As much as we love our motors here at Motor-Vision, we can’t say that there aren’t things in our cars that we’ve never been able to love.
These functions and features just make us question what exactly the manufacturers were thinking and how they could have possibly believed that it was something the majority of us would appreciate. You can think of this as an open letter addressed to all the car manufacturers in the world, pleading for these features to be discontinued or (if applicable) for them to be able to be turned off in the future. We each have our own personal gripes with our beloved autos, let us know what yours is in the comments!
Auto windscreen wipers
On some cars, the auto windscreen wipers are more of a burden than a gift. That’s because all it takes for them to turn on is three measly raindrops and once they’re on, they’ll stay on for a good 5 minutes despite there being no actual rain. This leaves the dry, unlubricated rubber wipers dragging themselves across the windshield while making the most painful sound imaginable that almost makes you cringe.
We want for the wipers to turn on as it starts to rain, not when we drive under a tree that just so happens to drip a little water on a perfectly clear and sunny day. It’s not the false detection, but the length they stay on which annoys us the most. If the windshield is dry and no more water is left to wipe away, stop wiping! All cars should have an option to turn this feature off permanently! Arrgghh!
Self-parking…but only in huge spaces
Self-parking is a great feature but please don’t give us the option when it only works for spaces that you could park a van in. It’s quite the tease to be sold a car with an “automatic parking” feature and to later find out it only works on spaces that are so wide and easy that it’d be quicker to just do it yourself.
It’s a great little novelty the first time you use it and a fantastic feature to show off to your family and friends but other than that, auto parking is a huge fad. Maybe in a few years the technology will be able to handle more challenging spaces, which is when this feature will begin to be properly appreciated.
The much-debated stop-start feature
So many of us can agree that the stop-start feature is one of the most polarizing functions found in modern cars. It’s become quite common, despite many consumers disliking it. Why do they dislike it, you ask? Firstly, there’s the aggravation of the whole event. Coming to a stop results in a jolt and sudden cease of rumbling. The steering wheel becomes heavy, as do the brakes. After sitting in the peaceful bubble of your much quieter cabin for a minute or so, it’s time to start moving again and with a sudden jolting ignition the rumbling is back up to 10 and before you can even allow your car to prepare itself, you have to put your foot on the accelerator and speed off.
Secondly, there’s that debate of how efficient it really is. Does all that starting and stopping really save fuel? Surely all the activity is wearing the engine and various components quicker? Each of us have our own opinion on the matter but only engineers will know for sure.
Thirdly, most cars that have stop-start only allow the function to be turned off temporarily. Most cars turn the feature back on each time you get back into your car. Talk about annoying!
Voice control that’s hard of hearing
I’m willing to accept that my dog’s hearing isn’t what it used to be, or even my dear old grandmother. However, I am not willing to accept that brand new cars costing many thousands of pounds are unable to hear me properly, often resulting in phone misdials.
If you’re going to put in voice-activated commands, at least make sure that the car is capable of understanding normal speech. I don’t want to have to speak like a robot for you to understand me. It’s frustrating, it’s a waste of time and it’s embarrassing when I’m trying to show off my car’s cool feature.
Using a touchscreen menu in a car is a very unnatural thing. It just doesn’t work. You have to kind of lean forward to reach the screen and your arm just has to hover in the air as you wait for the menu to catch up with your input, it’s just not convenient at all. If there’s not an alternative input, such as the trackpads in BMWs, then we didn’t ask for this at all! Features should make things easier, not harder.
No oil dipstick
Some cars, mostly found in luxury cars, don’t have an engine oil dipstick under the bonnet. Instead, you’re forced to rely on the computer readings displaying on the gauge cluster or somewhere in the settings, which can be quite hard to find for those less technically inclined. Furthermore, what happens when the oil level sensor breaks? How are you meant to examine the condition of your engine oil? You wouldn’t have to worry about these things with a good old fashioned dipstick, so why have manufacturers got rid of them?
Those are just some of the small annoyances found in modern cars, what features in your car annoy you?