It’s easy to bemoan the complexity of modern cars and wistfully recount how good and simple the old days used to be. I’m not saying there aren’t aspects to miss, but I think the rose-tinted glasses do gloss over a lot of general automotive annoyances that we don’t have to put up with anymore. Today, we’re going to be thankful about that. What old car problem are you happy has fallen by the wayside?
The issue that inspired this Question Of The Day was one that afflicted every single Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram my family owned until the millennium, as well as many other American cars of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s — the sagging headliner. The adhesives the Big Three were using throughout the latter part of the last century had all the bonding power of Gatorade, but the carmakers didn’t flag this as a problem worth fixing for decades. I don’t miss it and I’m willing to bet you don’t either.
That’s just one example. While it’s still a generally good idea to let your car warm up a minute or two — especially this time of year — before gnashing all those cold, mechanical bits into each other with zero preamble, electronic fuel injection has made that far less of a concern in the last 30 years. There’s probably also something to be said for general reliability and various parts requiring less maintenance than they did once upon a time.
But that’s enough from me. Let’s briefly put aside our fondness for the days when “software” was just something you bought for your IBM and call some attention to car issues of the past that drivers today fortunately don’t have to deal with. Give us your top suggestions in the comments, and we’ll round up the best answers later this afternoon.