Home » What’s The Weirdest Thing About Your Car?

What’s The Weirdest Thing About Your Car?

Autopian Asks Weirdest Thing
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Here at The Autopian, we like weird. From Jason’s Changli to Mercedes’ flock of smarts, we take the peculiar under our wing, and are proud to do so. However, a car doesn’t have to be innately strange to have weird things about it. Today we’re asking you about the weirdness within your car, whether overt or covert.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know that I have two cars. One is the stereotypical chariot of entry-level city professionals circa 2006, and one is the stereotypical chariot of thin Bay Street-based squash players circa 1999. We certainly aren’t talking Citroen SM levels of weird here, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t strange features on them. Unusually, both of my cars speak German through their climate control panels.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

On my 325i, there’s a button marked “REST” for restwärme inside the right HVAC temperature knob. Press it, and hot coolant will be circulated through the heater core while the vehicle is parked. I’ve actually written a whole article on how this system works, so if you’re looking for some longer reading during your lunch break, I highly suggest checking it out.

Boxster Manuell

On my Boxster, if for some reason I ever decide the set-and-forget approach of automatic climate control isn’t right for the situation, I can take over manual control of the HVAC system. If I do that, the word manuell lights up in the climate control display, indicating manual climate control operation in an exceptionally German manner. Of course, the photo above isn’t of my Boxster since it’s in storage, but you get the idea.

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So, what’s the weirdest thing about your car? It could be an unusual feature, strange labeling, or perhaps you drive a Matra Murena, in which case, can we be friends? Celebrate your car’s weirdness in the comments below, and we’ll be sure to celebrate along with you.

(Photo credits: Thomas Hundal, Cars & Bids/YouTube)

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Lava5.0
Lava5.0
5 months ago

Here’s a “fun” one I learned about in my 2012 Ford Mustang GT. Heres the situation: your windows are down and you just parked your car. If you hit the windows “auto-up,” turn off the car, pull the key and open the door before the windows hit the halfway point, they roll back down.

My wife (then girlfriend) has yet to forgive me for the stolen purse and we have not been back to six flags great adventure since.

MushroomGlue
MushroomGlue
5 months ago

I drive a Citroen BX GTi, so, there’s a fair size list:

  • There’s just one windscreen wiper, with the windscreen washers mounted to it like a bus.
  • There’s also a rear windscreen wiper; nothing weird there, except for the fact that the spoiler gets in the way of being able to fold up the wiper, so you have to unbolt the whole arm to change the wiper blade.
  • The passenger door mirror is powered, but the driver’s door mirror’s manual; this was the case from the factory, and is seemingly common to quite a few Citroens (my dad’s old Xsara was the same); kind of makes sense, as you can reach the driver’s door mirror quite easily, but still a bit weird.
  • The handbrake acts on the front wheels; this is because the brakes aren’t power assisted, they’re just powered; if the hydraulics give up, you have no brakes, so you’re kind of reliant on the handbrake to bring it to a controlled stop.
  • Of course, there’s the Hydropneumatics suspension too, which is compounded in weirdness by this being the sporty version, which gets stiffer anti-roll bars and spheres.
  • The GTi’s have an extra 14l auxiliary fuel tank, which has no sender, and empties before the main tank, so “full” on the fuel gauge actually means 78% full

There’s plenty of other stuff too, but this is just what I can think of off-hand

Jatco Xtronic CVT
Jatco Xtronic CVT
5 months ago

My Altima’s turn signals flash on for a little longer than they do off, sorta like a reverse heartbeat of sorts. Every other Altima of that generation I’ve found does not do that, and I’ve even replaced the PCM.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
5 months ago

The ’12 XC70 T6 is fairly normal—most of the weird stuff about it is just being a Volvo, so sideways I6, waterfall console, and built-in rear booster seats. The active-bending feature for the headlights is actually quite nice and I didn’t realize they had it as early as 2012. I guess the Polestar tune is also a bit odd, but the car was a former press vehicle for the tune at launch so it’s one of a couple hundred well-used fleet cars running around the country.

