This Is the One Thing You Hate About Your Current Cars
Love is not always enough. That’s something that BMW owners like myself, Andy Kalmowitz and Collin Woodard know all too well — as well as others of us at Jalopnik who’ve had the (mis)fortune to be in a love-hate relationship with our old Bimmers.
The Bavarian cars have a way of luring us in with their looks and performance, but their defects often end up bringing us to our knees. Or find us sweating the roof seals of our roadsters at the car wash. Will I make it home fully dry this time? Or will this barrage of soap and water be a cheap way to diagnose the condition of my power top?
Of course, our frustrations don’t have to be all about major components like a roof. The most annoying problems can end up being the little things, too. The things we only discover over the course of a long, frustrating — but nonetheless, fulfilling — relationship.We asked readers to tell us about the one thing(s) they hate about their current cars and these were their answers:
Honda S2000 Cupholders and Those of German Cars
Re: German cup holders. No, they don’t believe you should be drinking while you’re cruising down the autobahn at over 100 mph. Most BMW cupholders are easy to break, especially if they are of the pop-out variety.
Submitted by: Jumbojeepman
I may take “easy to break” over “you can either shift OR use the cupholder”. (Honda s2000)
Submitted by: jshinbot
Tesla Model 3 Misinformed Public Q&A
The thing I hate about my Tesla Model 3 is the way the misinformed public acts around it. If I had a quarter for every time someone approached me to ask “how many hours does it takes to charge?”, or that “all electricity is provided by coal which is worse for the environment than gasoline”, or “do you sleep while driving on autopilot?”, or the myriad of other dumb things people heard on the internet. Was passing through New Jersey one time and I had to drive into a Corvette-only car show because they had taken over the part of the parking lot with the Superchargers, and had some of them struck up conversations with me that started out pleasant but devolved into how their veins run thick with oil.
Submitted by: StalePhish
Toyota Land Cruiser
I hate the fuel economy.
Nothing like 4 cylinder speed with supercharged V8 thirst. Slow I can live with, but 12-13 mpg sucks. Thankfully I’m only putting maybe 3500-5000 miles a year on it these days with WFH.
Submitted by: HammerheadFistpunch
Audi A4 Gremlins Galore
2017 Audi A4: it’s constantly doing things. Mysterious things that I didn’t ask it to do. Ignition and everything else is turned off, but it’s busy with something. Not things that interfere with my using it, nothing indicating something’s wrong, but just...things. I’m sure these things have a purpose; I just don’t know what it is.
Parked overnight, go out and pop the hood: click-clack (like a relay or something), then beeeee (like a soft tone), sometimes there’s a whirrrr thrown in (kinda like a fan, but a very tiny one). Arrive home and park, shut everything down, get out, close the door, wait a second: reeeeee (like a servo moving something). It just never stops.
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t want my car to do anything until I tell it to.
ETA - re: German cupholder hate. Mine are awesome - good size, good placement, grippy rubber bottom, and those little spring-loaded claws that adjust to cup size to keep everything snug.
Submitted by: Muqaddimah (call me Muck)
Volkswagen GTI Steering Wheel and Seat Position
I’d say on my 2016 GTI, it’s that I can’t get the stearing wheel about 1" closer to me. I like the wheel a bit closer, so I can 3-9 the wheel and rotate around all the way, like I do on the track/autocross course, hands always on the wheel. This puts my legs just a bit too close to the pedals with a bit more knee-bend than I’d like
And, bonus item - changing the rear brakes requires a special tool for the caliper piston (ok, fine), but also a special tool for the caliper carrier bolts (ok fine), BUT, those bolts are only accessible within about a 10-degree arc swing from straight down. Which means at 66-ft-pounds + 90-degrees, you need the car on a lift to get a long enough lever to swing them. Or as I once did, jack stands at an insanely unsafe extension and an improvised breaker bar from cut-to-length 4" PVC (2" not rigid enough to turn the wrench), which was so sketchy I’ll never do it again. So now anytime I need the rotors changed and do not want to crush myself, I have to shamefully have a shop do it.
Submitted by: BirdLaw900
Cloth Seats in Modern Cars
I’m a rotund man with an affection for Eggs for breakfast and Taco Trucks for lunch. I’ve had the car for over 10 years.
When I sit down in it in the morning, I about pass out from the aroma released from the bottom seat cushion.
And before you ask, I tried using a rug cleaner on my previous vehicle with that issue. Learned my lesson. It smelled good for about a week, but those rug cleaners never get all the water out of the cushion. Place smelt like the everglades plus egg farts a week later and it got worse.
Next time, I’m getting leather seats. But based on driving my wife’s car, I might need hearing protection if I drive a car with leather seats.
