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15 Hidden features in cars that most people have probably never heard of

April 6th, 2021

Your car might be hiding secrets from you.

There are often hidden features found in many of today’s automobiles that are designed to make life easier for the driver. Sometimes the features are so hidden, however, that the owner of the car isn’t even aware of them.

Conversation Mirrors

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Honda Australia/YouTube Source: Honda Australia/YouTube

Affectionately referred to as the “what’s going on back there?” mirrors by many parents, these are commonly found in modern minivans and SUVs.

The “conversation mirror” is designed to give the driver a view into the back seat to keep an eye on passengers without having to take their eyes off the road.

Drowsiness Detector

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MyCarDoesWhat/YouTube Source: MyCarDoesWhat/YouTube

Many car manufacturers, such as Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo have developed systems to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. As an example, the Mercedes Attention Assist system will cause the steering wheel to vibrate if it senses the car is swerving.

The Subaru Traffic Light Watcher

You’ve probably been stuck behind a car that you wish had this feature numerous times. More car manufacturers are starting to make cars with a traffic light watcher. This feature notifies the diver when traffic starts moving again at a red light.

Color-coding under your hood

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Helpful DIY/YouTube Source: Helpful DIY/YouTube

Many cars these days have a color-coding system under the hood so you know what things you need to keep an eye on. Colors are used for things like the oil cap, coolant, brake and washer fluid, and dipstick. Meanwhile, everything that should be left to the experts is kept a black or gray color.

Built-in vacuums

Attempting to vacuum the inside of your car can be quite the chore. Chords never seem to be long enough and you never seem to be able to get at things from the right angle. The Honda Odyssey has a secret vacuum located inside the car for just this reason, and other manufacturers are starting to follow suit.

BMW & Mercedes neck warmers

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BMW of Freeport/YouTube Source: BMW of Freeport/YouTube

Many cars have heated seats but BMW and Mercedes went a step farther. They each offer “neck-warming” features on seats in their modern vehicles. Mercedes says its “AirScarf” system is designed to extend the convertible season for months.

Fuel tank location reminders

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Trip Astute/YouTube Source: Trip Astute/YouTube

Don’t be the silly person who has to park their car twice at the gas station. Many cars have an arrow on either side of the gas pump image on the gas gauge to let you know which side of the car the cap is.

Computer driving assistance features

These have gotten more useful in recent years. One such feature that is being included in many modern vehicles is parking assist, warnings for obstacles in the car’s path, and downhill assist to prevent the car from speeding up on downhill assents.

Hidden umbrella holder

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Rolls-Royce Regenschirm/YouTube Source: Rolls-Royce Regenschirm/YouTube

Umbrellas aren’t fun to keep in the car as they usually drip over the interior. Often people put their umbrella in the trunk but then you have to get out of your car in the rain to get it. Cars manufacturers such as Škoda and Rolls Royce have put a hidden panel in the driver’s side door perfectly suited for an umbrella.

Lane-centering sensors

Many car manufacturers are now adding features such as lane-keep assistance systems (LKAS) and lane-departure warnings (LDW). These provide notifications to the driver when the car is veering out of its lane.

Nissan’s Easy-Fill Tire Alert

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Cars Unlocked/YouTube Source: Cars Unlocked/YouTube

Many people have trouble knowing when they’ve put an adequate amount of air in their tire. All cars made after 2008 have some feature like this now. Nissan’s is perhaps the best, however. With its Easy-Fill Tire Alert system, the car horn will go off when a tire has enough air. If too much air has been added, the car’s hazard lights will blink 3 times.

Jeep’s Easter Eggs

Jeep is like a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it comes to laying Easter Eggs for longtime fans. Many car manufacturers do this but not quite like Jeep. An article in Car and Driver magazine found 30 Easter Eggs in the Jeep Renegade referencing the 1945 Willys Jeep. These are more fun than functional, however.

Hands-free trunk opening

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MaryAnn NaplesFl/YouTube Source: MaryAnn NaplesFl/YouTube

Many modern cars have some type of feature that allows you to open the trunk without using the archaic key and lock system. Some cars go even farther, however. The Hyundai Hands-Free Smart Trunk can be set so that it will automatically open if it senses the FOB is nearby. Perfect for when you know you’ll be walking to the car with your hands full.

BMW Brake Drying

Modern BMWs come with a system to help improve braking function during rainy weather. The BMW Brake Drying system is activated when sensors on the windshield wipers sense rain. This then moves the brake pads closer to the rotors, keeping them dry and allowing for better braking.

Volkswagen’s Beetle Flower Vase

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Magda Ehlers/Pexels Source: Magda Ehlers/Pexels

The Volkswagen Beetle used to come along with a “blumenvasen” or a little flower vase mounted on the dashboard. It was a nod to the car’s history with the hippie era and flower children. The feature is no longer included with modern versions of the car.

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Source: TheDelite/HotCars

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