Whether you are a new driver or a veteran, there are still some features in your vehicle that you may not know how to use. While these features may not seem essential to you, their actual functions may surprise you especially if your car has unnoticed switches and buttons with weird symbols or labels on them. These may seem odd but they could have functions that may prove to be useful to you later on. With that said, here is a list of car features you probably don’t know about. If you already know about these features then you can take this article as a quick refresher.
The quick lane change signal
Before you go into a fit by telling us that this is an obvious feature in any vehicle, it has a secondary use that you probably only ever accidentally activated. The turn signals in some cars will come with a lane change feature. This is activated usually by a light pull on the signal light stalk, making sure that it doesn’t lock. Once this feature activates it will make your signal lights blink 3 to 4 times indicating a quick lane change. Remember not all cars have this feature so your experience may vary.
Rear-view mirror dimmer
If you have ever encountered another vehicle with its high beams right behind you and have been annoyed or distracted by this sight, worry not as the rear-view dimmer feature is there to help you out. What it does is redirect the beam of light upwards and away from your eyes while still giving you a good view of the vehicle behind you. In newer models, this feature is electronic and automatic as well. All you have to do is press the on and off button and the feature will activate on its own.
Fuel Tank indicator
While this seems like an obvious feature that you will probably look at every week to monitor your fuel levels, it also houses a secondary hidden feature. The fuel pump symbol on your gas gauge will come with an arrow. This will point where your filler cap will be on your vehicle. In this manner, you will be able to know how to position your car when it’s time to refuel.
Seatbelt height adjuster
If you want to avoid shoulder marks and sores while driving, you can use your car’s seat belt adjuster. What it does is adjust the seatbelt anchor point height in your vehicle to give you a better degree of comfort while maintaining its safety factory. You can find it by the upper base of your seatbelt, often near the headrest.
Defogger buttons (pictured above) are usually found within the control panel of your air conditioning. Use these to remove the fogging in your car’s windshield and rear window especially in the early morning.
Same as your defogger, the recirculate button is placed together with your air conditioning controls. When it is turned ON, the A/C recirculator doesn’t allow air from the outside to enter your car’s cabin. However, it’s also used when turned OFF for allowing the flow of oxygen inside and other practical functions.
Front passenger airbag switch
Some cars come with an ON/OFF switch for the front passenger airbag. It’s for one useful reason (and it’s not what you’re thinking) — to avoid inflicting damage to a child or a pet, sitting in front, when the airbag is launched. The switch is located either in the central dashboard or at the side when you open the passenger door.
Just a reminder, though, we still strongly recommend that the kids be seated at the back as it is safer.
Steering wheel adjuster
To get to your sweet spot while driving, you naturally adjust the seats. However, you can also change the tilt of your steering wheel to suit your height. Some cars, like the Nissan X-Trail, even come with telescopic steering wheels that allow you to adjust their distance from the dashboard.
Rear child locks
Rear child locks are located at the rear doors, near the latch. With this in ON position, the door is locked from the inside to avoid unintended opening. This is pretty practical when you have children riding with you.
Child seats that you attach using seatbelts are a thing of the past, as more modern cars come with ISOFIX child seat anchors that promises sturdier construction. These types of child seats come with tether belts that you can attach at the back of the rear seats.
Trunk tools compartment
Tools and emergency devices are essential things that should be found in your car. Most manufacturers include a set of emergency tools with the cars that leave their showrooms. If you’re unsure where to find them, check your car’s trunk. They should be there together with your spare tire.