your 100% record!
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - BrianW
I am sure the alarm explanation is right.
On my car (Pug 405) there is a push button there which turns the internal sensors off.
Our dogs are so good in the car (cage in the back) that it's easy to forget they are there when you stop to go into a shop. I've lost count of the number of time I've been in a shop, heard our alarm go off and realised that once again I've forgotten to push that damn button.
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
eternal apologies to Dynamic who was right all along!


Well I was right about what the switch did, but wrong about the picture on it. I gave you a description of the Vectra's re-circ switch picture.
Please forgive me, Dynamic,


Oh, ok, just this once :o)

Just another d'oh day ... - HF
>> Please forgive me, Dynamic,
Oh, ok, just this once :o)

Eternal gratitude :)
Just another d'oh day ... - Martin Devon
SWMBO started her map reading career some years ago and finished it less than 2 minutes later. I simply asked how much further we had to go and she replied, "about an inch"!! Regards to all.
Just another d'oh day ... - Tom Shaw
Why do women insist on reading maps upside down, and then get tearful when you shout at them?

Come on HF, explain. ;-)
Just another d'oh day ... - BrianW
Tom
IMHO it's the spacial orientation difference between the sexes again
Men find it easier than women to be coming down a map and work out that if a road goes off to the right it means you have to turn left.
Women find it easier to turn the map upside down so that a road going off to the left means turn left.
Don't shout at them, they just do things differently!
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi Tom,

you have placed a big responsibility on my shoulders ;)
But basically, I think Brian is right! (although we don't all get tearful about such things Tom! We know when we're right!)

I agree totally that the spatial awareness thing comes into it, and the best example I can give you is this. If I plan a route to a place unknown, (hard enough for me anyway!) But if I do it, I will not remember that the way back simply has to be done in reverse. I will have to take my map directions and write them out exactly in reverse. And that DOES sometimes involve holding the map upside down, sideways, any way but upright. So, your mapreader really is doing her best, but you have to realise that some people read maps in a different way to others!

I think this IS mainly a male v female thing, but not totally across the board. My brother's wife, for example, could outshine him any day for driving, mapreading, routefinding etc - (OK so it's a family weakness?) But, usually, it's the men that have these skills and the women that don't.

Not sure why but it's true.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Tom Shaw
HM,

As regards finding your way in strange surroundings, the cheapest and best solution I have ever found is a compass mounted on the dash. At least you know if you are heading vaguely in the right direction rather than chasing you tale by driving round in circles all the time. Very easy on unfamiliar roads.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
HM,
As regards finding your way in strange surroundings, the cheapest and
best solution I have ever found is a compass mounted on
the dash. At least you know if you are heading vaguely
in the right direction rather than chasing you tale by driving
round in circles all the time. Very easy on unfamiliar roads.


Hi Tom,

well 'HM' is a typing slip by you,I know, but could otherwise be construed as referring to the male species rather than the female!

Compass sounds a good idea though, have one that's supposed to mgnetically attach to the car somehow, but not sure where and how reliable it would be.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - RichardW
One of my Mates has a road atlas in 2 halves. The first is 'normal' the second has all the place names, road numbers etc upside down so that women can turn the map upside down and be able to read the place names! Neat, I though.

Richard
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
I seem to remember reading about those when they first came out. The guy that invented them was expected to make a fortune. Never seen one though.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Sorry, really need to ask one more question. And it's nowt to do with my Astra, honestly, it's just a general thing.

Cam belts, timing belts, drive belts, fan belts - I am coming to he conclusion from information gleaned from here that the cam and the timing belts are one and the same? Are the drive and fan belts the same, or am I missing something.

Just realised this is probably more relevant to the technical room, although bearing in mind my lack of technical knowledge i feel a little embarrassed to post it there.

However, will fully understand if it needs to be moved ;)
HF

Just another d'oh day ... - J Bonington Jagworth
You know more than you realise, HF. Cam belt = timing belt and drive belt is a loose term for any other belt, but usually means the fan belt, unless you have an old DAF or a Harley-Davidson, in which case it really is a drive belt, i.e. to the wheel(s).

The issue is complicated by the fact that few cars actually have belt-driven fans any more (they're usually electric), but the term remains for the belt(s) used to drive things like alternators and various pumps.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Thank you, JBJ.

That does clear a few things up for me, and I can assure you that I am not an old DAF driver (whatever that means, have vague recollection of seeing signs saying Leyland DAF, but don't know where that came from.) Neither do I drive a Harley! And what you say makes perfect sense, when I recently had my 'drive belt' replaced, it was also described as an alternator belt or IIRC 'auxilliary drive belt' (probably by DD here, he is something of a genius about my car!)

