21 Things You Have To Explain To Non-Car People

There are car people, and then there are non-car people. Unfortunately, the latter easily outnumber the former. And while most of them are wonderful human beings, they simply don't understand certain things about the way us car people see and experience the world. However, the next time someone asks where the nearest car wash is, you'll be prepared with this comprehensive checklist. 

1. Don't ever go to one of those quick change oil places

Do you really trust the high school kid at the oil change place around the corner not to screw everything up? If you've ever seen someone drain a transmission instead of an engine, and then fill the engine understand.

2. Put even the tiniest scratch on our car, and we'll never let it go

That “minor” scuff you just put on my trunk by placing some boxes on it while you were closing the door on your own car will never, ever completely buff out. It will now be noticed every single time I wash the car, and it will serve as a reminder of how much I resent your selfish thoughtlessness.

3. A good car is a great therapist

If you find a car that's fun to drive, you can enjoy taking your ride out for even the most mundane things like trips to the grocery store. Do that, and there’s no better way to decompress than getting behind the wheel.

4. We're not overcompensating by driving a nice car

There are people who appreciate functional aspects of engineering over artistic aspects of styling. I’ve driven a bunch of cars in my day, from humble rust buckets to half-million dollar exotics, and none of them ever had a noticeable impact on the size of my penis.

5. Our rides are our outfits

Your ride represents you. It's the first thing people see when you pull up, so it really has to feel right. Some people coordinate outfits, others fret over picking the right rims for their car.

6. The smell of fresh tires trumps all other smells

This is always true, but especially in the spring time. Tires are what keep you safe in bad weather, or what let you have fun on a sunny afternoon. A fresh set means there's more life to be lived, and it won't attract bees.

7. Don't buy a car straight off a dealership's lot

Think about every single option you do and don't want on a car. Then find that exact car. Buying a car with the wrong options is like buying a house with the wrong floors. You'll need to be patient, though, because the right car is almost never at a dealer anywhere near you.

8. Detailing a car properly can take years off its age

Obsessive cleaning and polishing is kinda the automotive equivalent of a facelift. I once bought a car for $15,000, and four years later a good friend—who had seen the car literally hundreds of times—was shocked to learn it wasn’t $45,000.

9. No, not all Porsches and BMWs are luxury cars

The simple truth is you can order just about any car in a stripped down, back-to-basics manner that’s very rewarding to someone who enjoys driving. That means you can get a so-called “luxury” brand without power or heated seats, with no sun roof, navigation system, or even parking sensors.

10. Never use oil made from dinosaurs

Conventional motor oil comes from, well, dead dinosaurs, and is kinda like using a phone with a rotary dial. The synthetic stuff is vastly superior in just about every respect, and you can go three to four times longer between changes. 

11. This car is extremely sexy

Think of it as an extremely practical sports car.

12. This one is not

No matter how good it is from a tech standpoint, it’s just not alluring.

13. Our cars are not appliances

Many people see cars as an apparatus, but if you've got a good one, it becomes a part of the family. There’s a legitimate emotional connection. No one has ever said that about a washing machine.

14. We don't cut corners when it comes to throwing money at our cars

A car is something that you’re going to be using an awful lot every day, so cheaping out on a car is like cheaping out on your mattress. While the intangible return (the pleasure, relaxation, and therapy of driving) on your investment can’t be calculated, neither can the emotional loss (having to deal with your daily commute) that you take on a bad purchase.

15. If you don't care about the art of driving, you'll never be a good driver

Can you be an attentive driver? Sure, and that's a good start. But to learn where to look, what to do with your hands and feet in an emergency, or how to properly handle your car in snow, you need to study and practice. It's pretty simple, really: if you don't care about the art of driving, there's no reason for you to have the motivation to put in the work to become truly good.

16. Don't take your car to an automatic carwash

All those brushes. That poor paint. Get a good microfiber wash mit, put some pH-balanced carwash in a bucket, and do it yourself. Please.

17. Not all engines are V-something

"V" just refers to how the engine’s laid out. For example, instead of a V6, you can have a straight six, a flat six, or a boxer six, and they're all very, very different from one another.

18. Stop eating in your car

And drinking. Maaaaybe water if you’re careful and it’s 110 degrees outside. Grease goes everywhere, and all those smells linger in the car for a long time. Have you ever known someone who had to sell their car because they didn't know there was a chunk of gruyere in the back seat for an entire summer?

19. We're not bragging by parking in BFE, we're petrified of your car doors

The paint chips on the edge of your driver's door are a giant red flag for us to stay the hell away.

20. Snow tires are a necessity for winter fun

You don’t even have to have all-wheel drive, or be going sideways in a parking lot—scaring the crap out of your passengers—to have fun in snow. Playing in the snow is something that never got old as we grew up, even though the toys certainly changed. There's no reason to be afraid of driving in it.

21. All-wheel drive does not help you stop in snow

It might make things more fun, and it’ll certainly help you accelerate a little bit better, but stopping power isn’t affected.

Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. He is forever parked in BFE.