As some of you know, I rent a lot of cars for my day job. When I say a lot, I mean that I have already rented over two months’ worth of rental days in 2017 alone, and I’m not even done with the year yet! These rentals include cars from higher-end Volvo’s, Jaguar’s, and Ford Mustang’s, to lower-end Toyota’s, Chevy’s, Dodge’s, Honda’s, and unfortunately the god-awful Nissan Rogue more times than I can count!
Rental Cars via Road & Track
Needless to say, after all these rental cars, I have more than my fair share of pet peeves about cars. Now, when I speak of pet peeves, I’m not talking about how a car handles on the road, or the power of the engine, etc. Those types of issues are more factual. For me, a pet peeve is something that I find to be personally annoying, which others might not find so problematic.
So here are my Top 5 pet peeves for cars:
Window tag via Amazon
#5 – No Holder for Window Tickets
You’ve been on a flight for hours, fought your way through baggage claim and the rental car bus, drove for hours through a strange countryside, and finally made it to your hotel. The nice person working the front desk hands you a parking pass for your rental car, which you take outside to place on the dashboard, where it promptly slides down a crack and disappears into the nether reaches, lost for all time. Trust me, your blood will boil! Instead of going to your room to relax, you end up schlepping your way back to the front desk to get another parking pass… this time along with a piece of tape.
Yes, I know you can buy simple plastic window ticket holders for your car for a few bucks on Amazon. Yet they require glue and generally don’t work as well as the manufacturer installed versions, and it won’t help with a rental. Why can’t car manufacturers simply install this cheap piece of plastic as standard on all cars?
Homemade navigation visor via Prius Chat
#4 – No Anti-Glare Navigation Visor
I’m sure it has happened to all of us at some point or another. You’re driving in an unfamiliar area and right when you need your navigation system the most, the sun hits the screen and the glare prevents you from seeing where to turn next! Again, yes I know that there are a host of aftermarket visors available for this problem, but that hardly does one any good in a rental car now does it? Also, don’t car manufacturers know that the sun exists? Why would they spend all that time and money trying to make there interiors look nice (or do they?), just to have it get junked-up by a bunch of aftermarket products being installed so people can actually see their navigation screen?
Honestly, this is just bad engineering.
Front seat pocket via Fuel Injection
#3 – No Pocket on the Front of the Seat
Perhaps it is just me, but it seems that cars have less and less storage space in general… In any case, one of the most convenient storage spaces I ever had on a car was a front pocket on the driver’s seat, right between the legs. If you have had this feature on a car, then you will know how useful and convenient this simple addition to a seat can be for storage. After all, some of us don’t want to sit with keys in our pocket and where else are we supposed to place our keyless entry dongle and wallet so they don’t slide around and are still easily accessible?
Horrible cell phone mounting via Amazon
#2 – No Cell Phone Mounting and Inconvenient Power Cord Placement
I think this one goes without saying… it’s nearly 2018 and at least in the State of California, it’s a law that you have a mounting device for your cell phone. How long is it going to take for car manufacturers to install dedicated cell phone mounting systems with a convenient power cord outlet?
In my car, I have to stretch a 6-ft long power cord down the side of the passenger seat, around the console through a pocket, and over the top of the steering wheel, to my phone which is mounted on the left side via a suction cup on the window. Really, Jaguar?
My daughter purchased her first new car (2018 Hyundai) just a few weeks ago. One of the main selling points the salesman made was that the Apple CarPlay option meant that she didn’t need to pay for an independent navigation system. But did the car manufacturer make a spot for her cell phone (which is required for Apple CarPlay to work) to sit securely and charge conveniently per California state law? No.
This is a case of both bad design and engineering.
F150 steering wheel volume control on the wrong side of the wheel via YouTube
#1 – The Steering Wheel Volume Control on the Wrong Hand
Some of you may question why I placed this particular one as my #1. I will guess that for most of you Item #2 is your biggest pet peeve. And believe me, I’m torn. However, in my heart of hearts, this one just burns my hide a little bit more…
Why would anyone need the steering wheel volume control on the same hand that the regular volume control is already on? No one needs two volume controls for the same hand! Seriously, in some cars, they are so close together that I can literally touch both controls at the exact same time! What is the point in that?!?
Car manufacturer’s listen up! One volume control for the right hand and one volume control for the left hand. It’s easy. Having two separate volume controls on the same hand only inches apart, is a text-book example of inexcusably stupid engineering!
P.S. For my folks that prefer SI units, one inch equals to 2.54 centimeters. For my critic Emilis, who prefers a less traditional measurement system: since bananas average approximately 7.5 inches or 19.05 cm in length, we can make the following statement: “Having two separate volume controls on the same hand less than the length of a banana apart, is a text-book example of inexcusably stupid engineering!”
So what do you think Nation? What are your top car pet peeves?
Keep driving sober my friends!
My thanks to Larry for all his help with this article.