Have our lost our ability to stand up for our warranty rights?


As for not having the ability to count change or understand having a few cents extra so you will receive less change just does not bother me anymore . I just put the change in a jar at home and when I go to the credit union I just take there.


I learned to count change when we sold sweet corn door to door out of our coaster wagon. It’s really very simple and no computer or even calculator required (they didn’t have computers or even calculators then). If it’s $2.59 and they hand you a five, its one penney to get to 2.60, then a dime and a nickel to get you to 2.75, then a quarter to get you to 3.00, then two dollars to get you to 5. Works for any amount. Of course when the bill is 8.07, and I give them a ten and a dime to avoid a lot of change, they tend to hesitate a little checking the buttons on the cash register.


I always thought these were cool:



Very big with the ice cream truck.


I think the ability to count change has been severely diminished by sales tax. You can count up your coins to see if you can buy a candy bar for $.75, but that does no good, as you do not know what it is going to cost after tax.


I used one of those things when I collected money once each week from my paper route customers.
I haven’t seen one in… years!


My earlier comment that one contributor to people’s inability to stand up for their warranty rights was poor reading comprehension due to the poor state of our primary and secondary educational systems extends also to basic arithmetic. I would not have been allowed to graduate from the sixth grade if my arithmetic skills were as poor as many high school graduates/college applicants whose assessments I’ve reviewed.

IMHO the lack of many people’s ability to do basic arithmetic, like make change, comes from the same root cause as their inability to understand their owner’s manuals and their warranties; the derelict state of our educational systems. Too much political correctness, too little basic skills and knowledge.


I think one had to apply mathematics to understand mathematics. I was invited to a conference on stateeide testing about 33 years ago that was held at the University of Michigan. I have no idea why I was sent. I was just told to go to this conference, assigned a car from my institution’s fleet and was on my way. One session that I did attend was conducted by an attorney on teaching children to understand mathematics. His theory was that to understand mathematics, one had to translate from English to mathematical symbols, manipulate the symbols, then translate the result back to English. He claimed the way to accomplish this was to have children work a lot of word problems.
I proposed this to one of my colleagues who taught mathematics education courses. She claimed that word problems were outdated. She asked me how meaningful a problem that begins “Johnny had 50¢ to spend at the candy store. Gumdrops cost 5¢ an ounce and chocolate covered raisins cost 10¢ an ounce. Johnny wants a mix with twice as many gumdrops as chocolate covered raisins. How many ounces of each should he purchase?”. Her claim was that that children today haven’t seen a candy store, the prices weren’t meaningful and the problem wasn’t relevant to today’s children. I maintained that it was the problem solving process that was important, but I modified the problem to be relevant to a child today. My modified version went like this: “Crudney knocks over a little old lady that just cashed her social security check and now has $200 to spend on the street. Now a bag of 10 grams of grass goes for $5 and a 5 grams of coke sells for $20. Crudney wants a mixture that has twice as much grass as coke . .”
Now the problem is “relevant”. I maintain that it’s the process of converting the English to mathematical symbols, manipulating the symbols and converting the answer back to English that is important, whether it is candy from the store or drugs on the street. Just learning that a+ b = b + a is not really learning the use of mathematics.


Could you please bring this closer to topic? Thanks.


There are regulars on this message board that are guilty of not knowing the information in their owner’s manual, even educated people overlook things at times.


The one problem I have with dipsticks these days, you have a low, or full, but does that mean you add a quart, 1/3 quart, no where in my manuals was it quantified in my later cars. So you dipstick shows low guaranteed you need a quart of oil?


Most new cars don’t come with an owner’s manual. They come with a CDROM that has a PDF copy of the owner’s manual on it. Well, that’s fine and dandy if you know that’s the case, but if you don’t, it’s just a coaster in your glove compartment that gets thrown away while you’re looking for the actual, real life, bona fide owner’s manual, which is paper, dadburn it.

But the more likely explanation is that in most major metropolitan areas, dealerships are having a very hard time finding mechanics (they ought to pay mechanics more, but they’re sort of constrained by what the vehicle manufacturers will reimburse for labor) and getting a service appointment can take as much as six weeks. What is someone supposed to do in the six weeks between the “Check Engine” light coming on and the dealership actually looking at their car? Well, they post here. Duh.


You’ve made an excellent point, elgreen.
They do it for cost reduction. In mass, CDROMs or their replacements (thumb drives) cost pennies to make. Owner’s manuals cost dollars to print. For a large manufacturer, that adds up. Note that I am not justifying the change, I hate it, I’m just defining the cause of it.

I’m curious as to whether a manufacturer that provides only a CD would (through the dealer) provide a new car buyer with a printed owner’s manual upon request. Anybody know?


I’m not sure I agree with @elgreen99

I have yet to encounter a new vehicle in our fleet which did not come with a rather thick owner’s manual

But these are fleet vehicles, which aren’t very well equipped

Maybe you have to spend the big bucks to qualify for a CD-ROM :smirk_cat:


I’ll have to check this out the next time I’m at a dealership. It’s been thirteen years since I’ve bought a new car, but what elgreen is saying would not surprise me.


I bought a new 2017 Toyota Sienna this past August and it came with a big, thick printed owners manual.


That’s good to hear. Hopefully yours is the more common experience.
Enjoy your Sienna. It was a good choice.


@the_same_mountainbike Thanks for the vote of confidence. This is our second Sienna. We had a 2011 Sienna which we sold to our son at a great family discount. The 2017 is almost the same vehicle. Being the old.geezer that I am, it’s hard for me to adapt to something that is too different. (I still think I should be shifting gears when I drive the car or keypunching cards when I use the computer. We still have a wind-up clock in use at our house. I also still have a typewriter. The last time I used the typewriter was when I was the featured soloist with the orchestra I play in when we performed Leroy Anderson’s short piece called “Typewriter”).


Our Acura came with a manual and a CD. I’ve only looked at the CD once but I think the CD covers a little more detail. Still with the manual, tire information, lemon law information for 50 states, etc. It’s still an inch thick and doesn’t fit in the glove box very well. What gets me with the CD though is you can’t refer to it in the car. Still they didn’t have much warranty information except “some wear items are not covered”. What I wanted to know is if a strut is a wear item or not. My Pontiac lists quite a few parts that are covered or not.


All new Chiseler Corporation vehicles only come with the CDROM. You can, however, call Chiseler Customer Service and they’ll mail you a paper copy of the owner’s manual for free. I did that with both my Jeep and my minivan.

Toyota is old school. My guess is that GM is old school too. Heck, GM even has paper service manuals for their vehicles still – everybody else has moved to online subscription services.

None of which solves the problem of it taking six weeks to get an appointment to handle a warranty repair in most high-cost metropolitan areas. Chiseler pays the same per warranty repair whether you’re in San Francisco or in Bugtussle Iowa, but the cost of living is a lot less in Bugtussle. So dealers in the high-cost areas are always backed up because they’re not being reimbursed enough to be able to hire as many mechanics as they’d like to have. Either that, or warranty repairs get put at the back of the queue and it takes a week to change a burnt out light bulb.