How do you turn on the Radio ?

Auto Infotainment systems problematic for renters and automakers 


For decades, the left knob turned on the radio and the right knob changed the station. By the eighties automakers added a  power button.

Well that was so 2007.  In many cars the power button and the knobs have been replaced with touchscreens and interfaces.

You’ve Entered the Technology Zone

It’s 1 am and your flight is four hours late.  You get into your rental car and  start the engine and begin the drive to your hotel., Wanting music to relax. You soon realize you have entered a new and strange world of electronics without international symbols. To make matters worse many of the systems have incorporated the climate control  and other basic functions.

If your renting a car some of these systems pose a greater threat than texting as you have to take your eyes off the road.  Few car rental companies leave instructions for the customer unless of course they have 45 minutes to read the owners manual.

There was a time, automakers designed one system for all of its vehicles.  The systems in the Buick was identical for Chevrolet,you would find in all GM cars,not any more.

Buggy Systems Bugging Owners.

The more you spend for a car the more complicated the system.  The Cadillac Cue system doesn’t have any knobs, it requires the drive to tap or swipe the thin silver bar.  Most infotainment systems are cumbersome, some require very specific voice commands.   Some systems require you to hit a power button after using the CD.

Cadillac’s Cue

 In German cars like the Audi and BMW have an extensive interface requiring the driver to scroll through a large number of commands.

Consumer Reports magazine said, Of the 17 problem areas we ask about, the category including in-car electronics generated more beefs from owners of 2013 models than any other category.  In many cases, the touch-screen infotainment systems have been buggy,with frustrating screen freezes, touch-control lag,or a reluctance to recognize a cell pone, an MP# device ,or voice command.  

That’s an area that has plagued Ford and Lincoln models equipped with the MY-Touch systems, which has been unusually troublesome sine they arrived in 2011.  Yes, Ford has issued numerous fixes and software updates, and the survey responses complaints rates for new models have fallen by half.   but the problem rate is still high,even as Ford has been putting the systems into more of its vehicles.  

Another car with notable audio system problems is the otherwise excellent 2013 Honda Accord. Because the problem rates are higher in V6 sedans and coupes, the trouble seems to involve the up-level touch screen infotainment systems in those cars.

Infotainment Gold

The U-Connect systems in Chrysler products ( Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep) are highly rated for its response time and overall ease of use.  The user have the option to use knobs and or touchscreen.   The system has received many awards including the coveted JD Power.

Hyundai’s (Hyundai-Kia) system is highly respected..


Car Rentals

Familiarize yourself with basic controls (radio,climate controls and pairing cell phones)before driving off.   Or ask someone at the car rental to review the controls with you.

Buying a new car

If your buying a premium brand (Cadillac- Mercedes Benz) there are no options.   You can opt out of some of these cars. On Fords popular Fusion, My Touch is option on the SE,however if you want more deluxe model with more features say found on the Titanium level you cant opt out.  Infotainment systems are optional on lessor brands* (Chevy, Toyota etc)

If your considering a systems try before your by.   Pair your cell phone, become familiar with the environment.

Welcome to the new world

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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