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Old 10-21-2009, 05:09 PM   #1
sigma_1966
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10 dumbest optionss. Good article

http://www.wheels.ca/reviews/article/782517

enzie: 10 dumbest options for your car


A remote car starter is a no-no, no matter how cold it gets.

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Looking to dress up your new car? Wheels' chief auto correspondent picks the add-ons he finds to be the biggest waste of money

Oct 21, 2009

Comments on this story (125)
JIM KENZIE
SPECIAL TO THE STAR

There's big money to be made on the options you order when you buy your new car: The mark-up on these is usually many times higher than on the car itself.

In many cases, crap you don't (or shouldn't) want is "bundled" (as they say in the industry) with crap you do want.

For example, if you want the ultra-desirable Electronic Stability Control system, which can help save your life, you might only be able to get it in a package that includes idiocies like fog lights.

Carmakers claim these are the features most customers demand, so they package them together to reduce ordering and manufacturing complexity.

My task here then is to try and reduce the demand for the stupid stuff.

There are also dealer-installed accessories or services, either factory-designed and approved, or aftermarket.

You, the customer, have complete control over these. Exercise that control wisely. Some are useful; most are stupid.

Here are the worst, in both categories, not necessarily in order:

1. Remote car starters

This is absolutely the worst thing you can do to your car.

Idling the cold engine, especially when the weather is also cold, can allow unburned gasoline to wash oil off your cylinder walls, which can damage the engine.

Not to mention the waste of gasoline, and the increased pollution this practice causes.

Your car too cold in the morning? Poor baby. Buy a pair of driving gloves.

A remote starter? Don't even think about it.

2. Fog lights

Fog lights won't harm your car, they're just stupid.

First, they don't work in fog. I live in an area where there's fog all the time. I have never driven behind a set of fog lights that did any good whatsoever.

All they ever seem to do when fitted to other cars is point right into my rear-view mirror.

BMWs and Mustangs seem to be the worst offenders, although SUVs run right up (er, down) there too.

A friend of mine used to teach at the BMW Advanced Driving School at the mid-Ohio race track. The chief instructor started each class with, "Ladies and gentlemen: the first thing we will do is turn on our headlights. The second thing we will do is turn off our fog lights."

Good advice.

He also said that the best use for a 12-gauge over-under shotgun was from 10 metres – you can take out fog lights in a heartbeat.

Now, THAT'S a good idea.

3. Sunroofs

The sunroof has been called the most-ordered, least-used option in the industry.

I hate them.

Despite the presence of air deflectors at the front of most of them, they often cause ear-rattling buffeting and turbulence inside the car.

The disturbance to the car's aerodynamics doesn't help fuel consumption either – you're actually better off with the air-conditioning running.

They reduce headroom, and add weight right where you don't want it – high in the car, which raises its centre of gravity to the detriment of handling.

The added complexity often requires repairs which are difficult and expensive to do.

Many of them leak; they almost all rattle.

Even when sunroofs are closed, reflections and random beams of sunlight can obscure the instrument panel.

Most sunroofs do have a screen to eliminate most of this, but really – what's the point?

Want open air? Buy a convertible.

4. Leather upholstery

Too hot in summer; too cold in winter.

Too slippery all the time.

It's hugely expensive to repair when it (inevitably) deteriorates.

Somehow, leather has been associated with luxury in cars. What a stupid idea.

A nice woven fabric upholstery is vastly better in every respect.

Treat it with Scotchgard and it will stay clean too.

Leave the cow skin on the cow.

5. Rear view mirror fashions

Air fresheners, baby shoes, St. Christopher medals, prayer beads, parking passes – anything, really – hanging from the rear view mirror.

Anything that potentially obscures your vision to the front of the car is a really stupid idea.

The worst of the worst? A CD.

A CD? Hanging from the rear-view mirror? Who came up with this stroke of genius? A dangling CD doesn't only affect your vision, but that of everyone around you when the sun reflects off it.

I mean, come on.

6. Transponder ignitions

A slot for the key fob and a separate starter button?

What a stupid idea.

I'm forever losing the damn key fob, because you don't have to physically remove it from the car to shut the vehicle off, hence you lose track of where the fob is.

Maybe it's in your brief case; maybe it's in your pants pocket; maybe it's fallen down beside the seat.

