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(Slate)   Most new cars now have a little arrow on one side of the gas pump icon on the fuel gauge. It actually means something--but what?   (slate.com) divider line 259
    More: Weird, gas pumps, fuel gauges, arrow, logos, cars  
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15446 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 May 2012 at 3:11 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-10 05:59:42 PM  

xalres: Maybe someone can tell me what those extra gears on my automatic are for. All I know is when I put it in D3 or D2 it makes my engine rev way more than it needs to.


Notsureifserious.jpg

Because there really are people that don't know.
 
2012-05-10 06:05:31 PM  
It tells you which side of the moving car you should jump out of for being such a maroon.
 
2012-05-10 06:09:05 PM  

umad: You guys probably don't know this, but the 'E' on the fuel gauge stands for "empty." I just found that interesting and thought I would share.


Based on the number of times I have driven with the gauge pointed at E, I will assert it stands for "enough"
 
2012-05-10 06:09:47 PM  

rickycal78: xalres: Maybe someone can tell me what those extra gears on my automatic are for. All I know is when I put it in D3 or D2 it makes my engine rev way more than it needs to.

Notsureifserious.jpg

Because there really are people that don't know.


Sadly serious. Not much of a car guy. Being raised by a single blind mom kinda limits ones exposure to automobiles growing up.
 
2012-05-10 06:10:04 PM  
This is the type of question I want on my intelligence test everyone should take in order to vote and breed.

1. How many Senators does your state have in the U.S. Senate?
2. What does that little arrow mean on your car's fuel gauge?
3. What is dihydrogen monoxide?
 
2012-05-10 06:11:05 PM  

goatleggedfellow: Who really needs perpetual help remembering which side to fill from?


Me, I drive infrequently enough, and my car has decent fuel mileage (up to 48 mpg) that I often forget where it is when I do need to fuel up
 
2012-05-10 06:12:20 PM  
It means get the fark out of the car if you're too stupid to figure it out for yourself
 
2012-05-10 06:21:08 PM  

xalres: rickycal78: xalres: Maybe someone can tell me what those extra gears on my automatic are for. All I know is when I put it in D3 or D2 it makes my engine rev way more than it needs to.

Notsureifserious.jpg

Because there really are people that don't know.

Sadly serious. Not much of a car guy. Being raised by a single blind mom kinda limits ones exposure to automobiles growing up.


They're lower drive gears. Say you're going down a very steep hill in an area with a low speed limit. You put your car into one of those gears and it keeps the car from automatically changing gears and speeding up, and you don't have to put so much wear and tear on your brakes. It's also good for when you have to go up a very steep hill when you're hauling something and you haven't been able to get up to speed, you drop into one of those gears and you can floor it and gain speed without losing pulling power. I known I'm explaining it poorly, but most folks don't really need them that much, but they come in handy for the right situations.
 
2012-05-10 06:21:17 PM  
I got a new car yesterday with the gas hatch on the passenger side. Every other car Ive owned has had it on the driver side. I'm going to give myself 3 times driving up on the wrong side before I start to get it right.

Mazda claims they put it on the passenger side for safety. That way if you run out of gas on the road you are filling it away from traffic.
 
2012-05-10 06:26:39 PM  

rickycal78: xalres: rickycal78: xalres: Maybe someone can tell me what those extra gears on my automatic are for. All I know is when I put it in D3 or D2 it makes my engine rev way more than it needs to.

Notsureifserious.jpg

Because there really are people that don't know.

Sadly serious. Not much of a car guy. Being raised by a single blind mom kinda limits ones exposure to automobiles growing up.

They're lower drive gears. Say you're going down a very steep hill in an area with a low speed limit. You put your car into one of those gears and it keeps the car from automatically changing gears and speeding up, and you don't have to put so much wear and tear on your brakes. It's also good for when you have to go up a very steep hill when you're hauling something and you haven't been able to get up to speed, you drop into one of those gears and you can floor it and gain speed without losing pulling power. I known I'm explaining it poorly, but most folks don't really need them that much, but they come in handy for the right situations.


