Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Complicated cars

One of the things I hate about new cars is the giant touch screen in so many of them. The touch screens do just about everything in some cars. Personally, just about anything beyond a backup camera is a mistake. Give me physical knobs and switches any day. 

So I’ve got to ask myself, am I just being old fashioned? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a point. If that screen fails the car becomes just about undriveable. 

Cars are full of electronics these days. Preppers used to seek out older pre-computer cars that could run even after an EMP. The problem is that these cars are really old now and hard to keep on road. It was nice while it lasted. I had a great 1980s diesel Mercedes Benz that I ran on waste veggie oil. The engine was bullet proof. Unfortunately, after a half million miles the rest of the car was falling apart. 

I’m still a fan of standard transmissions. They are more reliable than most automatics. My lovely wife’s car is a cheap 2015 Versa with the 5 speed manual transmission. Most of the automatic transmission models were crap. Performance was terrible and they failed early. These days the manual transmission is a pretty good theft deterrent as most people don’t know how to drive them. 

During the chip shortage we got some idea how dependent cars are on electronics. Without the chips the vehicles could not roll off the assembly line. 

I guess these days if you want a reliable bug out vehicle you’d better have an regular non-electric bicycle or a canoe.



  1. The key to keeping an older Bov. Keep it parked and don't drive to death ! Other than running it every so often to exercise the working parts. Treat it just like ya do your generator. Like a lot of preps which are long term storage things. They won't be there if you consume them just because you have them.

  2. I wouldn't mind at all owning one of the Cuban knock off makes of old American steel. I've seen some pretty cool looking versions. Complete with the old school tech.

    1. Cubans kept old American cars going using Russian parts.

  3. Bug out vehicles are an interesting thought to discuss over coffees.

    My first thought is why are you bugging out? Forest fire vs EMP vs large hostile group coming your way or what?

    As EMP might disable your modern vehicle that might require a different mode of travel vs other bug out reasons.

    Second thought is where are you going to Bug out to? That seems more important than how tricked out your mid 70's 4X4 Pickup truck with winch and cattle ram bars stuff.

    Third thoughts are route selection with alternative routing plans as well as what happens if your bug out vehicle needs to be abandoned or the bug out site is not available (due to maybe ablaze or owned by a larger group).

    I've had to help a friend that discovered his deer camp was overrun with homeless druggie types. Not fun and they are destructive.

    As often I've been bicycle camping in NH to be awakened far from trailheads by ATV's and Motorbikes, I have to say there is NO TRACKLESS WILDERNESS left to hide in per say. That and the drug trash I keep finding out way out there is disturbing.

    1. Yeah, the whole bug in, bug out discussion can fill a book. Some of my favorite once remote areas are now ATV trails.

      Bugging out is a last resort but sometimes you have no better option. Having a secure destination is key.

      In reality I'm living in my bug out location.