Other fun Volvo stuff include the button to drop rear headrests and piss off your rear passengers, the easily removable headlamp housings for bulb replacements, and 30-20-30 folding rear seat. Basically all the stuff that makes it generally so effortless in day-to-day living, even if you go to IKEA. The cladding is ugly, but that means I park wherever I want and never wash it. It does feel a bit Ford in feeling a little watered down compared to past Volvos, but unfortunately I think that’s also what makes it so modern (ironically).

KC Murphy
KC Murphy
5 months ago

I had a 1987 Honda Prelude Si. I remember that had quite a few quirky features…

  • Defroster vents going along the whole window sill to defog the side windows
  • HVAC fan was a rheostat instead of hi-med-low-off
  • Clamshell hood (which must have made the car a real joy to work on)
  • Equalizer under the stereo console with meter lights which looked like Knight Rider’s talking dashboard.

There were probably other oddities but these are what stick in my mind 30 years later.

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
5 months ago

My mum’s 2009 Volkswagen Polo has this irritating feature.

In Europe, the drivers have to peruse the parking lamps for left side or right side when parked on the darkened streets. Instead of using the dial knob for the parking lamp system (denoted as P with arrows pointing to the left and right), Volkswagen decided to augment the turn signal and high beam stalk as a “dial knob” when the ignition lock is in the off position and key removed.

Several times have I used the turn signal indicators as to claim the empty parking space at the car park before steering into it. Then, I forgot to move the stalk back into the neutral position before disembarking the car. It wasn’t until I return to the car and see one side lighting up. Geesh!

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
5 months ago
Reply to  EricTheViking

I know others like MB usually use the headlight knob; the signal stalk makes sense to me for the purpose but I can see how in that situation it would happen unwanted. I actually mentioned the same feature in an earlier comment for the Astra when GM brought it over as a Saturn. They also used the signal stalk, but Opel/Vauxhall was using stalks that bounced back to neutral after turning it on, so in that case it would cancel when you turned the car off. That’s my only firsthand experience using the feature since we don’t usually get different lighting tricks in the U.S.

Myk El
Myk El
5 months ago

I don’t know how weird you’d consider it, but the trunk of my Pontiac GTO has the various mounting points for the license plates for the various markets it was sold in:

Not mine, but hope this link works: Linky

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
5 months ago

Same chassis as Thomas and one of the main things I’ve loved about my BMWs. Extremely rugged roof rack hard points under the flip up lids in the roof. It allows me to haul much more than most sport sedans, kept me from considering Toyobarus, and the biggest thing I miss having gone electric. (Many Mazda 3s also have this feature, and the same Yakima rack towers fit!)

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
5 months ago

1997 Grand Cherokee: between the vehicle information center (lower mid dash) and the glove box, there’s a set of tiny horizontal slots. I’m guessing it’s for some kind of ventilation – a similar feature is present on the first gen ZJ – but I’ve never been sure of its exact purpose. If I’m remembering correctly, the manual has an arrow vaguely pointing to the area with a label that says “knee bolster.”

1990 Suburban: the hazard lights were controlled by a weird little pull-out thing on the side of the steering column. I think there was a little spring that would snap the button back against the column…Dad took advantage of this ‘feature’ to hold a keyring with small religious medallions and other keepsakes from his father.

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
5 months ago
Reply to  PlatinumZJ

I think those vents were for the air to return to the system to adjust cabin temp.

Erik McCullough
Erik McCullough
5 months ago
Reply to  PlatinumZJ

Almost every 70s and 80s GM car had that same approach to hazard lights. Probably stopped somewhere around 95 or so.

Hangover Grenade
Hangover Grenade
5 months ago

I daily a BMW e36. Boring car overall. But the rear seatbelts come from the center of the car and the buckles are at the outside. Never seen that before.

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