Submitted by: hoser68
Automatic Transmissions in Modern Cars
The third pedal is missing
Submitted by: mrmcderm
Porsche 968 Parts Availability, Service Intervals
The best thing about it is also the most intimidating thing about it. The Porsche 968 was only built from 1992 - 1995, making them fairly rare and thus difficult to source parts and reliable service for. Working for a Porsche dealership, and being well-connected with the enthusiast community behind transaxle Porsches are a huge help and pretty much the only way to enjoy this car.
It’s not even an “unreliable” car per se, but the intervals on certain items are much shorter. Porsche recommends a new timing belt every 60,000 miles, but owners say to do it ever 30k just to be safe. It needs a quart of 10W-50 about every 1,000 miles, and that’s pretty much by design as the fuel-filler has a little rubber flap over the cap that says “Oil Ok?”
Getting an “attainable exotic” was a bucket-list item for me, but even as one of the more livable and dependable cars in its class, it requires a particular degree of care.
Submitted by: Aldairion
Subaru Crosstrek Lack of Storage
A distinct lack of storage in the front compartment. There’s a centre armrest/console that’s pretty small and an open space that’s also pretty small under the centre stack.
A little more thought from Subaru and our ‘22 Crosstrek would’ve been perfect.
Submitted by: JohnnyWasASchoolBoy
Lexus GX460 HVAC Touchscreen Controls
Temperature and fan settings on my 2018 GX460.
No knobs, everything has to go through an extremely unresponsive touch screen, and the only physical button is for temperature, which you have to hit 15 times if you want to turn the heat up from 67 to 82 - on each side.
It has to be the slowest, most aggravating interface/system in the history of touch screens.
Submitted by: Honesty
Volvo S90 Bad Infotainment, Touchscreens
2017 Volvo S90: The main screen/controls.
Somewhere is Sweden, an engineer decided that most of the systems on their refreshed luxury car will be routed through one of the most unintuitive and slow automotive computers known to mankind.
There is a delay on every press, noticeable enough that you will doubt yourself for maybe even pressing it. You did, though. You did.
I had assumed that the newer models, ugly as their chrome-lipped fish face looks to me, would at least have faster processing power, but the local dealer tells me Volvo saw no reason to change it, so the legend continues.
Runner Up: The map and system updates that are too large to download through the car’s connection itself, requiring a trip to the dealer...who, naturally, charges $100+ for it if you’re out of warranty. Good times.
You’ll likely note what I did seeing that price; that most phones have GPS and Bluetooth, so I have a place they can put their “updates,” and it’s not the SD slot on the dash.
Bonus: The updates I have had installed over the years didn’t make the system any faster, so who knows what’s going on in there.
That said, and despite my tone here, the S90 has been a comfortable travel companion for my long commute, but that just makes it’s flaws all the more noticeable, I suppose.
Submitted by: Burn(Outs)ForMe
Honda Fit A-Pillar
The A-pillar. I can lose a semi behind it. It’s not unique to my car, but mine is a 2015 Fit EX I otherwise love.
Submitted by: XL500
Honda CB500X No Traction
My current vehicle gets extremely butt-pucker when taking corners in town during or after a rain or even morning dew. If you touch a manhole cover or road paint with any kind of speed there’s a good chance you’ll just crash.
My vehicle is a Honda CB500X, but since it’s my only vehicle I think it still counts.
Submitted by: Weeks
Mazda Mazda2 Throttle Map
Mazda2 - in the time since buying it, I think I’ve completely bypassed middle-aged and went straight to being an old, but it’s too noisy and frantic. I have to do at least 3500rpm all the time - it cruises about there on the highway anyhow, and as there’s virtually no power below that (not that there’s much power above 3500rpm either, but it’s at least enough), there’s a lot of downshifting. It’s buzzy, it’s loud, and it’s not exactly in pursuit of anything*. It’s enough to push me into the soft, welcoming arms of a giant Buick.
*it does feel a lot more lively than most new cars
Submitted by: Maymar
Mercedes E-Class AMG Locks
ESL (electronic steering lock)/EIS(electronic immobilizer system)- My ‘99 E55 AMG uses this overly complex, failure-prone and shockingly expensive to repair lock system and it drives me crazy.
Mercedes leaped into the future by dumping their robust lock and key system and replaced it with a computer-controlled nightmare. When it fails Mercedes wants owners to buy new keys, ESL and EIS. With installation and programming you’re looking at around $4,000.00- more than many a millennial Benz is worth. Some keys on later R129s are NLA from MB so you’re SOL if you lose your key
Submitted by: Alan Schwarz
Mini JCW GP Missing Rear Wiper
My 2013 Mini GP doesn’t have a rear wiper (neither does the 2006 or 2021 GPs). Deleting the rear wiper on a hatchback under the guise of saving weight is ridiculous!
Submitted by: EMF15Q
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