What’s Your Automotive Pet Peeve?
Some can’t stand auto start-stop and others say confusing audio controls drive them bananas.
I was talking on the phone with my mom yesterday after I stopped to fill up the tank at the Shell station. She said, “You know what I don’t like? When a car’s gas tank access is on the passenger side.” I thought about that, because we own two Land Rovers (a 2000 Range Rover and a 2013 LR4) and the fuel tank doors are on the passenger side. They’re British vehicles, so that makes sense.
Personally, I don’t have a preference on that configuration, but everyone has a pet peeve. Mine is when a vehicle doesn’t have a tuning knob because I like to be able to flip easily from one satellite station to another without having to bother with the touchscreen. That tiny thing would affect whether I’d purchase a vehicle or not (that's one of the things Stellantis does well, with audio controls in multiple places). This train of thought made me wonder: what are your automotive pet peeves?
Hey, I understand some of these are First World problems and many people around the world are just happy to have wheels. What annoys one person is perfectly acceptable to another. On the other hand, there’s always room for improvement, so I asked a bunch of friends about the little things that bother them the most. Here’s the short list based on my unscientific poll:
- When the auto window openers are positioned strangely on the door so that when you go to open the front widow it opens the back one or locks the door, like on a Honda Odyssey.
- Not enough cup holders (and when the cupholders aren’t big enough to accommodate water bottles).
- When the shoulder belt can’t be lowered (or the seat raised) enough that it sits comfortably on my shoulder.
- When Apple CarPlay is in use, I don’t want to have to switch it back over to the Ford display to see the outside temp. I want to see that in dash controls (family of weather nerds here).
- Inconvenient charging ports (like when they’re hidden inside the console).
- Trucks without grab handles for the driver, specifically for ingress. A steering wheel is not the same.
- When the doors are locked in a Nissan vehicle, you have to either physically unlock them or hit the button to unlock instead of just opening the door with a double pump.
- Why do some vehicles have wireless charging but not wireless Apple CarPlay? If you have to wire in to use CarPlay, you don’t need the wireless charger.
- I hate it when side mirrors are so large they block the crosswalk when you’re at a four-way stop. Then you can’t tell if someone is crossing the street or not without doing a little seat hop.
- Cleverly hidden manual tailgate releases. Put it in the obvious spot; don’t make me grope the entire tailgate to figure out how to open it. It should be a big squishy rubber button you can easily find.
- When the seat track doesn’t accommodate my leg length and the back of my calf rubs against the seat.
- Can we talk for a moment about windshield wiper fluid? Drives me crazy when it’s not positioned to squirt out efficiently to do its only job: clean the windshield.
Got a tip on the features that drive you nuts? Or send the writer a note: firstname.lastname@example.org
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