Ten Car Controls That Desperately Need A Standard Location

While we like original ideas and unique design, these ten controls should be obvious in any car to keep us safe and happy.

10.) Gear lever


You would think putting a modern car in gear is a piece of cake. Apparently, not if you hop into a new Mercedes. CrzRsn:

I drove a CLA250 today. First I had to find the damn thing because it was hidden behind the steering wheel spoke. Then I kept hitting it when I wanted to turn the windshield wipers on and pushing the car into neutral.

Now a regular column shift like you get on a truck of Crown Vic would be fine, but the CLA's is small and looks like a regular control stalk.

Suggested By: CrzRsn, Photo Credit: Rob Marson

9.) Spare tires


It's very simple. In the trunk is fine, under it is not. Takuro Spirit:

ESPECIALLY Stow N Go Chrysler/Dodge vans. Not only do you have to remove the center console to access the forward mounted spare winch, but if you're pulled over on the right shoulder, and want to NOT have your ass in traffic, you have to pull the spare tire out across the ground with the hot ass exhaust pipe hanging in your way on that side of the van.


Suggested By:Arch Duke Maxyenko, can into, Photo Credit: robmba

8.) Lock/unlock button


Trying to keep people in or out of the car shouldn't be a scavenger hunt.

Pcleez knows the feeling:

I love that panic feeling when you're driving a rental / someone else's car, and you go to pick someone up. Most cars lock themselves now while moving so you need to unlock the door to let them in. The other day I pulled up in front of an office to pick up a friend. I had borrowed my Mom's 5 series for the day, she had just gotten it so it was my first extended drive with the car. In my jeep the lock/unlock is on the door. I'm off to the side but definitely on a street since there was no parking lot nearby. I can see cars coming up behind me. Meanwhile, I'm looking for the lock/unlock on the door. I can't find it anywhere, which leads to me giving the Team America signal for panic while my friend stares through the passenger window.

I forgot BMW's put that button on the dash.

Suggested By: Pcleez, Photo Credit: Helga's Lobster Stew

7.) Parking brake


This should be the only option.


But, but...bench seats!

Suggested By: Diesel, Photo Credit: Janitors

6.) Washers


Pull back the windshield wiper stalk, that should be it. Not a scavenger hunt for a small button, right Mercedes?

Suggested By:KomradKickass, Photo Credit: Lee J Haywood

5.) Hood release


Or bonnet, if you're British. But no matter what you call it, it should be easy enough to open it on any car. Takuro Spirit is looking at Suzuki:

WHY GOD WHY did Suzuki put it in the glove box on older Vitara SUVs?

Other cars it's on the kick panel, or part of the lower dash. Some Ford trucks had it under the steering column.

And don't get me started on when they used to be on the OUTSIDE of the car.....

Suggested By: Takuro Spirit - TRANS cAMry, Photo Credit: Sicnag

4.) Cruise control


You simply won't have time to look it up in the manual on the highway. Straightsix9904:

The last thing I need to be doing at 80 MPH is trying to figure out if I need to Push Buttons or move a stalk up or down or use the voice control.



On my Pontiac G8 it is at the top of the turn signal stalk. Push the end in to active, and twist for + and -. Which is kind of weird because on my G5, those same actions are for the headlights. My fiancée's Mitsubishi Eclipse has it on the bottom of the steering wheel at about 5 o'clock so you can do it with your right hand while driving at 5 and 7.


Suggested By: Straightsix9904, Photo Credit: Janitors

3.) Fuel cap release


Looking like an idiot at a gas station, are we? Green Pig:

I spent several minutes trying to locate the fuel filler release on a rented Chrysler 300 last week. Eventually found it inside the driver's door map pocket.


Rented another car last year (can't remember what model, just had to get the cheapest available per my company's travel restrictions at the time) where the filler release was on the driver's side kick-panel. It was almost invisible in the gloom under the instrument panel, lost among a sea of cheap, grey plastic

Bonus points for automakers all agreeing to put the fuel filler on the correct side (i.e. driver's side) of the vehicle.


Suggested By: Green Pig, Photo Credit: wbaiv

2.) High beams


Twist and shout! MrTheEngineer:

Some are pull to flash push to turn on, others are push to flash, pull to turn on, and some are pull only for both.

Just pick one and stick with it.

Suggested By: MrTheEngineer, Photo Credit: Islxndis

1.) Trunk release


Marimvibe can't post past the social website filter at work, but he is also unable to load his car:

Trunk. Just had a GMC Terrain rental where we were trying to figure out for about half an hour where the thing was, then we finally looked above us and it's on the damn roof. Really, GM? At least left of the driver, if not on the floor.


Suggested By: Marimvibe can't post past the social website filter at work, Photo Credit: mariachily

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: saaby

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