Maybe it's in your purse. Maybe it's in your partner's purse, and your partner has just headed into town for the day.

My dad's 1949 Ford had a separate ignition key slot and starter button.

By the time he got his 1954 Meteor, they had modernized it to integrate the key slot with the starter.

What a concept!

Stick the key in. Turn it one click to switch on the accessories. Another click for the ignition. Turn it a bit farther against a spring load and it activates the starter.

If someone came up with that today they'd award a Nobel Prize.

They say the most expensive real estate in the world is the dashboard of a modern car, because so many systems are competing for this space: airbags, air conditioning, sound system, satellite navigation system, instrument panel.

Why take up two spots on this critical location when you can do it all in one?

7. Paint protection

Your new car is painted with the best technology the world has ever seen.

Do you really think some kid with a spray can in a dealer's service bay is going to do better than that?

If you do, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd like to talk to you about.

8. Undercoating

Again, your car's body was very likely dipped in an electrostatic bath, allowing rustproofing coating to seep into ever nook and cranny, then painted several times over and baked in an oven to keep the rusties away.

That same kid in the dealer's service bay with another spray can isn't going to add anything at all, except another line item on the car's invoice.

I might allow that yearly spraying of the underside of your vehicle with oil might do some good.

9. Rear deck spoilers

Do you really drive fast enough in this OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino universe that your car needs the extra downforce rear deck spoilers are supposed to create?

The rest of the time, you're just creating added drag, which is increasing fuel consumption.

The spoilers I really love are the aftermarket units, probably home-installed, which are angled so that in the unlikely event of the car going fast enough for it to have any effect, it would create lift at the back, not downforce.

That is not what you want.

A similar thumb-of-the-nose to "go-faster" stripes – often checkerboard patterns on the rocker panels.

And don't get me started on flames on the fenders, okay?

10. Steering wheel covers

Don't see these very much any more, and praise be for that.

These are things you either lace onto the steering wheel rim, or they are held on by elastic.

The objective, presumably, is to make the wheel more comfortable in your hands, especially (I would guess) to make it feel warmer in winter.

So, what happens when the lacing comes loose or the elastic stretches with age, as will inevitably happen, and you have to make an emergency correction on the steering?

Exactly.

The wheel cover slips or comes off altogether, and off the road you go.

Again, if you have a problem with the wheel rim, you can sometimes get a replacement wheel rim, although that's harder to do in these days of airbags in the steering wheel hub.

Or, as noted at the very top of this list, get a nice pair of driving gloves.

TORONTO STAR
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:48 PM   #2
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This guy is just ranting a little too much. Im surprised he didnt rant for using rubber tires, and having a radio
Some of what this person says is good, but majority is just like a rant.
Is this the same Kenzie from kenzies Korner (Motoring 2009)?
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:47 PM   #3
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Hes not a varry happy person. To bad for him.
I love my auto starter. Just put one in my truck. Had them in last 2 vehicles.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
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I disagree with most of his points.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigma_1966 View Post
http://www.wheels.ca/reviews/article/782517

enzie: 10 dumbest options for your car



1. Remote car starters

This is absolutely the worst thing you can do to your car.

Hell no, this is like one of the best things ever. is perfect in the winter time when ur car is FROZEN shut and the only way to get in is to heat ur car from the inside.

2. Fog lights

Fog lights won't harm your car, they're just stupid.

LMAO worst excuse i have ever heard. its not the fog light houseing thats the problem but the bulbs put inside them. toss a 3000k hid bulb kit in your fog lights and u will see through anything

3. Sunroofs

The sunroof has been called the most-ordered, least-used option in the industry.

I hate them.

just cause u cant afford one doesnt mean to hate em. i love my sunroof and use it all the time


4. Leather upholstery

Too hot in summer; too cold in winter.

again its cause u cant afford it. my car has cloth and i love it. but compared to my bros car with leather its soo much more comfy+ the smell of leather is full of win


5. Rear view mirror fashions

Air fresheners, baby shoes, St. Christopher medals, prayer beads, parking passes – anything, really – hanging from the rear view mirror.

agreed with everything, but the prayer beads. without those in my car i would be dead long time ago. keeping jesus with me is something i cant go without

6. Transponder ignitions

A slot for the key fob and a separate starter button?

remeber the 649 lotto commercials yea "becuase u can"

