Sunroof Problems

Sunroofs are seen in the most higher end cars and their ability to allow more fresh air to circulate is a desirable quality, but what are the downsides of having a sunroof?

Most people don’t realize that having a sunroof increases the cost of insurance.

Some Types of Sunroofs

Cars like the Honda Civic have a pop-up roof where the window tilts up. Which only seems to be another access point for criminals or water, but the bigger challenges come with panoramic roofs.

A panoramic roof is a much larger roof going all the way from the front to the back where part of it can slide open. There will also be an additional amount of heat on the seats on hot days, so that’s another problem with this type of roof.

Unsurprisingly panoramic roofs aren’t very good in a rollover crash. No one wants to learn this, but your sunroof is another way you might exit your car in a crash if you aren’t wearing a seatbelt, but the moral of that is to wear that seatbelt. Fortunately, only 1% of all crashes are rollovers.

Exploding Sunroofs

An exploding sunroof sounds unbelievable, but it does happen, it’s just the sunroof shattering but it’s traumatic to people who experience it. There’s usually no reason and unfortunately it’s more likely to occur if you own a panoramic sunroof. Several lawsuits have been made against car companies over exploding sunroofs.

This kind of accident fortunately doesn’t happen that often. It’s more common to encounter things like cracks or chips which cause it to be replaced. Just one more window to get hit with rocks and road debris.

Gas Mileage

Driving at speed with the sunroof down creates additional drag and means that the fuel consumption is higher, as bizarre as it may seem.

You may even not use your sunroofs for months on end, especially if they are driven in a cold environment. A panoramic sunroof can even weigh as much as 90Kg.

They can also remove the headroom as cars without sunroofs just have more room for the tops of the seats. 

Regular maintenance of the workings – the electrical components, the glass and so on – is required. The electric problems could be something like a broken motor or a fuse going. The annoying part is that they may be stuck in the open position. Even something like dirt getting into the works can affect it, so it’s best to keep a car with a sunroof in a garage or similar.

Older and Cheaper are more Prone to Problems

They is especially a problem in older cars as they are more inclined to leak. Seals get old over time and the sun ages them. Sunroof seals are in the sun whenever there is sun to be had. Though this is less of a problem with the more expensive cars.

Problems with the rubber rim aren’t too expensive to repair, it’s just time consuming. It’s advisable not to take a car with a sunroof into a car wash. Rust can also form around the sunroof’s rim as it gets older.

To add to the problems, they are also much harder to sell. It’s desirable for buyers to have but it’s not always that desirable.

Lastly, the scientists have wondered if there should be an airbag in the sunroof? The research is mixed on how much it would help.

Getting Children Interested In Cars

There are hundreds of ways of getting children interested in cars. As may be understood if you regularly follow us, it leads to hundreds of careers and side projects – go karting or visiting a racetrack for instance. But it ultimately comes down to the child themselves.

We just wanted to point to some, in case you have some time off this Christmas and want to do something fun with your kids.

Lo Tech

There are many different craft videos out there, telling you how to make a car out of popsicle sticks or even matchboxes (the business Matchbox was named after the practice of homemade cars). For the more technically minded there are videos on making battery-powered toy cars and propeller cars. There are videos about general propulsion and how exactly they move designed for young minds.

Or you could choose one of the many balloon cars designs, whether out of cardboard or out of Lego. It teaches children about propulsion, as the balloon deflates the car goes faster. Or you use a zip line or rocket to propel it. Again, videos to make these items are available online with simple research.

Robot Cars:

There are several online challenges out there for those who wish to design their own. Robot cars can be customized into different designs and by following online guides, step by step instructions are needed to bring about positive results. An Arduino car for instance works through a USB and microcontroller. It creates its own path through obstacles.

An Elegoo robot car (as well as various robot tanks) can be programmed online via code. It could take some time to become an expert.

Remote Control Cars:

Remote control cars may be thought by some as yesterday’s toys by some but options include:

  • Those which can be controlled via Wifi
  • Those with a HD camera
  • Those which may be driven in all terrains

There’s even one made for the Nintendo Switch that works with VR (Virtual Reality) to impose a virtual racetrack onto your floor. You can drive the remote-control car around the virtual track and compete with virtual opponents.

There’s a range of colors too, including camouflage green and metallic blue.

Other ways to Play, er we mean Experiment…for education…

Even with regular toy cars your child can make ramps out of cardboard, wood or plastic. Sticking a block in the way in a car could teach about what forces cause a car to stop for instance. They can also alter the height and length of a ramp to see how fast a car goes when launched by gravity.

