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Much of the same

I know we need variety,but some of this crap blows my mind,slight differences in the size of lids,different pitch on the threads,lousy material,barely adequate material,alot of different bulbs,fuel transport containers,odd screw the consumer sizes,when will this end? Try to reuse a plastic container that you have misplaced the lid on(,when recycling is the mantra of the land )I remember when you could keep a car going with parts from the local gas station(service station remember) I know modern cars are leagues ahead of the old clunkers,but isnt there some cases where we can have some stuff that would interchange(besides Edison base light bulbs-even heard thats due to change) please give Me your thoughts-Kevin

As time goes on, more and more things will be stadardized in size and configuration. Going through my wife’s kitchen, I can put an Italian lid on a Chinese frying pan made for the US market.

Beverage containers tend to be standard size as well. Most are metric now.

In 15 years the world will have only a dozen car makers, and only two sets of standards. Even those will converge. As the US is the only major country still not on the metric system, it will have to make the most adaptations.

The car industry took the lead and converted to metric as new models were designed, and new production equipment was bought.

Don’t I wish.
Why can’t every vehicle from the same manufacturer have ;
the same fuel filters ?
the same lug nuts ?
the same seat belts ?
the same head light bulbs ?

I believe that people will always have countless different compulsions toward their purchasing decisions, and as long as there are enough people that want something, there’ll be a manufacturer to make it. Thus, it’s my belief that there will always exist numerous manufacturers and countless different models and trim levels. Remember too that car markets and manufacturing are truly global now, and different countries and cultures have different needs and preferences. While I understand Doc’s conclusion, I think the opposite will happen. I think that as new technologies make it easier to change designs and reduce breakeven quantities, the variety of offerings on the market will proliferate.

Actually, many of Kevin’s examples as well as Ken’s examples, the seatbelts, lug nuts, and bulbs, as well as tires, windshield wipers, and many consumable components are pretty standardized at this point. Walmart has a pretty modest selection of bulbs and wipers that cover pretty much every vehicle out there. And that selection even offers different bulbs to fit the same application.

“as long as there are enough people that want something, there’ll be a manufacturer to make it.”

Often it is that a manufacturer comes up with a product and then convinces people to want it.

That too, David. Good point.

Standardization stifles innovation, but non-standardization can also lead to safety issues. With three different vehicles, it is annoying that the windshield wipers are turned on by pushing the stalk down on one, up on another and twisting on the third.

But when some idiot pulls out right in front of me, or is backing out of a parking space into me, it is more than an annoyance that the horn is a button on the spokes just inboard of the steering wheel on one vehicle, in the center of the airbag cover on another and at the bottom corners of the airbag cover on the third vehicle.

Imagine if the manufacturers decided to move the brake pedal to different locations or make it operate differently somehow. Maybe voice commanded brakes that respond to the two word command “Oh $&%#”

The method the windshield wiper blade attaches to the arm could be standardized among the manufacturers.

I agree wholeheartedly with the horn issue. IMHO it’s far more important to have the horn under my thumb than to have some radio control under my thumb, but designers today seem to prefer the radio control.

Well on the newer Granite model Mack trucks,they do take a standard round sealed beam headlight,believe it or not,all these diffrent light housings get my goat and they do have a limited lifetime too.I dont mind replacing a capsule bulb,but I hate to buy all the fragile plastic that surrounds it and yes make those silly wiper hookups standard and controls standard for Petes sake.As Mr Scot said the principles on a drive system for a Federation Starship and a Klingon battle cruiser are the same(for Heavens sake I want to be able to cut the wipers on a different car and no I cant always figure out those international symbols)-Kevin

If we standardize on things like lights, wipers, etc., how do things ever get better?
The old round, incandescent sealed beam headlight was the Us standard for decades. You could have your pick of two sizes, that was it.
Then came halogen, then projector beams; a big step up to HIDs, and now LEDs. The reality is our lighting has gotten vastly better than it ever was. Try going back an driving a 50s/60s vintage car at night. You’ll swear the lights aren’t even on.
Yeah, it makes for non-interchangeability, but it also gives us a better product.

I still maintain that considering the countless thousands of models that have been sold worldwide over the past 50 years it’s really impressive how few choices are required to find a replacement for almost all of the consumable items.

“If we standardize on things like lights, wipers, etc., how do things ever get better?”
@Tony_Carlos I agree with your statement, but it would be great if it were possible to adapt the new technology to an older product. For example, my Dad’s 1939 Chevrolet did not have sealed beam headlights. The sealed beam came along in 1940. However, kits were available to replace the old style bulb and lens with a sealed beam unit and the appearance of the vehicle was the same. The only difference was that the old style 1939 headlights had a parking light bulb as well as the main headlight bulb and after the conversion, the car no longer had parking lights.
I remember people converting their pre 1939 Fords with mechanical brakes to hydraulic brakes. Some people who restore old automobiles and tractors convert the electrical system from 6 volt to 12 volt.
I have a fluorescent bulb problem right now. The T-12 style bulbs are no longer produced. The church I attend and do some of the maintenance has almost the light fixtures that use 4 foot T-12 bulbs. I did stock up on T-12 bulbs when I realized that these bulbs are no longer made. However, I have to ultimately make a choice–convert the fixtures with new sockets and ballast coils to T-8 or hope the price drops on LED tubes so that it is cost effective to remove the ballasts and go to the LED 4 foot tubes that fit the current fixtures.

DIFFERENT…does not constitute BETTER.
And too often , better is a matter of opinion.

@ Tony Carlos back in the day the Feds wouldnt not allow very bright headlights,I agree about better products,but couldnt you fit better filaments in the same size bulb(believe Leds would probaly work in a non hazing glass housing too, and the expense for some of these upgrades are ludicrious-Kevin

There is no reason why a better product and interchangeability cannot coexist. Now I have probably 15 different chargers and plug types from old cellphones, as well as batteries.

@trie,things can get much better and have the same form and the principals are pretty much standard on 4 cycle otto engines and look how much better they became for example,I really like the all in one glass reflector and lens(you can get a 6 volt altenator from various sources,most of the Folks around here use a 12V Delco S-1 on conversions) I'm glad we dont to many different voltages in households in the US-Kevin

At least in the computer industry things are mostly standardized. You can take a motherboard from one mfr, memory, hard drive, power supply, etc. from other mfrs. and it will all bolt together and usually work as long as you don’t go too crazy. (laptops are a little different story)