7. Paint protection

Your new car is painted with the best technology the world has ever seen.

not true. some car manufacters use really thin paint from the factory and in return u must protect them or ur in trouble from rust


8. Undercoating

Again, your car's body was very likely dipped in an electrostatic bath, allowing rustproofing coating to seep into ever nook and cranny, then painted several times over and baked in an oven to keep the rusties away.

better safe than sorry


9. Rear deck spoilers

Do you really drive fast enough in this OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino universe that your car needs the extra downforce rear deck spoilers are supposed to create?

agreed, unless this huge wing is on a viper or vette, than its usefull

10. Steering wheel covers

agreed
responce in red
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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Man! Just reading that made me cranky. Since when are "rearview mirror fashions" a factory or dealer added accessory?
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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steering wheel covers save wear & tear, just like seat covers--cheaper than replacing OEM parts.

I agree with the CD/strobe as a blinder..

spoliers are cosmetics for cheaper cars(that go under 200mph)..
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:32 PM   #8
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I was waiting for him to say Engines and Wheels were pointless aswell... He's ranting a little to much..
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:52 AM   #9
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1- Remote starters

He is dead wrong! The absolute worst thing you can do is start an engine at -15C and hammer the gas! The oil is too thick to properly lubricate pretty much the entire engine. Proper oil lubrication will not occur unit the oil is thin enough to properly circulate the engine. That can take as much as 15-20 mins! Some parts are splash lubricated, meaning they are lubricated from the oil spraying around and off of other parts, such as cylinder walls. If the oil is too thick these parts aren't getting any oil. From a safety point of view, is soon as you breath inside a cold car you will fog up the windows. You need WARM air to defrost the windows to be able to see. "...driving gloves..." what is, the 1920's? Seriously, most remotes starters are only a few hundred bucks anyway!

2 - Fog Lights.

Anytime me and my car are safer because the other drivers can see me better, I am for that! What is all his stupid talk about a 12 gauge for?

3 - Sunroof

Agree 100%

4 - Leather

Agree 100%

5 - Mirror hangy things

Agree 100%

6 - transponder ignitions

Agree 50% Push button is dumb, but overall small. It is a step towards the future and innovation, get use to it.

7 - Paint Protection.

Agree 95% Some people don't want to wax/polish their own but still want a nice finish.

8 - Undercoating

Agree 70% If plan on keeping your car for longer than the warranty period and drive in Canada you will need some extra protection.

9 - Spoilers

Some cars look just horribly ugly with nothing back there!

10 - Steering wheel covers.

Who cares? They are $12!
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:45 AM   #10
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WOW , this guy's plain jain camary must be a smoken eh LOL . Ever try to get coffee stains out of cloth seats . Relax a little with out some of this stuff we would all drive the same thing, gotta make it your own :-)
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:41 PM   #11
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I have to agree to disagree with this guy.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:39 PM   #12
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He's ranting about leather...But he got the 2LT? 2LT=Leather does it not? =Why didn't he just stick with 1LT? Cause surely the Boston Acoustic system is "pointless" or "foolish" or whatever the hell lol..
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
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He's ranting about leather...But he got the 2LT? 2LT=Leather does it not? =Why didn't he just stick with 1LT? Cause surely the Boston Acoustic system is "pointless" or "foolish" or whatever the hell lol..
I'm pretty sure the OP posted the article, but didn't write it or endorsed it!

Phil
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boreas View Post
I'm pretty sure the OP posted the article, but didn't write it or endorsed it!

Phil
It was written by Jim Kenzie.

I agree with most of what he said.

Remote starter
I don't know about the rest of you, but if its -15 out, I've got a heavy coat, maybe some gloves, a hat ... I can withstand a few minutes in a cold car. Besides, you still have to spend a few minutes with the snow brush/scraper most of the time its that cold. Perfect for getting the engine warmed up enough to not hurt itself. If you have the heat on full blast it takes the engine longer to warm itself up. Drive a car for a few minutes and it will heat up faster than if its just idling. I ususally wait until I see my coolant temps near normal before I crank up the heat.

I will disagree on the spoiler issue. In some cases it breaks up a boring back end (such as on the Grand Am) in other cases it actually improves the aerodynamics (such as 2010 Camaro). Though sometimes, it just looks stupid (Cobalt SS, or nearly all aftermarket spoilers)
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