Another thing to look at is the size and weight of a car. Why do small cars start quicker but larger cars in the end go faster? They can also experiment on which surface works for the toy car.

There’s also the possibility of marking out a racetrack on the floor with colored masking tape. It comes down to how much mess you want your child to make!

Depending on the age of your child and the amount you’re able to be involved with the project the “shed projects” that involve building the car or obstacles before using them seem to fascinate more than the items you may find in the stores. However, both are useful if you want to teach about science and technology, or pass on your passion for cars to your own kids.

If your child doesn’t enjoy getting their hands dirty, there’s still encouraging your child to draw various types of cars and trucks, just whatever piques their interest. Car design is a great career and who knows where the next car startup will come from. If you get them to keep it up, you may have a genius on your hands. They’ll be working for Elon Musk – or one of his competitors – in no time. Maybe they’ll be the next Elon Musk?

Best of the Web: Car Toy Projects

Were coming out with our own story about toy cars that help you share your passion for cars with your kids. But we found this one and thought it was really good. So build a car with your kids and share something you love.

12 Self Propelled Car Projects & More

Welcome to make it move STEM challenges!  Our Summer STEM activities are all about things that go, move, fly, bounce, spin, and more. Use the materials you have on hand to invent your own simple machines designed to move in some way, shape, or form. Get ready to design, engineer, test, and re-test your own things that move with the following STEM activities for kids.

Link to original Story

Different Types of Car Jobs

Your ideal car job may involve racing round a track or chauffeuring a famous A-lister, but what other car jobs are there?

There are a huge number of driver jobs available. Many couriers are self-employed, as are Uber and Lyft drivers – working on behalf of other companies.  Some are employed chauffeurs or over-the-road semi drivers, pounding the pavement for a living.

An automotive technician looks at robotics, automotion, quality testing, and assembly planning.

They plan all aspects of the assembly, look at the tooling – how the car is built. There is a massive amount of analysis involved, sometimes a review of time and motion, sometimes to improve the quality of a vehicle’s safety system. This isn’t working on the factory floor, at least not all the time. 

Also attached to a factory is a sales manager specifically focused on fleet sales, more of a business-to-business salesperson.  They concern themselves with specialist accounts – like dump trucks, delivery vans, taxi cabs, police cars, and so forth.

A paint technician works with robotics to ensure the best kind of finish but is involved in all aspects of production which affect the car’s color palette.

A car fleet manager looks after a business’s fleet of company cars, checking in and checking out cars, and ensuring the proper use and maintenance of the vehicle.  They are responsible for ensuring that the vehicles are fit for sale once the company is through with them.

A used car stock preparation manager makes sure that the showrooms are fully stocked as well as updating digital sites – the virtual showroom. According to job specifications, this is more of a job for a people person rather than a consultant.

A diesel truck mechanic helps handle repairs of large transport vehicles, sometimes alone and others as a member of a team. The vehicles are typically handled in a large garage or maintenance yard.

Product owners of connected vehicles (those with driver connected applications/tools) look at the requirements of relevant businesses. What are their goals and how could connected vehicles help them? They liaise with different teams and work out what is feasible. There’s typically some involvement in business analysis.  They look at the requirements for each individual business as regards connective vehicles. Some experience in business analysis is required as you need to work out how the industry is fluctuating.

The After Sales Manager supports the customer after the sale takes place, checking in to see how they are enjoying their new vehicle, sometimes getting feedback about the purchasing process. They supervise the car after sales team and ensure they are competent and that they maintain customer service standards. They look at various marketing campaigns which focus on current owners.

When it comes to pit stop jobs (vehicle repair or maintenance shops) there are positions for tire carriers, tire changers, mechanics and so on, everything necessary to ensure the smooth operation of a mechanic’s ship. It’s definitely all about being a team player.

So, is your dream job listed above? Maybe you have found your secret vocation? Why not take time to apply or maybe take a training course to get you closer?

Cars Which Allow Three Child Seats?

First things first, if you need to ask questions like this, life could be hard. So, take some time out and relax while you read this article because there’s a number of details to get through.

There have been many tests to see how to fit child seats in different cars.

Fitting child seats is a pain, but what happens if you have three car seats which need to be fitted? Here your choices may be limited, as there just isn’t enough room to accommodate them in the average subcompact or compact and even larger cars. You have to be looking an SUV or similar.

There are no such problems with the Audi Q7. It’s an SUV which gives a clue as to why it’s so accommodating. It’s also a five door with air suspension and has mild-hybrid tech. There are severa versions or trims available. It also has Audi Matrix LED headlights with indicators both on the front and rear.

