Home » There’s No Complication Like German Over-Complication: Comment Of The Yesterday

There’s No Complication Like German Over-Complication: Comment Of The Yesterday


A shift knob with a gear indicator display may offer dubious utility, but it is a fun project and perhaps a cool icebreaker on a date and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t look cool. Just don’t let the Germans hear of this development.

Yesterday, Jason showed us a bunch of videos from upir, a YouTuber who paired an Arduino, a hall-effect sensor, a display, and other bits to facilitate making a flashy full-color gear indicator on a shift knob. Most readers seemed to agree that the project was functionally useless, but probably a ton of fun.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I like where Amschroeder5 is headed:

And, sure, in the end, it’s not exactly crucial; if you don’t know what gear you’re in, maybe you shouldn’t be driving stick, after all. But it is undeniably cool. And the time taken to document and show the process is incredibly valuable for those of us always trying to learn how to actually do stuff.

Meh…. Everyone makes mistakes, and the display is a great idea honestly. Cool for passengers and/or teaching as well.

Now wait 5 years and the germans will implement it such that if the display has any error at all, the whole car will refuse to shift gears.

Library of Context took it further:

And even then, it would only work with a subscription to their ‘Shift Knob Information Sub-System’ service.

As did Ben:


German Engineers: Someone suggested we look into using KISS in our cars to improve reliability. We now proudly introduce the Knob Information Sub-System. That’s what KISS stands for, right?

Chevrolet Volt 2010 Pictures 4

Speaking of silly threads, David wrote a takedown of an anti-PHEV article published in MotorTrend. The comments of that one got spicy, but a couple got my attention. David might be a BMW i3 guy, but the Chevy Volt is great, too, as Nigel Tufnel explains:

I drive a 2019 Volt (own my 3rd, after a 2013 and 2016 on leases). I’d like more creature comforts and safety tech, so I look at new pure EVs, a lot. And every time, I realize that my Volt is the answer. My everyday driving is electric. But when I drive to my in-laws’ (160 miles one-way) or my company’s home office (250 one-way), both in Midwest semi-rural areas with little to no charging infrastructure, I use the 1.5L gas motor, and don’t worry about having to find somewhere to charge – especially in the winter. It just makes so much f’ing sense, at least until the infrastructure is in place.

Detroit Lightning accidentally started a short pun thread:

Agree with David overall. We really need to stop using towing as an example for everything though.


It doesn’t really pull its weight as an argument, does it?

And ClutchAbuse:


Yep. Stop hitching EV range and towing together.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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20 days ago


(I used up my weekly quota of wit on that comment so this is all I’ve got left)

20 days ago

Oh wow! First time featured on cord!

Anyways, I’ve heard worse ideas than this

21 days ago

Shift knob gear indicator is definitely a solution in search of a problem.

22 days ago

This reminded me that my friend’s e36 M3 did in fact have an illuminated shift knob though I don’t think it showed what gear you were in. I also thought it was pointless but kinda cool…it was the late 90’s, before everything and your kitchen sink had an LCD.

21 days ago
Reply to  86TVan

I’m pretty sure there were several available in the JC Whitney catalog back in the day, well probably still today, or at least on aliexpress 🙂

Fred Fedurch
Fred Fedurch
20 days ago
Reply to  86TVan

Had a lighted shift knob on an A4 20 years ago.

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