Thank you - I AM learning, through this site - very slowly but I will persist.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - J Bonington Jagworth
"I am not an old DAF driver"

I never thought your were, HF! Not old, anyway...

I didn't really mean to be cryptic, but before they merged with Leyland, DAF were a Dutch truck manufacturer who were famous (possibly notorious) for making small cars that had an automatic transmission that used belts and expanding pulleys that could squeeze the belt out towards the edge of the pulley, thus increasing its effective diameter and altering the gearing, without the use of, er, gears. This is still used in modified form in some modern CVT's (continuously variable transmissions) and in a less modified form in some small scooters. It couldn't handle a lot of power, but considering its 'rubber-band' origins, worked a lot better than you might think. DAF's car division was bought by Volvo, and I think there may still be a few old, small Volvo's about with the same arrangement (if you haven't fallen asleep by now, that is).
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Haha JBJ,

thanks for your reply and for your explanation. And no, I didn't fall asleep reading yopur explanation! Honestly, I am trying to learn as much as possible about cars right now, and every litle bit of information helps.

I'm not a young DAF driver either, interpret that how you like! I don't remember anything prior the merger, but I do remember a load of lorries with Leyland DAF on them. Haven't seen those in ages though. Probably just my own non-noticing of such things.

But thanks for the info - do you think I should move on to a Harley now?!
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - J Bonington Jagworth
"do you think I should move on to a Harley now?"

I think it might have a bit more street cred than a 30-year old DAF! The lorries are now labelled LDV (Leyland DAF vehicles), so you're not being unobservant.

You really need to speak to Growler about Harleys, though - not really my sort of bike, although I can see the appeal.

I do, however, thoroughly approve of belt drive for bikes, and am seriously puzzled as to why it hasn't become universal. They are strong, light, clean and quiet; they don't need oiling and have just enough 'give' to prevent the snatching you can get with chains when changing gear. I suspect a conspiracy by the chain-makers, myself...
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
You really need to speak to Growler about Harleys, though -
not really my sort of bike, although I can see the
appeal.


Just for the record, I have absolutely no intention of getting a Harley, nor indeed any other type of bike.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - J Bonington Jagworth
Oh well, never mind. I just like women in leathers, I guess... :-)
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Oh well, never mind. I just like women in leathers, I
guess... :-)


Sorry JBJ, missed this one totally when it was posted. Ages ago, I know. Was just trawling back for some info and this appeared!

For the record - leathers I can cope with, bikes I cannot ;)
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dave_TD
HF - MSN...? ;-)
Just another d'oh day ... - Dave_TD
(deep breath) OK, no problem, I'll answer this one for you... Xo)

Cam belt, toothed belt, timing belt, are all the same thing. This is the complicated, difficult to change one that makes sure the bottom half of the engine and the top half of the engine do their respective things in the correct sequence relative to each other. When it snaps you're in deep doo-doo because the valves and pistons will usually hit each other inside the engine and cost a lot of money to fix. This is why we make such a fuss about how often it should be changed!
Fan belt, drive belt, v-belt, pair of stockings etc, all refer to the other one. This is the simpler, easier to change, quicker to wear out one that takes power from the engine and feeds it to the alternator (to charge the battery), the power steering pump, the water pump, the air conditioning compressor etc etc. It gets the name "fan belt" from the days when engines were mounted front-rear (rather than left-right like Astras) and it actually worked the big radiator fan at the front. Nowadays practically all fans are electrically powered, but the name has stuck. Although the belts used are getting more advanced, and driving more and more different pulleys, if your fan belt snaps it just stops things working, and as long as you stop straight away it shouldn't do any lasting harm to your engine.
Hth,
regards (KISA) (Knight In Shining, Oh, you know by now) DTD. ;-)
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hi KISA, (lovely abbreviation btw).

Was going to reply to both yours and JBJ's replies in one, but decided otherwise.

Sorry about making you take deep breaths and all the rest of it -fact remains that I am keen to learn, nd all that you, and others, are telling me, is a huge help.

Never even heard of 'toothbelt'! But now I know it's the same as cam or timing belt! And from what you say, and what I've read previously on the site, I DO realise that I've got to get this changed after so many miles or so much time. (It is weird though, before I came here, and had never even heard of such things, I would of course never have thought to have this belt changed! - and yet I never had any problem with it snapping before - just luck maybe? Am I getting paranoid because of reading here all the things that I am meant to do, or that could go wrong?! I'll do as all advise anyway, MOT due June 2003 and will ask for service + cambelt change at the same time, I think.