Like downshifting in a manual. I'm reading through a few threads about it. I feel like a dork for never bothering to look it up before. It was always just one of those momentary "huh, I always wondered what that was for?" things that I forget to look up later.
 
2012-05-10 06:28:38 PM  
I had my car for about a year and a half before I noticed the arrow. I usually don't have trouble remembering which side my gas tank is on, so that's probably at least part of it. Cool cheap feature, but that was a lame article.
 
2012-05-10 06:29:44 PM  
Ha. I didn't know this.

I've never noticed it, nor thought it important. I just remember where the fuel cap is.
 
2012-05-10 06:34:18 PM  
Didn't know this either.
 
2012-05-10 06:38:54 PM  

Hack Patooey: There are people that 1) haven't seen this, and 2) don't know what it means?


Hi. How are you?
 
2012-05-10 06:43:07 PM  

fickenchucker: This is the type of question I want on my intelligence test everyone should take in order to vote and breed.

1. How many Senators does your state have in the U.S. Senate?


Rather unfair to those of who live in Commonwealths or the District of Colombia...
 
2012-05-10 06:43:23 PM  

xalres: Maybe someone can tell me what those extra gears on my automatic are for. All I know is when I put it in D3 or D2 it makes my engine rev way more than it needs to.


Your car has 4 gears that are automatically shifted. D3, and D2, prevent your transmission from changing up from 3rd to 4th, or from 2nd to 3rd respectively.

So yes, D2 and D3 make your engine rev more then it needs to because you are preventing the transmission from up-shifting to a higher gear. D2 and D3 are useful if you are for example, trying to get out of being stuck in the mud. you need torque not speed, you would shift into D2 or D3, until you got up the hill.
 
2012-05-10 06:45:44 PM  

LucklessWonder: fickenchucker: This is the type of question I want on my intelligence test everyone should take in order to vote and breed.

1. How many Senators does your state have in the U.S. Senate?

Rather unfair to those of who live in Commonwealths or the District of Colombia...


Commonwealths are still states. The only difference is people in Commonwealths live in a state where people like to pretend that they're better than other people for bullshiat reasons.

/born in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
//living in the Commonwealth of Virginia
///Both are dysfunctional
 
2012-05-10 06:47:31 PM  
Somewhat related: Did you know that you don't own your license plate? It's state property. And if you're going, "of course I knew that, duh," then realize you know more about that legal arrangement than a Supreme Court Justice:

From U.S. vs. Jones:

MR. LECKAR: Well, a license plate, as I understand it, is the property of the State, and driving is a privilege. But it's not a technical trespass in this particular case. Mr. Jones had the -
JUSTICE SCALIA: Is that right? I didn't own my license plate? I didn't know that. How do you know that?
 
2012-05-10 06:48:24 PM  

xalres: rickycal78: xalres: Maybe someone can tell me what those extra gears on my automatic are for. All I know is when I put it in D3 or D2 it makes my engine rev way more than it needs to.

Notsureifserious.jpg

Because there really are people that don't know.

Sadly serious. Not much of a car guy. Being raised by a single blind mom kinda limits ones exposure to automobiles growing up.


Like others have said, they will allow you to use engine braking to keep the car from speeding uncontrollably downhill, and keep from cooking/boiling your brakes on a long hill. Sometimes going uphill an automatic will go back and forth between overdrive and the next highest gear: "hunting." While this doesn't really hurt anything, it can be annoying and cause your speed to vacillate. Dropping the shifter into the next position will keep it from upshifting until you crest the hill.
 
2012-05-10 06:51:06 PM  

meddleRPI: LucklessWonder: fickenchucker: This is the type of question I want on my intelligence test everyone should take in order to vote and breed.

1. How many Senators does your state have in the U.S. Senate?

Rather unfair to those of who live in Commonwealths or the District of Colombia...

