Bad Engineering

I am annoyed by poor engineering.  I can only think of two glairing examples right now because I have not had enough coffee.  Incidently, coffee timer…good engineering…push button digital clocks…bad engineering.


#1 The Check Engine Light.  How stupid is this?  It is the Russian Roulette of status lights.  Ours came on over the weekend.  Why?  Jenn had not screwed the gas cap on tightly and vapors were escaping.  But the same light comes on if your car is about to explode.  Why not just give an numbered display or plain text messages that say, “the following condition has been encountered:”  I will tell you why…because they want to charge you $50 for plugging in their stupid meter.  The engineer who agreed to this design should be tortured.  Just prior to the torture being applied, a light should come on saying check torture.  The tortures could vary from applying burns to listening to Gilbert Godfrey singing Perry Como songs.  You just never know.


#2 The left lane exit on the highway.  Any highway engineer who thinks this is a good idea should be shot.  Period.


I will add to the list as my brain wakes up.  What poor engineering solutions tick you off?

By Ben Posted in Life

19 comments on “Bad Engineering

  1. Bad engineering is when they decide to put the onramp and exit together creating a great opportunity for multiple accidents.

  2. As one who works on cars, they are loaded with bad engineering. My Dodge Caravan is a good example. To get to the back spark plugs, you have to jack up the car and take off one wheel. Then right where your arm has to go to reach up to the spark plugs, there are a row of screws, not the heads, but the pointed end, that stick out about half an inch. I have scars on my arm from changing spark plugs.
    That’s not the worst though. I had a friend that had a Saab that you had to remove a motor mount to get to one of the plugs. A tune up cost 400 bucks, and that was 15 years ago.
    One on note though, with the check engine light thing, I had a car that had that, but to get the information, you would turn the key off, on , off, on, and the light would flash a code. In the owners manual, there was a list of codes, and then you knew what was wrong, and could either fix it yourself, or be able to tell a mechanic. It was beautiful. They of course stopped doing that!
    Hmmm well there must be more.

  3. Plastic parts…I have a shower handle that breaks every couple of months. It is made of brittle plastic as is the replacement part. It always snaps when the watter is on and I have to run to get pliars to turn it off. My parents have an American Standard tub…handles have never broken.

  4. I own a portable dishwasher. The coupling that goes to the sink has a spring in it that tends to wear out every couple of months. Of course, this particular part is not readily accessible from the online parts store… it takes about 6 weeks to get it in.

  5. Crockpot lids, I don’t think we have ever had one that didn’t nreak or crack, whether plastic or glass.

  6. Phillips screw heads. They always strip out.
    The inside of any HP computer.
    Some orange peels.
    Faucets that you can’t replace the washers on, you have to replace the entire cartridge.
    Alternators. Most alternators don’t die the regulator dies. A regulator used to be a 2 dollar part when they were separate, now, they are together, so you spend two hundred on a new alternator.
    McDonalds double cheeseburgers.
    Cell phone chargers. Why do I need a new one every time I get a new phone, even if I stick with the same brand?

  7. Okay, this is not necessarily engineering, but the eensy stickers on fruit. Each piece of fruit has a sticker. Why? Is this part of an elaborate buddy system? Is it like fruit Social Security? They can be impossible to remove and eating them is not an option, though I have considered it…

  8. Keyboards. Whoever thought up the QWERTY arrangement should be mauled by pit bulls (which are also badly engineered to be pets).

  9. Susan, I saw a report on the news that they can now “tattoo” fruit. Fruit mark of the beast. It will surely go to fruit hell for its lack of faith.

  10. I actually heard on keyboards it was laid out that way to prevent keys from jamming. I do not know if that is true or appocraful (sp?) but it sounds plausable. Now I would be pissed if they fixed it. It would be like going metric. I still think the metric system is what brought down Carter.

  11. Actually Ben, you’re right. People could type faster than the typewriters could handle. The arrangement is designed to slow you down. There is a new keyboard out, I think it is called the Dvorak. People who learn it see significant improvement in their typing speeds.

    Billy is what brought down Carter. The metric system is what brought down Russia

  12. Mark I am with you on entrance/exit ramps, they can be lined up after reloading from the left exit engineers are shot.

    Phillips screws are the shape of my sphincter and serve a similar purpose.

    I had a portable dishwasher when I was a kid. Nothing like scalding the whole family when you don’t seed it correctly.

    Bethany is in the Mr. Spock with a goatee dimension, so it does not count.

  13. I’ve never tried to “turn on” a flourescent light… hey, there… you sure look sexy tonight…all bright and shiny… nah… does nothing for it

Comments encouraged!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s