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Do any of you have that yellow warning light in your cars?


That is the tire pressure sensor gauge in my snazzy little Mazda 3. I think all new cars sold past the year 20xx require them. The next image is the thermometer reading for my car, you will see that it says 42 degrees.




That tire sensor gauge, which is supposed to tell me my tire pressures are too low, has been continuously on since November. And it goes on when the temperature falls below about 55 degrees. I’ve had the pressure checked several times on the tires and the pressures are in the safe range. So I basically ignore this gauge. How many warnings that are around you do you actually pay close attention to? I bet a good many of them are similar to the yellow gauge for my tire pressure in my car. In the case of my car, I don’t merely have warning fatigue, but I doubt that there is ANY useful information to be had in the warnings. For many other warnings in our lives, that are not constantly on like my gauge but which frequent us enough, I am pretty sure the “information problem” results in us having very little confidence that the signal is conveying what folks think it conveys. Just think of how lax you are when the fire alarm in your office goes off and perhaps compare that to how you react when a fire alarm in your own home goes off – in the case of the latter, at least you hustle to find a towel to blow your burnt chicken smoke away from the detector.

There are not of course any important analogies here, I’m just talking about tire pressure sensors. Please do provide your favorite examples in the comments. By the way, isn’t it pretty incredible how much of a NON-event Earth Day was this year? My guess is that “they” are saving all of their energy for their truly big day.

11 Responses to “Pay No Attention to This Warning!”

  1. Dan says:

    Here’s an example. I walk a lot, and my pet peeve are pedestrian lights that start flashing excessively early. I live near an intersection where the ratio of Green-Hand to Flashing-Red-Hand is about 1:4. Do I really only have 4 seconds to cross the road safely? Now I mostly ignore the flashing light. If I’m still in the middle of the road when the No-Walk signal actually comes on, I’ll just make a run for it.

  2. Speedmaster says:

    One of my legendary pet-peeves.

    At least one of our cars has that light on constantly. Just got the one in the minivan off last Saturday. The one in the 2012 Hyundai has been on since Monday. And in both vehicles the light is on perhaps 40% of the time we’ve owned them.

  3. jb says:

    I had this problem, turned out as I recall, to be the air pressure in my spare on the back of my RAV.
    My favorite is the all-encompassing “check engine” light. The owner’s manual says “call your dealer for service.” I love that. The little light may as well just say “get checkbook.”…”your screwed”….etc.

    • Scott says:

      Great Idea hahahaha 🙂

      Maybe it should read “Your Screwed, Write Check to Dealer for:” And then have a meter which approximates the cost of repair.

      Imagine if there was a meter in your car for every dime you invested into it. And then as you drive each meter ticks in accordance with how much money you have spent.

      So If you put a $25 of oil in your car to refill the oil to maximum capacity, and you drive around and eventually only have 20% of your oil remaining in your tank, the meter would read $5.

      This way, every time you drive, you can just look at the dashboard and watch your money tick away.

      Another interesting thought is why these meters will never be implemented. Because it would be costly for the car manufacturers, and perhaps not help the auto repairmen, of course.
      But it seems to me that the market demand for such meters is virtually non-existent. People probably prefer not to see everything in terms of dollars. Ignorance is bliss.
      We don’t want to know how quickly the assets of our personal balance sheet are depreciating! Even though it would help us financially prepare for the future, and we know that it would help us prepare for the future, we still prefer ignorance.

      We enjoy the illusion of personal immunity from monetary matters (responsibility). One of the many bewildering mysteries of the human condition I suppose.

      And now I am complaining about macroeconomic policy when all I wanted to do was comment about a funny joke.

  4. Roger says:

    A friend titled these indicators as “Open Wallet Soon” lights.

  5. Harry says:

    For years my daughter’s antilock brake light remained on, even after several state inspections and assurances that all was well. She got someone to get the light off, but I am not sure that means the brakes are OK now. She gets her oil changed regularly and has the fluids, including the brake fluid, checked.

    One analogy, though, may be mainstream economists reassuring us that printing a trillion dollars a year of fiat money is not cause for alarm, since people have not yet loaded their wheelbarrows full of twenties to go to the Wegeman’s to buy a few loaves of bread. Remember, we owe it to ourselves.

    Those “ourselves” indeed await May 1, and “we” recoil.

  6. Harry says:

    One time one of our employees froze the engine on a great tractor, letting it run out of oil. When my brother asked him whether he looked at the oil pressure gauge, he answered, “I thought it was broken.”

  7. Harry says:

    Was WC doing 20 MPH when he took the pic, multitasking? And correcting essay tests?

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