Lexus, Geoff Wheatley's New Car

Lexus, Geoff Wheatley's new car
Lexus, Geoff Wheatley's new car & Technology
Published by: All Car Central Publishing
Date published: 17/11/2015

The Car Industry & Technology
By Geoff Wheatley, 2015 ©

Geoff Wheatley

I recently purchased a Lexus, yes I know the old man's car, but I guess when you join that age brigade the Porsche two seater becomes something of a challenge when you want to get the weeks groceries both in terms of space and comfort. The most challenging aspect of my new toy is trying to understand all the gadgets that the car has. It seems to do everything except sing but I am sure that if I could find the right button it would oblige. The more trinkets that the manufacturers put on their cars the more of a challenge driving becomes. It's a touch embarrassing to pull into a comfort area to get out the owners hand book to see how to turn on the lights only to find that when it starts to get dark they do this themselves! Same with the screen wipers, but if you want the real challenge try finding a radio station or rather the correct button to make the thing work.

Let's face it for many of us old folks who took a year to work out how to use this computer, in today's brave new world most things are a challenge even when some high tech individual shows you the correct thing to press but then, a few hours later you can't remember a thing that he or she said.

I recently read of a Car Dealership in Massachusetts who had the bright idea of employing high school students to explain the workings of the latest automobile to people like myself. Not only that but should you really be a machinist and have a Bluetooth (What ever that may be) phone installed they can set it up so that you can call the wife and say that you could not find the type of whatever that she put on the grocery list. (Remember what I said about the Porsche!) It seems that young students can absorb all this high tech stuff without any problems and can relay the important stuff to people like me, often more than once I would add. The idea proved to be such a success that the Dealer now has this facility on offer in all fourteen of his chain of garages. I did suggest to my good lady that we might move to Massachusetts when the time came to buy another car but that suggestion fell on deaf ears.

I recall when the Owners handbook consisted of about twenty pages with pictures and each feature was both simple to read and even more simple to do. Grease a few places, put air in the tires, check the water and oil etc. You did not need a fully equipped garage to do these things, a tool box and hand air pump was more than sufficient. As if and when, some major work was required the choice was simple, go to your local friendly garage or better still buy a case of beer and invite your entire fellow motoring friends to come round and give a hand. With good supervision you could organize a complete oil change in fifteen minutes, change a wheel in ten and/or rotate all four in half an hour. Something more serious could require professional attention but not always. Another case of beer often produced someone who had experienced a similar problem and knew what to do! I recall that the team once removed a complete engine from a Ford truck that regretfully took up residence on the garage floor until the car and engine could be reunited with the help of the local friendly garage and of course another case of beer.

If you managed to break down on the highway you could always be sure that someone would stop and ask what was wrong? Nine times out of ten if he or she could not provide manual assistance they would offer to take you to the nearest gas station and in many cases wait until some solution to your problem was found. The last time I broke down various cars drove by but only one stopped to see what was wrong and to advise me that I should carry a cell phone. Having established what was wrong, i.e, that the car would not go, and convinced himself that this antique individual did not have a cell phone, he drove off into the night never to be seen again. By chance a local Police car turned up and the first thing the officer said was, "Don't you have a cell phone?"

In short I fear that I have somehow been left behind in this brave new world, I know we can now fly all over the globe at the touch of a hat and of course a credit card. I can Skype my family and see what my Grandson got for his birthday, or look at his sister in her new party frock. I can sit in front of this machine and communicate with the world but the process of achieving such results without problems requires that I go back to school, a place that I left some fifty or more years ago.

Hang on a minute I think I have pressed the wrong button on this computer machine, Let me find the owners hand book!


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