By: Daryle Mayer
What is that noise? Why doesn’t that button work? Why can’t I see? Oh my gosh. Just a few of the little annoyances that some cars have. That is the topic at hand, car pet peeves.
I think that the top of the list for me is the seatbelt chimes. When cars first got them, they would ding to remind you ONCE. The last car I drove had an entire program dedicated to annoying you. The dinging was repetitive, changing in tone and pitch, gradually increasing the volume, and merging the dinging in one continuous sound. DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNGGGG! It was effective, but do I really need to be hounded that severely while driving slower than I walk, in a parking lot? I will say that, on a car you own, silencing that little dinging speaker is fairly simple. A number two flathead screwdriver made my truck forever silent.
Infotainment systems? Really, do these need the complexity of the Apollo Command Module? Why must I have a checklist to run through just to make the Beastie Boys play? The watchword for anything in a car should be simplicity. Seriously, who sits in their vehicle for 15 minutes before driving off setting up mobile stock quotes and the latest yelp reviews of the new sub shop. I need to meet this person. The better question to ask is why even have the car handling this function. Cars get dated quickly. They really only need a good, clear interface to the very powerful pocket computer (cell phone) that is nearly ubiquitous nowadays. Android Auto, and Apple Carplay are better in every way to the various schemes that manufacturers are installing and overcharging for (But annoyingly have to be physically plugged in to your phone; what are we, cavemen? – Jay).
Hood releases, is this a game? Is this some kind of weird initiation ritual. Why are these not standardized. Pull this, twist that, do the hokey-pokey, some are centered, some are on the left side, some are inside. My mom’s Mini requires you to pull the inside lever twice, TWICE! Maybe you weren’t sure the first time, maybe some people just like to yank it while cruising down the freeway at 75. WHY?
It is 2018, why hasn’t anyone figured out how to make an adjustable steering wheel that won’t block the gauges? Those little faces are kinda important. I sort of need to see them. Why is the most comfortable position always the one that blocks the gauges just enough to be annoying.
HVAC systems. Do you like the feeling of an asthmatic mouse coughing on you? I bet you would rather feel the raw power and fury of a Category 5 Hurricane barreling out of the vents towards your face. Why are those the only two settings. Seriously, the middle setting seem to do nothing in most vehicles. Click, whisper of air, click, nothing, click, nothing, click, OMG hang on the dashboard while your feet flap behind you as a screaming N’oreaster blows in. Where is the cool, or warm, gentle breeze setting.
Lastly, gas pumps. I shake my head at this, every single time. You go in the store and prepay say twenty dollars in gas. You walk back to your car and begin filling up. Whoosh, the first nineteen dollars and seventy cents goes in a flash, and then click. Yep, most pumps slow down at thirty cents away and then trickle in the remaining gas while your beard grows, the seasons change, stars burn out and die, and eventually entropy stops all life as we know it. This is mildly annoying on nice days, but when it is raining, cold, or snowing it takes forever. Why can’t the pumps just pump full speed to the amount that you paid for, or least closer to it than thirty cents (or two eons).
I’ve got more, maybe I will put those in another article, but now I want to hear your automotive pet peeves. Let us know in the comments below, exactly what drives you batty.