Home » These Are The Most Nightmarish Car Feature Subscriptions I Could Think Of

These Are The Most Nightmarish Car Feature Subscriptions I Could Think Of

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If there’s one thing that seems to be universally hated in the automotive community, it’s car features that get unlocked via subscription payments. Nobody seems to like these. BMW was an early adopter of this shit, attempting to charge subscription fees for things like seat heaters until they got shouted down. That doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned the idea, of course, they’re just trying it on different stuff now, like dashcams and drivers’ assistance systems and traffic camera alerts. [Ed Note: Technically, I should change they’ve and they’re to it has and its, but I’m letting it go because only actual human jerks would pull this nonsense.]

Other companies are interested, too; for example, Mercedes-Benz will let you pay to make your car a second faster going from 0-60, if you want. There’s too much potential money here for carmakers to ignore, so I think we’re going to have to deal with subscription crap for a while. That’s why I figured it’d be a good idea to prepare us all for the potential grim subscription-based future by exploring what could be the worst-case subscription situations.

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This isn’t going to be fun; in fact, if you’re of a delicate constitution or pregnant or higher or drunker than normal, or all of the above, then I would suggest just skipping this article – after, of course, carefully viewing each and every ad and clicking through and making a purchase of whatever product, service, or religious donation is advertised.

We’ll use this handy diagram of a 1997 Esquimax Nomadclam Estate DX with callouts to organize these subscription possibilities, so please refer to the numbered callouts and their associated subscriptions:

Carsubnightmare Chart!

  1. Bumper strut stiffener subscription (without it, bumpers slide in and out freely)
  2. Tire inflation indicator accuracy goes from +/- 50 psi to +/- 1 psi with subscription
  3. High beams available for $0.25 per 10 minute use
  4. Turn indicators available for $0.01/blink
  5. Subscription turns off valve that squirts red Kool-Aid from windshield washer nozzles
  6. Airbag actually inflates upon impact ($250/use)
  7. Monthly $4 subscription keeps seat moisteners off-line
  8. Seat belt tensioner won’t saw back and forth when anti-neck-chafing subscription is selected ($8/mo)
  9. Windows roll down for free; $0.25 to go back up (per use)
  10. Amber lights for turn signals instead of red ($2/month, otherwise lone bulb in red section does it all)
  11. Real-time speedometer at $8/month; otherwise speedo works on 10-minute delay
  12. Monthly $9 subscription turns of nonstop AM radio broadcast of Golden Earring’s Radar Love at top volume
  13. Annual mudflap subscription ($24) turns off extremely loud voice announcement bellowing “WARNING: MUD DETECTED” through car stereo every time mudflaps encounter mud or mud-like substances
  14. Subscriptions for cylinder activation; default setting is V-twin, can activate two more for a V4 ($25/mo), or V6 ($50/mo), or full V8 ($99/mo)
  15. Catalytic Converter Protection subscription will stop broadcasting when car is unattended to local ne’er-do-wells (taken from federal watchlists of ne’er-do-wells, urchins, and cutpurses)
  16. Trunk/cargo area has sliding blocking panel that you can pay to move back, exposing more cargo room, for $5/per every 10 inches
  17. $10 gets you burst of nitrous
  18. Anti-lock brakes paid for on-demand, $25 per use (use is maximum of 100 pulses)


This is just a taste of the nightmarish world that can come from unbridled car feature subscriptions. It is only with constant vigilance that we can ensure such a world never comes to be.

Solidarity, friends.


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22 days ago

> Turn indicators available for $0.01/blink

For BMW: Turn indicator disable, $0.02/minute

Wagen Volk
Wagen Volk
23 days ago

Pay for functioning rear view mirror (LED screen) 0.5$ per drive. Additional 0. 5$ for unfolding outside mirrors driver side/ passenger side.
Custumize the sound of the park distance sensor.
Thank you Jason and all. I had a good laugh for dinner 🙂

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
23 days ago

Parking garage model for seat belts. Take a ticket when buckling in. Pay with ticket to unbuckle based on the time. Lost ticket pays the full day rate.

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