Commonwealths are still states. The only difference is people in Commonwealths live in a state where people like to pretend that they're better than other people for bullshiat reasons.

/born in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
//living in the Commonwealth of Virginia
///Both are dysfunctional


And Fark is based in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

COINCIDENCE?!?!?!?!?!?!
 
2012-05-10 06:51:48 PM  

Virtuoso80: Somewhat related: Did you know that you don't own your license plate? It's state property. And if you're going, "of course I knew that, duh," then realize you know more about that legal arrangement than a Supreme Court Justice:

From U.S. vs. Jones:

MR. LECKAR: Well, a license plate, as I understand it, is the property of the State, and driving is a privilege. But it's not a technical trespass in this particular case. Mr. Jones had the -
JUSTICE SCALIA: Is that right? I didn't own my license plate? I didn't know that. How do you know that?


I knew that.
 
2012-05-10 06:54:13 PM  

rickycal78: You put your car into one of those gears and it keeps the car from automatically changing gears and speeding up, and you don't have to put so much wear and tear on your brakes.


People have said this to me before, and also about downshifting. My response has been "so take it easy on the brakes, and put the wear on the transmission instead?" Brakes are just a little bit less costly than transmission.

/veteran farkers know you can't type "bit" and then "cheaper"
 
2012-05-10 06:58:34 PM  
new_york_monty: Like others have said, they will allow you to use engine braking to keep the car from speeding uncontrollably downhill, and keep from cooking/boiling your brakes on a long hill. Sometimes going uphill an automatic will go back and forth between overdrive and the next highest gear: "hunting." While this doesn't really hurt anything, it can be annoying and cause your speed to vacillate. Dropping the shifter into the next position will keep it from upshifting until you crest the hill.

I always assumed that dropping into D3 and D2 going up a hill my car had trouble with was 'healthier',and put less stress on the engine. Is that right?
 
2012-05-10 06:59:43 PM  

Virtuoso80: From U.S. vs. Jones:

MR. LECKAR: Well, a license plate, as I understand it, is the property of the State, and driving is a privilege. But it's not a technical trespass in this particular case. Mr. Jones had the -
JUSTICE SCALIA: Is that right? I didn't own my license plate? I didn't know that. How do you know that?



The problem with quotes on the internet is you cannot tell if they are true - Arberham Lincoln
 
2012-05-10 07:00:34 PM  

John Nash: rickycal78: You put your car into one of those gears and it keeps the car from automatically changing gears and speeding up, and you don't have to put so much wear and tear on your brakes.

People have said this to me before, and also about downshifting. My response has been "so take it easy on the brakes, and put the wear on the transmission instead?" Brakes are just a little bit less costly than transmission.


Transmissions however are not designed to convert energy into heat, which brakes are, so riding the brakes down a hill for any time longer than a normal braking action would be will make your brake pads literally go up in smoke and evaporate. Something you don't want to happen when you're coasting down a pass road in the Rockies, for instance. And you DO.NOT.freaking.adjust your car's speed with the brakes. You do it with the gas pedal and the transmission. Because fark you, that's why. Damn, I hate drivers of Camrys and Tahoes and everything in between. The brakes are there for when you need to significantly have to slow down in a hurry, not for taptapfarkingtapping all the damn time.
 
2012-05-10 07:01:54 PM  

John Nash: rickycal78: You put your car into one of those gears and it keeps the car from automatically changing gears and speeding up, and you don't have to put so much wear and tear on your brakes.

People have said this to me before, and also about downshifting. My response has been "so take it easy on the brakes, and put the wear on the transmission instead?" Brakes are just a little bit less costly than transmission.

/veteran farkers know you can't type "bit" and then "cheaper"


Except that engine braking doesn't hurt anything, using the brakes even a little bit wears them down eventually no matter what.
 
