This Is What Reporting Car Trouble Will Be Like in the Future

If you think your car is high-tech now, just wait. When 
driverless cars arrive in a few years, computers might well be running the whole vehicle. Imagine the help-line calls to the manufacturers then...

Self-driving/autonomous carPhoto: Shutterstock

First customer’s call

Help Line: General Motors help line. How can I help you?
Customer 1: I got in my car and nothing happened!
Help Line: Did you put the key in the ignition and turn it?
Customer 1: What’s an ignition?
Help Line: It’s a starter motor that draws current from your battery and turns over the engine.
Customer 1: Ignition? Motor? Battery? Engine? Why must I know all of these technical terms just to use my car?

(Don’t miss the 15 craziest cars ever built.)

Second customer’s call

Help Line: General Motors help line. How can I help you?
Customer 2: My car ran fine for a week, and now it won’t go anywhere.
Help Line: Is the gas tank empty?
Customer 2: Huh? How do I know?
Help Line: There’s a gauge on the front panel, with a needle and markings from E to F. Where is the needle pointing?
Customer 2: I see an E but no F.
Help Line: The F is to the right of the E.
Customer 2: To the right of the E is V.
Help Line: A V?
Customer 2: Yeah, there’s a C, an H, the first E, then a V, followed by R, O, L—
Help Line: That’s the front of the car. When you sit behind the steering wheel, that’s the panel…
Customer 2: That steering wheel thingy—is that the round thing that honks the horn?
Help Line: Yes, among other things.
Customer 2: The needle’s pointing to E. What does that mean?
Help Line: It means that you have to visit a gasoline vendor and purchase more gasoline. You can install it yourself or pay the vendor to install 
it for you.
Customer 2: What?! I paid $32,000 for this car! Now you tell me that I have to keep buying more components? I want a car that comes with everything built in!

(Find out the strangest things mechanics have found in cars.)

Third customer’s call

Help Line: General Motors help line. How can I help you?
Customer 3: Your cars stink!
Help Line: What’s wrong?
Customer 3: It crashed! 
I wanted to go faster, so I pushed the accelerator pedal all the way to 
the floor. It worked for 
a while, and then it crashed—and now it won’t even start up!
Help Line: I’m sorry, sir.
Customer 3: I was just following your stupid manual. It said to make the car go, put the 
transmission in D and press the 
accelerator pedal. Now it crashed.
Help Line: Didn’t you attempt to slow down so you wouldn’t crash?
Customer 3: How do you do that?
Help Line: That’s on page 14 of 
the manual. The pedal next to the accelerator.
Customer 3: I don’t have all day to sit around and read this manual.
Help Line: Of course not. What would you like us to do?
Customer 3: I want you to send me one of the latest versions that goes fast and won’t crash anymore.

Here’s why you need to wrap your car key fob in foil.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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