Friday, October 16, 2009

Speaking of cell phones...

...the Times- Standard had a story today about people still chatting on cell phones while driving. Well, maybe some of us who get annoyed by the danger imposed by these folks might get a laugh back at them...or maybe not?

It seems the State Air Resources Board has come up with a new regulation that requires all cars sold in California to have special glazed glass. This glass supposedly reflects heat from the sun and thus requires less air conditioning in the car which supposedly leads to better gas mileage.

Aside from the dubious claim this move will save gas, the clincher is the glazed windows supposedly degrade radio signals like those that come from cell phones and GPS systems. So, it might be fun for some of us when the cell phone chatters are screaming over not being able to talk as easily from their cell phones in their cars. Maybe some won't be able to talk at all?

That will only be a short laugh, though, as it won't be long before all the chatters that don't already have external cellphone antennas buy one.

Nope, we won't be laughing long. This will certainly be costing us all money in the long run with the Detroit News reporting it will take 5 to 12 years to recoup the increased car costs by supposed reduced gasoline use. They don't seem to consider that it's likely a lot of people might start buying cars out of state to save money after this takes effect. None of us will be laughing then. Not even the people who don't own cars.
As an aside, in regards the claim that reducing air conditioner use will result in better gas mileage, I'm not so sure that's true. Can't say that for sure but my understanding is that a car without air conditioning gets better mileage that one with. The reason being the air conditioner itself puts a drag on the engine because the air conditioner is run by a belt, just like the belt that runs a water pump. My understanding is the air conditioner reduces gas mileage because it's run by the engine. It doesn't matter whether it's on, or off.

Some mechanic told me that years ago and suggested that, for better mileage, I could just cut the belt that ran my air conditioner (so long as that belt only runs the air conditioner). Don't know how true that is but the truck ran fine without that belt, although it still had to drag the weight of the rather large air conditioner.

Addendum: I've been trying to find out more in regards air conditioners and gas mileage. Did a Yahoo search and got these results. Not sure what to make of them. They seem to say yes, no, maybe, kinda, depending on a number of things. None specifically refers to my understanding that the air conditioner itself drains energy from the engine although they suggest that turning it on drains more in some cars.

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At 11:19 AM, Blogger prof said...

Glazed (deep tinted low-E) glass. Interesting concept. This is and has been legal forever in Arizona. Here's the rub. As a driver in Arizona part time, I have difficulty judging other drivers intent at intersections. Seems the tinting is so deep one cannot possibly see in to determine where the driver is looking.....OR see whether he is on the phone! I can't help but wonder if Maria Shriver might be the first to install such glass on her Hummer.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Deeply tinted automotive glass is illegal in several states (Florida is one). One argument for the prohibition is that it makes it difficult for the highway gestapo/revenuers to determine if occupants are wearing their "safety restraints". A seat belt violation in Maryland is in excess of $100.00 for each occupant and some jurisdictions have purchased night vision goggles for officers to write the citations during darkness. Ain't government wonderful?

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

Deep tint on side windows is definitely illegal in California. You have to have your windows inspected after you take the tint off. You can't register your vehicle until you go through all that. Only after that can you can put it back on again. Problem is, when they pull you over for having it back on, you gotta go through the whole thing again. What a hassle.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I'm surprised all the cop organizations aren't making a fuss over this tinting proposal. I'd hate to be one of them pulling over cars and not knowing just what or who I'm dealing with until they step out the door or open the window.

Also, my wife alluded to what locknload mentioned: Often times when coming to an intersection, both her and I like to see the driver at a stop sign looking at us to know they see us. That would drive me nuts not being able to tell what the person at the stop sign is doing.

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

In California, the basic idea of blacked out side windows is so that people can't see up in your car, not to block sun. The majority of cars like this are in places like Oakland, not Death Valley.

Tint is practically unenforceable. Like I said, you only have to remove it long enough to register your car again, then you can slap it back on right after you register. Sometimes cops won't even bug you about the tint, especially if you have the presence of mind to roll down your windows when your speed trap detector starts beeping. Except for false positives like driving by the grocery store etc.

At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as air conditioning reducing gas mileage - if you have one belt on your car when you run the defroster you also run the air conditioner compressor as they both turn on the same belt. If you don't run either for quite a while, your air conditioning will probably leak all of its freon (if it uses freon) and you won't have air conditioning all. Been there and done that and learned an expensive lesson when having to have air conditioner repaired and then recharged.

Couple of days ago I came back from a trip and had to run defroster on and off and drove a "little" above speed limit and got 29 MPH on a car that is certainly not rated for that kind of gas mileage vut have done it before and at times get over 25 MPH when combined with city or heavy freeway traffic when traveling.

If you want tinted windows you can get your window tint shop to make up removeable tine that you put on at times and can take off when you want and that avoids tickets unless you keep it on when driving around.


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