2012-05-10 07:03:51 PM  

John Nash: rickycal78: You put your car into one of those gears and it keeps the car from automatically changing gears and speeding up, and you don't have to put so much wear and tear on your brakes.

People have said this to me before, and also about downshifting. My response has been "so take it easy on the brakes, and put the wear on the transmission instead?" Brakes are just a little bit less costly than transmission.

/veteran farkers know you can't type "bit" and then "cheaper"


And if we're talking about someone constantly downshifting like that on a regular basis you'd have a point. But doing it rarely in the situations above isn't going to cause enough wear on the tranny or engine to matter. Granted the same argument could be made about braking the whole way down a steep mountainside or steep hillside, but braking in that situation doesn't offer the same control as downshifting.
 
2012-05-10 07:04:35 PM  
Just pull the lever beside the seat and look out both mirrors to see witch side the flap is sticking out of. You are welcome.
 
2012-05-10 07:07:56 PM  

fluffy2097: Virtuoso80: From U.S. vs. Jones:

MR. LECKAR: Well, a license plate, as I understand it, is the property of the State, and driving is a privilege. But it's not a technical trespass in this particular case. Mr. Jones had the -
JUSTICE SCALIA: Is that right? I didn't own my license plate? I didn't know that. How do you know that?


The problem with quotes on the internet is you cannot tell if they are true - Arberham Lincoln


Official Transcript, Page 28
 
2012-05-10 07:08:21 PM  

thesubliminalman: Just pull the lever beside the seat and look out both mirrors to see witch side the flap is sticking out of. You are welcome.


I pulled the lever beside the seat and it blasted me and the seat out of the sun roof. Bloody ex MI6 cars.
 
2012-05-10 07:08:52 PM  

Virtuoso80: I always assumed that dropping into D3 and D2 going up a hill my car had trouble with was 'healthier',and put less stress on the engine. Is that right?


It's probably healthier to downshift to get up a hill your car has trouble with, provided you aren't revving the nuts off the engine to do it. (Red lining the engine is not healthy for it)

Lugging the engine (running at too low an RPM) will lead to poor performance and overheating. Over Revving will lead to terrible fuel economy, overheating, and all sorts of other horrific engine damage. (bent valves, collapsed lifters, knocking, etc.)

Keeping your RPM's somewhere in the mid range between idle and red line will probably get you the best performance from your engine (your optimum RPM will vary). If you just spend some time listening to the sounds your engine can make you can hear when it's running too slow or to fast.
 
X15
2012-05-10 07:10:22 PM  

Virtuoso80: new_york_monty: Like others have said, they will allow you to use engine braking to keep the car from speeding uncontrollably downhill, and keep from cooking/boiling your brakes on a long hill. Sometimes going uphill an automatic will go back and forth between overdrive and the next highest gear: "hunting." While this doesn't really hurt anything, it can be annoying and cause your speed to vacillate. Dropping the shifter into the next position will keep it from upshifting until you crest the hill.

I always assumed that dropping into D3 and D2 going up a hill my car had trouble with was 'healthier',and put less stress on the engine. Is that right?


Less stress on the engine? A little bit...

It puts a whole lot less stress on the torque converter and gears in your transmission however.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-05-10 07:14:33 PM  
Because there really are people that don't know.

I knew one of those. She said her brakes smoked after she drove down a mountain. I asked if she had downshifted. She didn't know what those extra positions on her shifter were for.
 
2012-05-10 07:19:52 PM  

fluffy2097: Virtuoso80: I always assumed that dropping into D3 and D2 going up a hill my car had trouble with was 'healthier',and put less stress on the engine. Is that right?

It's probably healthier to downshift to get up a hill your car has trouble with, provided you aren't revving the nuts off the engine to do it. (Red lining the engine is not healthy for it)

Lugging the engine (running at too low an RPM) will lead to poor performance and overheating. Over Revving will lead to terrible fuel economy, overheating, and all sorts of other horrific engine damage. (bent valves, collapsed lifters, knocking, etc.)

