Your favorite uncommon gadgets on your car

I came home the other night, parked my new Saturn wagon, took some grocieries out of the back, and went inside the house. About ten minutes later, the alarm went off to let me know that I hadn’t closed the rear door properly.

Not a really big deal, but I hadn’t known about it.

Damn. That is the truck for which I lust, but until I find a box o’money with about 37K$, I’ll stay with my aging E150.

Neatest option was the pullout armrest in my '72 Plymouth. The front seat was a split highback, and the armrest provided a perfect spot for my road travelling cat, who loved his personal booster seat.

VW Beetle: Red and blue instrument lights.

Toyota Matrix: Fold-flat rear and passenger seats, tie down, cigarette lighter plug in armrest box to plug cell phone in, 120vAC dashboard. Thousands of other cool things.


Originally posted by Fuji Kitakyusho
E350, 7.3 L diesel, with 800 watt stereo, alternating high-beam flasher (wig-wag), CB, block heater/battery warmer, security system, a custom tail deck in place of the rear bumper, an inverter to run AC appliances, and I can take the key out of the ignition while it is running, and leave/lock the vehicle.

Hmmmm sounds awfully like the ambulance I drive around from time to time. If that is what you’re talking about don’t forget about the external speakers (sirens), strobe lights or onboard GPS.

2000 Pontiac Bonneville has an air cord for the tires that is mounted next to the trunk latch. It’s so go this button with the letters “E/M” on it. It switches all measurements from English to Metric. My friends didn’t nkow this so i’d tell them i was gonna hit the Extreme Machine button and blast us over 100mph in under a second. So i’d slam the gas, the car downshifted and accelerated almost “instantaneously” from 60mph to over 100 [kph]. They eventually found out that i was lying when they noticed we weren’t really going 140 when the speedometer topped out.

My econoline has a gas gauge that tells me how full the tank is.


Hit enter too soon
And this gas gauge can tell how much money is in the checking account.

If it is on F, we have money in the bank. If it is on E, we don’t.

I have an 8" yachting compass mounted on the console in my Prelude. My brother gave it to me and I didn’t have a sailboat to mount it to.

That and the three fighter aircraft style rear-view mirrors across the top of the windshield.

I’ve a '93 T-bird SC and I’ve got to say that my favorite things on it are:

the 5-speed transmission (my other SC is an auto)
the supercharger
the RioCar mp3 player (in-dash, Linux-based, uses up to two 2.5 inch hard drives (currently has just one , 18 GB), hackable kernel).

Considering the amazing peice of shit my car is, yes. I wish I had a working gas gauge. All the other fancy stuff mentioned in this thread yet again makes me wish I had other luxuries such as a tape deck, windsheild wipers, a trunk that latched shut and heat.

Years ago, I had a 1987 Mazda 626 LX in which the center vents would oscillate back and forth at the flick of a switch. Not only did it have a tremendous gadget factor, but it actually worked very well to disperse the heat/cold without having to constantly jerk around with the temp setting to find the magic spot.

It also had shocks that were electronically adjustable for stiffness which was really neat… until it came time to replace the little darlings at over $300 a corner. I learned through this of the legendary Mazda repair expense for any of their non-truck vehicles.

I’ve got push button starter on my '88 Ford Bronco, but I wouldn’t have it if could figure out how to replace the damn rod that runs between the key lock cylinder and the ignition switch. It got bent somehow and won’t push the switch into the start position.

A couple of years ago, I got a new work truck in the middle of the summer. It had a digital compass above the rearview mirror. Not too fancy - N, S, NE, etc… but it had a button you could push to switch to degrees. I’d try that every once in a while, but that readout must have been broken - no matter what direction I was going, it always told me I was heading east (around 90 degrees). It must have taken me two weeks to figure out that that was the outside temperature.

Nope! Mine has that too.

And when it gets dark, there is a knob that, when turned, lights up the whole area in front of the car!!! Wow!!!

The party tailgate makes a GREAT diaper changing table.
There were bunches and bunches of other neat stuff I noticed when it was new…now I can’t remember them. Oh, and it’s got a stubby little antenna, and a purple black and white flame ball shift knob that lights up at night. (No, not standard.)

98 Vette:
It’s got a HUD too. (What, they weren’t available until 99? Well, tell that to my wife, SHE retrofitted it! I LURVE my gearhead wife!) And the biggest marriage saving feature ever: Driver memory. Based on the keyfob that unlocks the doors, it sets the seat, heater, radio, and mirrors for the driver.

This car is too smart. If the motor is running, and you turn the key, no hellacious grincing noise is made.

It’s got a fly-by wire throttle. The upshot of this is: the cruise control doesn’t need a seperate cable and, erm, puller. The traction control doesn’t need a seperate cable and puller, and when they added Active Handling in 2000, it was a software change plus a lateral G sensor and a steeringwheel position sensor…that’s it.

Easter Egg: Put the key in the driver’s side door. Turn once, it unlocks the driver’s door. Turn twice, it unlocks the passenger door, turn thrice, it pops the trunk.

89 Vette Hobbycar: It leaves these Big Black Marks on the Pavement at will. And they can be just about as long as you want em to be.

I’ve got a thingydo that switches me automatically from gas engine to electric! :smiley: Toyota Prius.

Aside from the hybrid engine, which seems to be getting less and less uncommon these days, it’s got a screen that shows me my current MPG and the MPG in five-minute intervals for the past 30 minutes. It has changed a lot of my driving habits.

Also, when I get in the car, or after I’ve gotten out, the dome light stays on for a couple seconds, and then fades to off. However, if I’m out of the car and lock it with the remote, it will shut that light off immediately. It doesn’t sound all that impressive, I guess, but it’s saved me from killing my battery by accidently leaving it on overnight.