If you’re like most people, you probably just get in your car and drive from your house to work and to various other places. Many people don’t think too hard about how their car works or if there are any features they’re missing out on. While it’s always a good idea to know important things about your car’s maintenance, for example, there are also some interesting and useful features you might not realize about your car.
Gas Tank Locator
Have you ever driven up to the gas pump and realized your tank was on the other side? This happens to many people when they drive rental cars or cars they’re not familiar with. You might even end up doing it in your own car if you’ve just recently bought it. However, many cars have a little feature that can help you out in this situation. Take a look at the gas gauge in your dash. There should be a little arrow pointing either right or left, which tells you where the gas tank is on that vehicle.
Many new cars come with indicators that show the temperature on the outside. This temperature gauge yields another interesting feature. If you’re driving in the winter, take a look at your instrument cluster and see if there’s a snowflake icon. This is an alert that tells you that the temperature is low enough to freeze the road surface.
Most modern vehicles have a button that shows a car superimposed over two skid lines. This is your stability or traction control system. You might see this same symbol occasionally light up in your dash. It means that your stability control is being activated to aid in traction for your car. The button does allow you to turn it off, but you should only do so if you’re stuck in the snow. All vehicles since 2011 in the United States are required to have traction control.
Cabin Air Filter
You might be aware that you have an engine air filter in your car, but did you also know that you have a cabin air filter? Cabin filters should be changed regularly and replaced with a quality filter with activated charcoal. They protect you from pollution, dust and pollen coming in from the outside. They can also keep contaminants from polluting the heating and air conditioning systems.
Car manufacturers like to build various storage compartments and cubbies into their cars to make them more useful. You might not even be aware of some of these little storage areas. For example, the Dodge Journey hides a little compartment beneath the passenger seat and removable bins under the front row floor. The Land Rover Discovery has a hidden storage area behind the climate control panel. Look through your vehicle’s interior or owner’s manual to find the storage areas you might not know about.
Have you ever noticed that your vehicle has little plastic hooks near the ceiling? It’s most common on SUVs, crossovers and minivans. These are actually meant for hanging shopping bags. If you’ve ever worried about your eggs or bottles tipping over while sitting on the seat, you can instead hang the bags from these hooks and not worry. It’s especially useful if you use sturdy canvas shopping bags.
Along with hooks near the ceiling, you might also notice the handles. Maybe you’ve heard the jokes about grabbing it when someone is driving the car too fast around a curve, but that’s not actually what it’s for. Instead, these handles are for people who have difficulty getting in or out of a vehicle. Holding onto the handle allows them to position themselves easier to get in or out without losing their balance.
Have you ever looked at the psi on your tires while adding air? Not everyone knows that the tire pressure listed on the tires is not what you should be following. This is simply the max psi for that tire. Instead, check your door jamb for the proper cold psi for your vehicle.
There may be even more interesting things about your specific vehicle that you don’t realize. There’s a reason why owner’s manuals are so thick. Take a look at yours today!