Keeping your RPM's somewhere in the mid range between idle and red line will probably get you the best performance from your engine (your optimum RPM will vary). If you just spend some time listening to the sounds your engine can make you can hear when it's running too slow or to fast.


Lugging can actually be much worse because most of the time the rev limiter will keep you from doing horrible damage but lugging can spin bearings, throw rods, ruin entire bottom end, etc. Not that it is that common but it is not something you want to have happen at all and if someone is driving a stick without really paying attention or knowing what they are doing it is easy to lug it severely rather than going gung-ho and over-revving the crap out of it (with most people's driving technique).
 
2012-05-10 07:20:04 PM  

Saiga410: Now if anyone could answer what the little placard that sits behind my shifter means. It looks like

R..1...3
|__|___|
....|.....|
....2...4

Some help here?

And also why would my spaces not work?


You beat me because of the spacing. I can explain it for you though. You only really need to use the 1 and the R. 1 is to go forward and the R is for going backwards. The rest will just kill your engine when you try to move so don't bother using them.
 
2012-05-10 07:22:15 PM  
On your actual daily driver that you use every fracking day if you don't know which side the gas tank is on just neuter yourself so you don't contaminate the gene pool.

On someone else's car that you aren't used to driving(and have probably never fueled yet) its actually quite useful.
 
2012-05-10 07:38:23 PM  

Virtuoso80: new_york_monty: Like others have said, they will allow you to use engine braking to keep the car from speeding uncontrollably downhill, and keep from cooking/boiling your brakes on a long hill. Sometimes going uphill an automatic will go back and forth between overdrive and the next highest gear: "hunting." While this doesn't really hurt anything, it can be annoying and cause your speed to vacillate. Dropping the shifter into the next position will keep it from upshifting until you crest the hill.

I always assumed that dropping into D3 and D2 going up a hill my car had trouble with was 'healthier',and put less stress on the engine. Is that right?


Generally speaking, yes, it is healthier. You will burn more gas at higher revs, but the engine will be in its power-band. If you are lugging the engine it will wreak havoc with it (as someone else said as well). You don't want to run it at the red-line all day long, but somewhere between 4-6,000 RPMs for most passenger vehicles will put it in the sweet spot for torque. Diesels are a different story, as are rotary engines, but for different reasons.

You won't hurt anything (in an already healthy motor) running at that engine speed up any grade in the states. Just remember to nudge it back into drive after you climb or you'll be wondering why your mileage dropped to half of what it was on the last tank.
 
2012-05-10 07:38:28 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2012-05-10 07:41:00 PM  
New? My '94 Ford has one, and i am pretty sure the even older Mercury import I had before it had one too - duh! It *is* handy if you are in a rental or a borrowed car, although in my experience, it seems most American cars put it on the left, and most imports on the right
 
2012-05-10 07:42:19 PM  

kingoomieiii: Also, it's REALLY handy in rental cars.


Lately, I've been driving rental cars about two times a month and have never seen/noticed this. Since I'll be driving a rental car this weekend I'll definitely be on the lookout. Would be quite handy indeed.
 
2012-05-10 07:45:03 PM  

Seminorm Null: Lugging can actually be much worse because most of the time the rev limiter will keep you from doing horrible damage but lugging can spin bearings, throw rods, ruin entire bottom end, etc. Not that it is that common but it is not something you want to have happen at all and if someone is driving a stick without really paying attention or knowing what they are doing it is easy to lug it severely rather than going gung-ho and over-revving the crap out of it (with most people's driving technique).


I sure am glad my motor doesn't have rods to throw! I assumed he had an auto since we're talking about D2 and D3. I figure the transmission on an auto shouldn't even let you lug it.
 
2012-05-10 07:49:15 PM  

Ivo Shandor:
Next question for Slate to tackle: what's that dippy stick-looking thing in the engine compartment?


