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Ah, that new car smell!

  1. Apr 24, 2013 #1

    jtbell

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    Now, if I can just get the thing to shut up... :uhh:

    Yesterday after work, my wife and I picked up our new car, a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. Its predecessor was 13 years old, also bought new, so shopping for a replacement gave us a bit of "culture shock." Even though we chose the lowest-priced trim line, with no "options" besides air conditioning (not really an "option" in the Southeast US) and automatic transmission, we have more amenities than before, most notably the OnStar navigation / emergency notification system. We get it free for six months, then we get to decide whether to pay for a subscription.

    The dealer walked us through setting up our OnStar account, which involved talking with a representative while sitting in the car, using the car's microphone. Then we went back into the office to finish the paperwork.

    When we came out, I got into the new car and my wife got into her car for the trip home. OnStar's navigation assumed I was going home (apparently because this was its first trip), and started giving directions both audibly and on a display screen. This worked out OK at first. Then we made a short detour to a grocery store, OnStar started to nag me about going off route, and I wasn't about to try to figure out which buttons to push while driving! After we got our groceries, we got back on route, OnStar shut up, and thereafter gave directions that agreed with our normal route home.

    The first thing I looked up in the manual after we got home was how to turn the navigation off and on. Since we normally walk to work, I may not get to try the car again until Saturday.

    We live in a small town, and after 25+ years here we're pretty familiar with it and the parts of the nearby "big cities" that we visit regularly. When we go on a long road trip, we usually choose "creative" routes for variety and scenery. So we've never bought a GPS, and we probably won't use the OnStar navigation enough to make it worth paying for it. But for a few months it will be an interesting toy.

    My wife's car is even older than the Sonic's predecessor, so we'll probably be replacing it soon, too. We'll use our experience with the Sonic to help us decide what to look for.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2013 #2

    Danger

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    I just had a thought that might prove lucrative to you. While I have no personal experience with it, the TV ads suggest that OnStar has quite an alluring voice.
    Maybe you could wire yours into a cell and start a phone-sex business. It would keep the thing out of your hair and get you a few bucks on the side. :approve:
     
  4. Apr 24, 2013 #3

    jtbell

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    That voice does sound rather "nice." :smile: Actually, thinking about this episode during lunch today, I "flashed back" to the old TV series My Mother the Car. I don't remember what Gladys sounded like, though.
     
  5. Apr 24, 2013 #4

    Danger

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    Ah, yes...
    That was right up there with all of the favourites of the 1960's intelligentsia—Mr. Ed, Dobie Gillis, My Favorite Martian...
     
  6. Apr 24, 2013 #5

    collinsmark

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    As part of the purchasing deal of my car, I get a few years of OnStar for free (which is standard with my model of car). I don't get out enough or take take enough long trips to take advantage of the navigation, but it is pretty darn cool when I do. I'll probably keep up the subscription after the free trial though for these reasons:

    There is an Android app that goes with OnStar (and my model of car) called RemoteLink.

    With it I can check my car's battery's charge (my car has a rather large battery compared to most cars),

    wMBqyWb3MY1mHnM-e3KZB8SN_RT64nVg8PzSFVqNd0b0d9B5j4kRMDO3WQLreolFCEo3.jpg

    Check the amount of gas in the car,

    p6EVGfH_NJcDegrsmLAOtIu8w5gejNQNP5dhdHmrc6rx3NSt5PuWS-H6xnsN5CMzjWM.jpg

    Tire pressure,

    JmUPDXOUrk_q2QkRIl3nmQHTNIAs9BbN0BVmTKV_db-TMHFSMQosv53tMl3pZlAOcf9c.jpg

    And I can even control my car remotely (there is a passcode for this, so I don't need to worry about somebody else controlling my car if they take my phone).

    lUc86SaO3umZyTuPhaHsZCpDF53dO768Xa-819G3l3bSqYnMubgz9Jq-kP3z2o6_LBDl.jpg

    And when I do use the navigation system, I can choose the location on a map with the convenience of the cell phone. This is really nice if somebody else is telling you where the destination is: no need to write down the address and type it in later when you get to your car. You can just do it then and there.

    O3Gw6F7wffhPNDSvBoj3N2F8zzCOyysZsig3a8dOANG_zV1MyYP5A3TA3QkCpmfwVDY.jpg

    And then automatically send the destination to the car's navigation system.

    BDoMfF3JCrRiUnjFyjOPcghy7dwGkBMeLj9AJnFVCVoztRP3MvBBSQEJ8ck4-VnHGoQ.jpg

    Having an OnStar account is also necessary if you want to be a part of VoltStats.net. http://www.voltstats.net/
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  7. Apr 24, 2013 #6

    Borek

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    What I don't get is what does the car need you for?
     
  8. Apr 24, 2013 #7

    Danger

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    Gas.
     
  9. Apr 24, 2013 #8

    collinsmark

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    Actually it barely even needs me for that. Since I drove off the dealership lot in early November 2011 (about a year and a half ago) I've only put two gallons (7 1/2 litres) of gas (petrol) in it. Not bad for driving ~7000 miles (~11000 km).

    But nevermind about that. I'm getting off topic. Sorry.
     
  10. Apr 24, 2013 #9

    jim hardy

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    a thirteen year old , one owner, adult driven car ? In my part of the world that is everybody's dream to find. What is it and where did you trade it in?

    I recently bought a 1968 Ford pickup truck from the ninety-something original owner. Doesn't smell new anymore but still has original upholstery, and headlamps with Ford logo..

    We're doing our part - "It's not restored,, it's Recycled".

    old jim
     
  11. Apr 24, 2013 #10

    collinsmark

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  12. Apr 24, 2013 #11

    jtbell

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    It was a 2000 Chevrolet Prizm (basically an Americanized Toyota Corolla) with 176K miles. It still ran fine, in fact my wife and I were planning to drive to Arizona in it next month. That would have been its sixth trip to AZ, in addition to about a dozen trips to FL, and several up the East Coast and to the Midwest. It had visited 40 of the "lower 48" states, excepting only the far western and northern fringe: CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY, ND, SD.

    Unfortunately, it was totaled in a wreck a few weeks ago. :frown: Fortunately the airbag did its job, I got out unassisted, and I ended up with only a very sore ribcage for a few days. I can still feel it a bit when I cough or sneeze.
     
  13. Apr 24, 2013 #12

    jim hardy

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    sorry for that misfortune, but glad you're okay !

    A neighbor has one slightly older with 425Kmiles..... that was a good drivetrain.

    Fair Anne and I have kids scattered from Key West to Anchorage so we too do a fair amount of cross country , largely on the "Blue Highways"..

    Well, thanks for sharing and good luck with the new car !
     
  14. Apr 24, 2013 #13

    Danger

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    :bugeye:

    Both of my vehicles burn more than that to get out of the driveway.

    I don't know whether or not anyone else has stumbled across this, so I'll pass it on to you and anyone else with a similar ailment. I developed it after my first hernia surgery, and it came in very handy after the 2nd and the time when I had 2 ribs pulled off of my sternum.
    If you feel a cough or sneeze impending, clutch a stiff pillow to the affected area and squeeze it into yourself as hard as you can. It alleviates probably 1/2 of the pain by preventing your parts from flopping around inside.
     
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