30 November 2011

Fuel Caps

Remote release fuel filler covers on cars.  Every one I've seen is unlocked by pulling on a bowden cable.  So if it fails you can't unlock the flap.  You're never going to notice in normal use, you'll only notice when you go to fill the car.  Ergo it's going to be empty.  Effectively you've disabled the car!  If it's empty and you can't put fuel in it, you're stuck. 

Why not have it arranged so that pulling on the cable keeps the flap locked.  To unlock you *release* the tension on the cable rather than *applying* tension to unlock it.  Should it fail, the flap is unlocked, the car still works and you can fix it when convenient.

Don't the people who design cars spend even a few seconds thinking before they start building them?

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