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Embarrassing Car Traits

So you’ve bought your dream car and it is everything you hoped it to be. However, each car has their own quirks and some of them can see us cringing behind the wheel as other motorist pass by. We’ve put together a rogue’s gallery of the facets of your car that may need some T.L.C this winter.

Car exhaust: Some newer models of car add supplemental fuel to the exhaust stream of their cars to burn off carbon in order to clean their filters. Unfortunately, this thin, vapour-like white smoke is often mistaken for something more sinister.  Although this does not happen frequently (normally, it occurs on longer journeys), other motorists tend to give your car a wide birth, which can be quite embarrassing. Other forms of smoke, however, act as a signal that your car may need attention. It is essential that you get any form of smoke checked as it is normally a clear sign that something is wrong with your car and could pose a potential hazard to other motorists. 



Breaks: Are your break disks rubbing? Does it sound like a ship sounding its horn to dock every time your toes tentatively touch the breaks? Even the lorries and busses are quieter than your car when breaking. Yet another thing to add to the checklist for its next service.


The cold starter: This car puts on an Oscar-winning performance every time Britain gets a sprinkling of rain or a slight frost. Its specialty is the dramatic stall, which it repeats until you’ve revved the engine for a good five minutes. Not only are you now fearing traffic lights turning red, in case you have to perform a hill start, you’re sure that everyone assumes that you’re a learner driver or someone who has just passed their test.


Squeaky wiper blades: This overly common car vice is great at interrupting all of your conversations with passengers and ruining your favourite song on the radio. The annoying thing is, you only replaced the wiper blades last week and they’ve already given up on you.


Doors that refuse to let your passengers in or out: ‘Just give it a firm shove…yeah, erm…rock it a little bit…or kick it! Tell you what, I’ll come round and let your out, it has a bit of a knack to it.’  Cars such as these really make you feel like you’re driving a glorified watering can!


The misty car: Are you forever having to reach for that old rag / tea towel or drive with your windows wide open on a wintry day because heating your windscreens just doesn’t quite cut it? Does your wind-swept hair resemble a backing guitarist’s backcombed rock hairdo? We feel your pain.  


Non-matching panels: So an uninsured driver hit you, you didn’t get their details and can’t quite afford to match that section of your car to the rest of your car’s exterior. Great. This goes doubly for dents and scratches. Somehow you now feel like the world is judging your driving skills.

Borrowing your daughter’s car:  Borrowing your daughter’s ‘uber cute’, sparkly-pink Micra, decked out with a fluffy dice and furry steering wheel cover is enough to make the average person wish for the leopard seat covers to simply swallow them up.


Borrowing your son’s car: The Silver Fiesta you bought 6 months ago no longer resembles an actual car. It seems to be an enlarged Hot Wheels toy, with a booming exhaust and a radio that could deafen the entire occupancy of the neighbouring town. At least you can hide behind the tinted windows…




Having a lift in your Grandad’s car: This car is apparently a vintage model and ‘they don’t make them like this anymore!’ Well, there’s probably a good reason for that. The last we checked, there wasn’t a big call for old wooden-panelled three wheeled Reliant Robins or Ford LTD Country Squires.



Smart Cars when you are 6ft 6in plus:  Jeremy Clarkson demonstrated the difficulties tall people face when receiving a lift from anyone driving tiny cars such as the Smart Car, Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 107. 




Although some of the aforementioned embarrassing car traits are beyond your control; it is vital that if it is your own car, you perform regular checks to ensure that little eccentricities do not become major problems. Ben from Click4Reg noted, ‘Parents should also encourage their young adults to check their cars and make sure that they are winter-ready, as teenagers especially are sometimes prone to forgetting such vehicle checks’. For more guidelines on performance checks, the AA have put together a winter guide to aid you. Alternatively, you can book in for a winter check with your local mechanic. 

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