The Ten Weirdest Ways You've Driven A Car

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Sometimes we all like to stir things up a bit. Please, don’t try these at home.

10.) Busted Transmission Brake Stands At Stoplights

Left foot braking is a great driving technique to master when on a rally stage or on track but when it comes using this technique to keep your car alive when you come to a stop? Well, I’ve been there and it’s no simple feat. Reader InfinityAero tells us of his Datsun 280ZX and its mechanical shenanigans.

Two foot driving my old Datsun 280zx Turbo. I had the 3-speed automatic, and some idling issues, so it would buck and kick at a stop unless I put the car into neutral as I came to a stop. Before I started popping it into netral my typical solution was to do a brake stand with just enough throttle to keep the revs above 900RPM while in gear.

Yes, this killed my transmission over the course of about 20K miles. What can I say... I was super broke! Life lesson: never buy a project car as a daily driver unless you have $400/mo to drop on repairs and maintenance for the first year at least.

Suggested By: InfinityAero

9.) How To Make An Autonomous Car For Cheap

I guess if I were driving a panel van ton a 90 mile straight through the middle of Australia, I would consider doing the same thing. Check out what reader Rollo75 concocted on his drive.

Across the Nullabor Plain there is a section of the Eyre Highway which is a shade over 146 kilometers long with no corners in it at all.

On a trip around Australia in a Holden WB Statesman Panel Van, I was in the “driver’s seat” for this section and had a besser block on the accelerator and a couple of ropes tying the steering wheel to the mirrors.

Take that Google! We had an “autonomous car” in the late 1990s. Sure, it could only go in a straight line at 129 km/h but that’s not an issue if the road is dead straight.


Suggested By: Rollo75

8.) Who Needs Windshield Wipers Anyway?

At a previous job reader Crambo Tauro was subjected to drive a Chevy Express work van with no working windshield wipers for several weeks. Sounds pleasant, yeah? Check out his story.

Head out the window IN A COMPANY TRUCK.

Washer sprayers failed on a Chevy Express van (wipers still worked). Told the manager about it right away, but still had to drive it for several weeks like this IN THE WINTER. “Because money.”

In the meantime, they had me get regular window cleaner (non-antifreeze as you can see in the above pic) from Home Depot so I could spray the windshield at red lights. Most of the time, I had to drive it solo, but whenever I had a co-worker with me, I let him drive instead.

I don’t work there anymore.

Suggested By: Urambo Tauro

7.) Or A Seat Attached To The Floor?

You sent your driver’s seat out to get reupholstered and now you have no way of moving your car, but wait! Just toss a stool or milk crate on the floor and you’re set. Or at least that’s what this reader did.

Anyone who has restored a car gets to a point where the interior is out but you just got it running and really REALLY want to take it for a spin... so you throw a milk crate in that mother-effer and take it for a spin.


Suggested By: ZaqAtaq

6.) Or A Working Seat At All?

Well you got your driver’s seat back, but now the frame won’t hold. When this happened to reader BigGator Chris, he was forced to hold onto the steering wheel for dear life.

Broken seat frame in my Suburban meant that under acceleration I had to hang onto the steering wheel to keep from falling over backwards.


Suggested By: BigGatorChris

5.) Driving Is Clothing Optional

Sometimes you just need to. Right..? Well, at least this reader did.

I’m at work so I’m not going to find a photo...

Just don’t look down.

Suggested By: Chairman Kaga

4.) You Don’t Really Need Two Hands For A Manual

When your only mode of transportation has a 5-speed manual, what else are you going to do?

I drove my WRX for about a month with a broken right shoulder in a sling. I would take my hand off the wheel to shift with my left hand. Not smart.


Suggested By: bradledy

3.) Wet Towel Air Conditioning

This reader drove a GMC short bus running on veggie oil and was forced to hang his wet towel-wrapped head out the window for an extended period of time. Read below to find out way.

Making an incredibly long story somewhat short: I was pulled in by a buddy to help him with a project, a part of which involved buying a used GMC short bus and converting it to run on veggie oil while driving that sucker across the country (east-west)—basically stopping here and there to do steps of the installation process.

By the time we get to the Mojave, the veggie oil system was about half-hooked up. That is, we’ve got coolant lines running into the cabin to keep the veggie oil at temp (yes, of course we put the tank in the cabin, you didn’t think we thought this through, did you?). But we we’ve had shitloads of problems finished connecting the lines from the veggie tank to the fuel lines, so we’re running on diesel only; at that point the veggie tanks were there just for show, and to make our lives miserable. Trying to work on the fuel system of a short bus along the side of the road and in friends’ driveways is more difficult than it looked—who knew?

(Sidenote: anybody who has worked on diesels knows how super-duper-excellent it is when you get air into the fuel lines, and trying to splice the veggie lines/switch into the fuel lines in a couple driveways/hotel parking lots went about as well as you can imagine. We got really good at bleeding the system from having to do it literally every time we started the thing.)

So we’ve got this little bus, with coolant lines running straight from the radiator, through the cabin. We’ve got the plastic cowl over the engine, with all of its insulation long-gone, all that stands between me and the diesel powerplant about two feet away (plus, we leave it half-secured anyway, because we know the next time we stop, we’ll have to bleed the fuel system again). Basically, imagine driving through a desert in late July or August, with your engine exposed and sitting next to your legs, with the cabin heat cranked as high as it can go, and then adding additional heating elements throughout your cabin. That was about the situation.

It was so goddamned hot in the bus that when we tried to power on or plug in our iPhones, we got the little thermometer and a message that said something along the lines of “Oh fuck off with that shit, it’s way too goddamned hot; how are you not dead, meatsack?”

So my driving position became: dunk a t-shirt or towel in water, wrap the fucker around my head, and stick my head out the window... until the t-shirt was completely dry (about five-ten minutes later). Then repeat. And pray I don’t die of heat stroke.

(And yes, we made it through the desert, and actually made it to our final destination. We finally flipped the switch and began running veggie oil... just as we were getting in to Los Angeles.)


Suggested By: ThePriceofEggsinMalta

2.) Shift By Wire

I don’t blame this reader for taking things to this level, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

This began as a shakedown trip for my 67 Galaxie (see above avatar). I had just had the terrible original FX transmission swapped out for a built C4 trans. As a result, the shifting linkages has to be customized in order to shift correctly. On some FM road in the middle of Texas brush country, I heard a lovely “plink” noise and by column shifter went limp. One of the original grommets I had tried to salvage had failed, and now my linkages were shot. By sheer luck I was able to get the tank into neutral and over to the side of the road.

I had my work uniforms with me in the car, and I decided to sacrifice the hangers so I could get back it back to the shop. It took about 10 hangars stretched out and connected together from the underside of the car, and wrapped into the driver’s window.

I was literally shifting by wire to limp it back.

Suggested By: Sam I - Texalopnik Ambassador

1.) That’s Not Weed Smoke

When your car (or truck) begins to fill with dark smoke, you should probably just pull over, even if you are only that close to your destination. Well, this reader made it to his destination, but not without turning some heads.

On my way to highschool my truck on the passenger side started filling up the truck with smoke and fire. So I continued to drive to school with my head out the window. The school resource officer saw my truck rolling with smoke and thought I was smoking weed or something illegal. As I pulled up to him I asked him to give me a hand as I drove by to find my parking spot as I couldn’t see shit. I pop the hood and disconnect the battery, open the passenger door and check the floor. The Exhaust was so hot it caught the carpet on fire.


Suggested By: GR1M RACER : Wrong Most of the Time

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: Nathan Wong via Wikipedia