The other belt, I guess, is the one I had changed a little while ago. Now called the drive belt but in former times the fan belt? Tis why I said recently that the noise my car makes sometimes is similar to the old fanbelt noises. And this will sound ridiculous, you pointed out to me in another thread that it may be due to wetness/condensation etc - however, even though car is very damp from condensation, dew, whatever, in the mornings, I still never get the same screechy problems as I do sometimes at night. Not always, just sometimes. Will have to get belt re-tightened (once Volvoman's back is ok I can ask him hopefully to assist me on this!) and see what happens from there.

Oh and I guess if this belt goes, as you say I just have to stop quickly and hope for the best! (How's the back, Volvo, and do you fancy helping out an old mate over the weekend????!!!!)

Thanks, KISA,
and take care!
HF

Just another d'oh day ... - Dave_TD
It probably makes the noise at night because your lights are on, placing that extra little load on the alternator! If that's the case, it will also do it when the heated rear window is switched on.

K.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Good point K.

I'll try a nice long drive tonight without my lights or rear window heater on, and see if it makes any difference!
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dynamic Dave
I'll try a nice long drive tonight without my lights on, and >> see if it makes any difference!


Be prepared for people flashing you to inform that you have no lights on. Hope you've stocked up on carrots so that you can see in the dark :o)

Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Be prepared for people flashing you to inform that you have
no lights on.


Ah! But then I can exercise road rage on them for having dared to flash me in the first place!

>>Hope you've stocked up on carrots so that
you can see in the dark :o)

Got some in but we're saving them for Rudolph.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - dan
Helplessfemale:
"I *know* you're not being patronising Dave, and I'm not sure wha you ean about dipping the rear mirror at night to avoid dazzle. I know how to move the mirror, of course, but not sure what you mean about dipping it."

Sorry if someone else has picked this up and answered it 'cos l didn't see it.
Helpless' there's as toggle on the bottom of the rear view mirror which moves from one postion to one other (forwards and backwards) by pushing it forwards it should 'dip' so that you no longer can see very much but it will still reflect a much darkened (like glass rather than mirror) version of what's happening behind you. Normally just headlight positions really.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Sorry if someone else has picked this up and answered it
'cos l didn't see it.
Helpless' there's as toggle on the bottom of the rear view
mirror which moves from one postion to one other (forwards and
backwards) by pushing it forwards it should 'dip' so that you
no longer can see very much but it will still reflect
a much darkened (like glass rather than mirror) version of what's
happening behind you. Normally just headlight positions really.

>>

Thank you Dan, no, no-one else had answered this point unless I have missed something.

I have actually tried the mirror in this 'dip' form, but, as you say, since I couldn't see very much with it like that, I wondered if that was the right thing to do.

Still, I think I will follow yours and Dave's advice and give this a try.

Thanks for answering.
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dave_TD
Hi HF,

I find it works best if you set the mirror so that you can normally see out of the back window, and when you flick the lever you can only see the roof lining. (As opposed to having the lever in the other position when you set the mirror, so that when you moved it you would see the back seats)
This is how it works:

www.howstuffworks.com/question20.htm

Anything else I can be of assistance with? ;o)

Dave AKA KISA(again).

PS I might not be on here so much until xmas, getting very busy for the next couple of wks.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
K - thank you - I'm sure there are loads of other questions I could ask you, but not now.

I will miss seeing you over the Xmas period, so will just take this opportunity to thank you so much for all your help, and to wish you the best of Christmases and New years.

Take care and see you soon I hope
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dave_TD
I'll be here occasionally still, don't worry! Always glad to help, I've had plenty of experience answering typically girly car questions already, with SWMBO and her mates. You always manage to look at things in a different way to us blokes, sometimes the things we take for granted are the things that puzzle you the most. But if no-one's ever explained them to you, and if you weren't the kind of kid who'd take something to bits "just to see how it works", these things may not be that obvious!
Always glad to be of assistance,

Knight In Shining Skoda. (K.I.S.S.!)

DTD.
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hello KISS!(with full-stops between each letter yes I know! I know but can't be bothered to go back and rewrite. Which actaully would take a lot less time than I am doing writing this sentence, wouldn't it? So will just shut up and try to say something remotely meaningful)

Thanks, for all you say, and I hope our paths will cross again before Xmas time.

You are absolutely right in that things that you might take for granted, are not necessarily realised by your SWMBO or her mates, or, at the lower end of the scale, the likes of me - which is why I am always grateful for any advice or comments here.

Weird, isn't it, if the two sexes really do see things as differently as you say. And I think for the most part you're right! Maybe we will talk about this some other time - I hope so.

