Our Van: Annoyingly Awesome

Our new van (2007 Dodge Caravan SXT) has one of the most annoying features in any vehicle I’ve ever owned. I don’t say that lightly, because there are many vehicular things that bother me. Things like the idiotic power sliding doors. Or my truck, for instance, has an extremely sensitive, “Oh you must have already turned, let me shut of your blinker for you” switch. I turn on the blinker, and then think about turning, and the blinker clicks off. (It’s a 1991 Ford Ranger, and they’re actually known for this. I’ve researched.)

Anyway, our van. If you sit in the front, either side, and neglect to buckle your belt, there is a “ding ding ding” that reminds you to buckle. I know, every car since the 70s or so does this — but our new van never stops. It will ding, and ding, and ding.

And ding.

And ding.

And never ever stop. This annoys me. It also annoys certain in-laws that ride with us and prefer to never buckle. The cool thing is, I’m really REALLY glad it annoys me. I have to buckle. Granted, most of you don’t know me terribly well, but I’m forgetful to a legendary degree. I often don’t buckle due to little more than chronic brain farts. Our new van is awesome in its mechanical persistence. I love it.

And oddly, like a dog with a shock collar, I’m learning on a subconscious level as well. I now buckle up in my truck almost every time. How awesome is that?

And now, I’m just waiting for autopilot. Because THAT will rule. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Our Van: Annoyingly Awesome

  1. Heh, I put a REALLY heavy box of books and other crap on the front seat one day and I had to buckle ours (2005 Ford Freestar – or something like that) to make it shut up.

  2. Back in the 70s it wasn’t a pleasant “ding ding ding” … my mother had a car that made a jarring “bzzzzzt!” noise. Since my mother doesn’t like to buckle, she tried to get it to stop by buckling the belt behind her instead (back then there was only the waist belt, not the shoulder thing). After a while the car must’ve caught on because it started buzzing even when it was buckled that way.

  3. My friend has a Prius that will have a light go on in the dash if there’s any weight in the front seats and the buckle isn’t buckled. I don’t think it dings in perpetuity though.

  4. There is usually a combination code that will shut that off. It’s usually a combination of hitting the brake in a code with the key turned to accessory.

    I googled the code for a GM truck a few years ago and it worked. I had to try the combination a few times but it eventually went.

  5. A little trivia about MWT’s post about the buzzer.

    Believe it or not, it wasn’t to be less jarring that the automakers went to the more pleasing chime. The old buzzer would create several hundred volts of electrical noise in the power system. The on-board computers didn’t like this much!

  6. You know what’s funny? Your truck is as old as I am!

    It also reminds me of our van – a 1997 Plymoth Voyager. Sometimes the windshield wipers go on their own when I make a left hand turn. I’m kinda used to it now, but it does get annoying.

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