There is a chance you might be missing out on a number of exciting features your car has including safety lights, extra storage, and much more. Here are five exciting features you may not even know your car has.
You probably know you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), particularly if you ever drove a car without it. In the 80s and early 90s, drivers learned to pump the brakes quickly if they needed to stop fast. If you happen to stomp on a non-ABS brake suddenly, the car’s wheels would lock up and you could slide without being able to maintain any control.
ABS pumps the brakes for you, a lot faster and with the help of sensors that can tell which wheels need to be freed momentarily so they can regain traction.
Computer Driving Assistance
Newer and more high-end cars can now help you with many aspects of driving. Optional safety features include parking assistance (which will do the parallel parking for you), downhill assist (which automatically keeps your car from accelerating too much as you descend), and sensors that can detect bikes, pedestrians, and other hazards.
Some cars will even brake for you if you don’t react in time to avoid a collision (automatic emergency braking). Be sure you’re fully aware of all the features your car offers so you’re not surprised or confused by an unfamiliar indicator light or even by your car stopping or slowing down when you haven’t hit the brakes yourself.
Fuel Tank Locator
How many times have you pulled into a gas station in a rental car and you suddenly realize that you don’t know which side the fuel tank is located. Guessing wrong is more than annoying.
Even if you’ve logged many years behind the wheel, driving cars that were yours, borrowed, or rented may have you learning that there’s a tiny arrow next to most fuel gauges that shows which side it’s on. The feature has been standard on new cars for more than 15 years.
Road Condition Indicators
The next time you’re driving in winter, you may notice an odd dashboard light that looks like a road with a snowflake on it. It’s meant as a warning that the temperature outside is low enough for roads to freeze.
Driving on wet or icy roads, you might occasionally see a light showing a tiny car skidding around flash on your dashboard. That’s an indicator that your stability control feature is engaged briefly to keep you driving straight.
Sensors are employed to tell if the car is turning too far (getting ready to spin out) or not turning far enough (with a possibility of plowing off the road), and it engages the brakes on one or more wheels to control the turn.
If you see a button in your car that lets you turn off stability or traction control, ignore it. The only time you would need to turn the feature off is when you’re trying to get the vehicle unstuck.