For now, just goodnight, and take care
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dave_TD
HF,
If you email me with a hotmail address (or put it in your profile - top right of screen under "My settings"), then maybe we CAN talk about it! I use MSN Messenger, I'm not all that computer literate but I can manage that! And don't class yourself "at the lower end of the scale", you actually LISTEN and UNDERSTAND when things get explained....

Just another d'oh day ... - HF
And don't class yourself "at the lower end of the scale",
you actually LISTEN and UNDERSTAND when things get explained....

Thank you K, I do try to learn. And I do listen. Which is why I am always grateful for any advice or help given here.

I don't really want to put my email addy on a profile - Hard to explain why - I have NEVER seen any BRs that I think would abuse this information. But, everywhere on the net, there are always some weirdos lurking - and who knows if anyone like that is checking this site?!

Do I sound paranoid? If so I don't mean to, just have had enough bugs/viruses/blahblahblah already to last me a lifetime. That's why I don't have a profile or a contact e-address.

Anyway I can email you on your hotmail address.
Take care and hope see you soon
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Blue {P}
Hi HF,

I feel the same about the e-mail addresses, that's why I created one especially to put up on places like this, I set it up with Yahoo (see my profile), and if it ends up receiving junk, I'll just chuck it. :)

Maybe worth considering...

Hope you're well.

Blue
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
Hello Blue,

Thanks for posting. I don't know how much difference there is between Yahoo and Hotmail, who I have had an address with for a while but has caused me endless problems. So yahoo might be worth considering! I have steered away from them in the past, however, because I'd heard it wasn't a very secure system and was open to abuse. However, that was only hearsay.

My philosophy at the moment is that no-one gets my email address until I feel that I can trust them. It's worked pretty well so far. (sort of). And will continue that way, I hope!

Looked at your profile, as you said - isn't it strange, after using these anonymous screen names for all this time, it is really weird to suddenly know somebody's real name!!!

Well, nice to hear from you, and you have a good day tomorrow.

take care
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Mark (RLBS)
it is really weird to suddenly know somebody's real name!!!


I agree, it can be strange.

Regards,

Marmaduke Higginbottom.
Mamaduke Higginbottom - HF
So, would you prefer for us to continue referring to you as Mark, or would you prefer the true thing, now that you have outed yourself?

And, just in case you are winding us up here, have you considered the feelings of all the *real* Marmaduke Higginbottoms who might be out there, watching us, and feeling ashamed that they have to refer to themselves as MH or some other identity, purely so we don't ake amusement from thbeir real identity?
HF ;)
Mamaduke Higginbottom - HF
PS Would just 'Marm' do as an abbreviation? Apparently, in royal circles, this works wonders with just an apostrophe in there somewhere ;)
HF.
Mamaduke Higginbottom - BrianW
Is that "Marm" as in "marmalade" or "Marmite"?

Or Ma'am as in "Madam"?
Just another d'oh day ... - slefLX
If
I plan a route to a place unknown, (hard enough for
me anyway!) But if I do it, I will not remember
that the way back simply has to be done in reverse.
I will have to take my map directions and write them
out exactly in reverse. And that DOES sometimes involve holding the
map upside down, sideways, any way but upright.


SNAP!!! I'm a peripatetic (mobile) music teacher and go to nearly 20 schools per week! Last year i was in a completely new area, wrote out VERY detailed instructions from maps and still managed to get horrendously lost at times (an hour late for a school at one point!). It doesn't help though when your up-to-date map shows a roundabout and after having driven past that particular junction at least 6 times from various directions you realise it's now traffic lights instead!

My one consolation in all this is that my friend who has been doing the same job as me for about 20 years is still as good/bad at getting lost as i am so i've given up all hope and resigned myself to the fact i WILL get lost in a new place and allow as much time as possible for the first (and maybe 2nd and 3rd) journey so that i might actually arrive on time :o)
Just another d'oh day ... - J Bonington Jagworth
"holding the map upside down"

I believe someone has published a map book where each page is duplicated the other way up (but with the writing the right way round). I don't think it was a wind-up...
Just another d'oh day ... - HF
"holding the map upside down"
I believe someone has published a map book where each page
is duplicated the other way up (but with the writing the
right way round). I don't think it was a wind-up...


No, JBJ, it's absolutely true (because I've read about it in the media ;)

Never seen one, but it's been mentioned on here before, just I don't think it took off in quite the way that was anticipated!
HF
Just another d'oh day ... - Dave_TD
Seems it was made by the "Upside Down Map Company" (surprise that!) but it's now out of print and no-one seems to have a copy for sale.
Just another d'oh day ... - slefLX
I remember seeing one in a discount bookshop a few years ago but didn't buy it as i wasn't driving at the time so it seemed unnessecary - i wish now i had bought it, could become a collector's item in a few years ;o)
 

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