What Are Your Automotive Pet Peeves?

It’s funny, most days I am of the mind that anything done to a car in advancement of the owner’s enjoyment of said car is cool in my book.  Then I see some vents glued onto the side of a Scion tC and realize that I’m very much wrong.  Here are a few of mine, post yours in the comments.

Incorrect Badging

Nothing bothers me more than pretending to be something you aren’t.  That applies to you as a human, and your car.  Please, don’t add ///M badging to your 335i, I don’t care how quick it is.  Note, I drive an M-Sport 328i with half a dozen “M” badges, but BMW put them on there.  And it’s not just BMWs; although their owners are pretty common offenders, at least in the DC area.  I’ve seen AMG badges poorly affixed to the trunk of a C250.  I’ve seen a few SVT and curled Cobra emblems stuck to V6 Mustangs.  It’s not impressing non-enthusiasts, they don’t know or care; and you’re actually making us in the enthusiast community angry.  Don’t.

If anything, debadge.  It’s very European.

M320d BMW
Behold, the M320d.

Redundant Labels

Have you ever seen a window banner that says “HONDA ACCORD” plastered across the top of…well…a Honda Accord?  Ever seen the word “RAM” carefully attached to the back window of a Ram truck?  Automakers already take the time to add badging, plus ideally their vehicles are already pretty identifiable.  Adding large font reiterations of the make and model you are driving is a waste of money and just kinda looks stupid.

Dodge Avenger
Proud to be an Avenger.

Stick-On Vents

If your aesthetic mod is inspired by a Buick Lucerne, you might have picked the wrong item to purchase and stick on your car.  While the first two were redundant or just plain wrong, this one is a bit more subjective.  Sure, I suppose that you could get some more visual enjoyment out of you car if you have some extra faux vents.  Of course, you would have to suspend reality for a moment and trick your brain into believing that they are actually functional for a moment.

And yes, my 2003 Mustang GT had a non-functional hood scoop, but it was appended onto the car during the production process by Ford.  Plus it wouldn’t come off if I left it sitting in the hot sun for too long or took it through a vigorous car wash.  I’m all for enhancing the results of the “look back” test.  If you look over your shoulder at your ride and don’t get that little fizzy feeling in your gut, you bought the wrong car.  I’m just not convinced some oval “vents” from Pep Boys are the answer.

fake vents
Please don’t do this.

So RFD-land, what are some of your automotive pet peeves?

  • Mikey

    I hate when your license plates states what kind of car you have like “911” or “WRX” – it’s like we know it’s right next to the badge.

    Large wings on Miatas – for some reason people who drive Miatas love large wings – I don’t get it.

    • William Byrd

      That’s another good one. And obviously extra badging like that Cadillac up there is another one beyond plates and stickers.. Which I am not sure whether or not it’s real, or just an amazing photoshop.

      Yeah, I came across several winged Miatas while google image searching “tacky car mods” and such.

  • Justin Hughes

    I may get some hate for this. I don’t like the stance thing. I mean, I can appreciate the fine balancing act it takes to get wheels and tires in such close proximity without rubbing. But, why? It doesn’t help from a performance standpoint. Plus 45 degrees of negative camber serves no useful purpose whatsoever. Now get off my lawn.

    I must admit to improper badging. But when I remove an ///M badge from an E21 320i and stick it on a Saturn SL2 instead, it’s obviously a joke. True story – I met Saturn’s S series brand manager at an enthusiast meet where we opened his eyes to the tuner and performance following the car had. He loved my ///M SL2 so much he took a picture of it. A few years later, Saturn introduced the Red Line performance variants of some of their cars, including a special badge. I sometimes wonder if I played a small part in making that happen.

    • William Byrd

      I don’t like stance either, but categorize it into more of a performance category that I just choose not to agree with.

      Well, that’s totally different. If it’s done tongue-in-cheek, that’s more of an obvious joke than an attempt to fool someone!

  • The huge windshield banners kill me. I saw a bright yellow Hummer this morning on 20+ inch wheels with a massive banner on what also appeared to be a tinted windshield.

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