Just as Popular Mechanics shared its version of the 10 Most Useless Car Technologies and asked for reader input, I’ll do the same with my top four unnecessary car accessories. My choices are based on my experience as a driver.
I’m sure you have your own choices for useless car accessories or technologies. Whether you agree with my choices or not, one thing’s for sure. Cars have changed a lot since the days of the Model T Ford, but not all change is good or necessary. Join in the fun and add your choices for useless or unnecessary car technology in the comments below.
Are Automatic Wipers Really Necessary?
If you have to ask the question, the answer is probably no. Intermittent wipers are bad enough, but automatic wipers don’t work well and are totally useless.
Automatic wipers only seem to work when it’s raining hard and who needs them at that point? Until the technology improves, car manufacturers can keep their automatic wipers out of my car.
In-Vehicle Infotainment – An Accident Waiting to Happen
Some car accessories are a good thing, but In-Vehicle Infotainment, also known as IVI, is over the top. Do we really need touch screens planted right under a driver’s nose? Who among us can ignore the fancy pictures and apps on these entertainment centers.
In my opinion, IVI is an accident waiting to happen for many drivers, including me. I feel this technology has no place in the front seat of any vehicle, but IVI technology is especially dangerous in vehicles driven by teens.
Heated Seats – Why Bother?
If you live in Alaska or Russia, heated seats make a lot of sense. I rode in a rental vehicle with heated seats recently. For the first few minutes, it was nice having a warm seat. You can accomplish the same thing by warming your car up for a few minutes before you start driving.
I think I’ll save my money for something better than heated seats. Buying a Starbucks White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha or Vanilla Latte every day for a year makes more sense to me than paying for heated seats in a car.
Remote Starter – Not for Me
Of the four car technologies on my list, the remote starter is the one item I might consider under certain circumstances. If I lived in middle of the country where no cars drove by my house after my car was running, maybe I’d be okay with a remote starter.
Although the idea of starting your vehicle without going outside is a relatively good idea, the reality of a remote starter in my car is that my car would be running unattended on a city street.
When it’s really cold, I may start my car and let it run for a few minutes before I leave for work. However, the car is locked and within my sight while it warms up. I suspect many people who use remote starters don’t even looking out the window as their cars run.
In my opinion, using a remote starter on a regular basis is a waste of gas. Walking outside to start your car on a cold winter morning also gives you a chance to check the temperature, see if there’s snow or ice on your sidewalk or driveway, pick up the morning paper and get a little exercise.
Okay, that’s my four useless car accessories. Although some technology is good, it’s not always useful, practical or necessary in cars. Feel free to add your own examples of car technology gone bad in the comments below.