Next there’s the SEAT Alhambra. Considering the capacity (seven) it would be surprising if it doesn’t fit three car seats but fitting them in a row is harder–you can only use the second row. Other features include blind spot detection and a choice of soft or metallic shades. The trim options are Style, Xcellence and FR-Line.

The feature of being superbly spacious goes without saying but the Volkswagen Touran also has a high-quality interior. It has long lasting LED headlights and a cruise control which can calculate what the car in front is doing. Other technology features are lane assist and even trailer assist. You have the choice of “configuring” or choosing individual features online.

There’s a certain something about the Land Rover Discovery. Although you don’t immediately associate Land Rover with the family commute there’s absolutely no reason not to. It had a choice of interiors so you needn’t have three seats at all, you may only require two seats in the back. It has a number of other features such as the tailgate, surround sound system and fast start up.

The S-Max is defined by Ford, its manufacturer, as a minivan, which are supposed to be designed for the family, although some fall way short. The contoured seats are adjustable with a massage feature. For your peace of mind there’s an emergency brake assist. It has Titanium, ST-Line and Vignale. Unfortunately, the last one was made in 2020.

The Mercedes-Benz GLS (the third-generation type) is another SUV. Its design is towards the minimal. There have been GLS vehicles manufactured since 2006; the GLS is short for a German word geländewagen which indicates it is an off-road vehicle at least in style, which explains its four-wheel drive. The third-generation car is a 3.0 liter turbo.

The Tesla Model S in an electric car with all-wheel drive; the charge point being located behind one of the taillights. It is defined simply as a large car in the US. An interesting feature with this car is the front trunk (or frunk in the US) for storage.

It would be fascinating to see these cars lined up. Despite having enough space for the child seats there’s a great variation between them.

The Origin of Sports Cars

As we’ve said in other articles (links) differentiating car categories is a game with blurry lines. The goal of a sports car is to maximize, or prioritize, dynamic performance. It’s technically possible for an SUV, Truck, or Coupe to become a “sports” version if the performance ranks equal to the other aspects of those models. It’s difficult, however, for a passenger or commuter car to have a sports model as the priorities are less compatible.

Sports cars are a strong seller, despite being a less practical car than say a commuter car. The companies which created sports cars at the beginning of the turn of the twentieth century still make sports cars today. One reason could be that people see cars on the racetrack and wish to purchase something similar. Another, oft-given reason is to the thrill of driving. So, there has always been a potential market here.

Going Back to the Early Days

McLaren F1

The term sports cars has its origin in 1919 in the UK but the first reference in the US was in 1928. These were two-seater cars without fixed roofs. It was only after 1970 that you would see a sports car with a fixed roof. These types of cars were previously known as grand tourers. We would later get sports cars which have three seats, one seat for the driver and two for the passenger, such as the McLaren F1 in the 1990s.

But we are getting a long way ahead of ourselves. In the early days there was no real distinction between sports and other cars, apart from the two seats (like the modern-day coupe) and there were early models with four seats, like sports sedans.

The names of the first sports cars are still popular today – Bugatti, Ferrari and Aston Martin.

Not all Sports Models are Still Around

Prince Henry 1914 Oldest Sports Car in the World

One name which has been lost is the Prince Henry Sports Torpedo. This type of car would be easy to overtake by today’s racers as it only reached 80mph. It did stun hundreds at the track, however.

Other long forgotten examples include the Hewson Rocket, which was created in Hollywood, California and the Wildfire which resembled a Jaguar in design with its lightning 6 cylinders and fiberglass body producing something not exactly stable.

The Mercer

The Mercer was created by 1911 in New Jersey, developed by the Roebling family. It was a bit of a stretch them as they had previously specialized in the manufacture of wire rope and designing bridges. They joined up with the Kusers, big names in banking and brewing alcohol. So evidently a group of just plain businessmen who knew where the action was.

Mercer Type 35R

The first Mercer factory was a converted brewery and was named Mercer after a county in New Jersey. It created the Type 35 Runabout, another two-seater racing car this time with 55 horsepower.

It managed to win five out of the first six races it entered, unfortunately losing in the first Indy 500. Although prized for its brilliant handling this was not enough to save two racers who collided “on the track” in Elgin and the adverse publicity meant that racing had to stop – please note that this was in 1914—before fans started coming to the track specifically to see the wrecks. It is a shame that later designs weren’t as good as the Type 35R.

It’s hard to comprehend the slowness of the early sports car when you look at most cars today – not just sports cars, any cars – but at least they are now safer by an astonishing degree. Which is probably just as well.