Everyone knows what the dippy stick thing in the engine bay is for though! It's a hidden lollipop you can give to your kids to suck on should you break down.
 
2012-05-10 07:49:56 PM  
I always understood that car manufacturers swapped sides for the filler cap kind of randomly so gas stations could have double sided pumps, less infrastructure so lower costs, and more efficient use of the space (no need for extra pumps)

Also, although this is not a hard and fast rule, in general, the pump handle icon on the dashboard would point to the side of the car that had the filler cap. Assuming you didn't have the arrow to assist.

Apparently the pump handle icon thing is not strictly adhered to so if you are in a rental, don't count on it.
 
2012-05-10 08:02:08 PM  

Vaneshi: Everyone knows what the dippy stick thing in the engine bay is for though! It's a hidden lollipop you can give to your kids to suck on should you break down.


The real question is; what is the 710 cap is for?
 
2012-05-10 08:05:10 PM  

rickycal78: And if we're talking about someone constantly downshifting like that on a regular basis you'd have a point. But doing it rarely in the situations above isn't going to cause enough wear on the tranny or engine to matter. Granted the same argument could be made about braking the whole way down a steep mountainside or steep hillside, but braking in that situation doesn't offer the same control as downshifting.


Yeah, braking does affect your control. That's not a bad argument for it. But downshifting up to a turn or stop sign is not worth it.
 
2012-05-10 08:08:15 PM  

John Nash: rickycal78: And if we're talking about someone constantly downshifting like that on a regular basis you'd have a point. But doing it rarely in the situations above isn't going to cause enough wear on the tranny or engine to matter. Granted the same argument could be made about braking the whole way down a steep mountainside or steep hillside, but braking in that situation doesn't offer the same control as downshifting.

Yeah, braking does affect your control. That's not a bad argument for it. But downshifting up to a turn or stop sign is not worth it.


I agree on that, but I was just suggesting using it for steep hills, icy hills where you really don't want to be using the brakes to keep yourself going slowly. I'd never suggest doing that for regular traffic.
 
2012-05-10 08:13:09 PM  

IamSoSmart_S_M_R_T: A nearby town just adopted a flashing left turn signal. Apparently, they thought people were too stupid to realize that they could turn left on a green light (no arrow) after yielding, so they added a flashing yellow arrow to let people know they could turn, but only after yielding. It's caused quite a bit of confusion, I'm curious to see how many accidents occur as a result.


We have a couple of intersections here with flashing yellow left turn arrows. In those cases, they are used in conjunction with a red light to indicate it's ok to turn after yielding when the opposite direction has both a green light and green arrow.
 
2012-05-10 08:17:41 PM  

rickycal78: John Nash: rickycal78: You put your car into one of those gears and it keeps the car from automatically changing gears and speeding up, and you don't have to put so much wear and tear on your brakes.

People have said this to me before, and also about downshifting. My response has been "so take it easy on the brakes, and put the wear on the transmission instead?" Brakes are just a little bit less costly than transmission.

/veteran farkers know you can't type "bit" and then "cheaper"

And if we're talking about someone constantly downshifting like that on a regular basis you'd have a point. But doing it rarely in the situations above isn't going to cause enough wear on the tranny or engine to matter. Granted the same argument could be made about braking the whole way down a steep mountainside or steep hillside, but braking in that situation doesn't offer the same control as downshifting.


Also if you try to brake the whole way down a mountain you could die.
 
2012-05-10 08:19:51 PM  
... and by "die" I mean you get no brake syndrome and run off the side ending in a fiery explosion.
 
2012-05-10 08:23:23 PM  
The people I laugh at are the people who do not realise that the hose will reach the filler whichever side of the pump you park on. As long as you park fairly close to the pump it will reach, unless you have some huge truck of course.

I often see a queue of cars waiting on one side of the pumps so I go past them and stop the other side, grab the hose and walk to the far side of the car. I usually can fill up and drive away before the people at the end of the queue who were before me even get to the pump.
 
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