26 Things About Cars You'll Have To Explain To Your Kids

Published On 05/04/2015 Published On 05/04/2015
26 Things About Cars You'll Have To Explain To Your Kids

Just as most people today have no idea what a carburetor, chokesmoker's window, or a drum brake is, chances are pretty strong your kids won't know how to buy parts or what a rear view mirror is without going online, or why you would ever hang a tennis ball from your garage ceiling. The next generation might be completely clueless, but that doesn't mean you have to be.


1. CD holders on your visor

Sure, they'd scratch your disks, and your sun visor could sometimes flop down if you hit a bump too fast, but they saved so much space.

Jeff Walker

2. Road trips without GPS and cell phones

And you were definitely in an unreliable car. 

Lisa Borodken

3. Using a bottle of Coke to fix your battery

And actually being able to see your battery when you popped the hood.

Dave S

4. Window cranks


American Muscle

5. Hood prop

"Just insert rod A into slot B, and...nevermind."

Aaron Miller

6. Running your battery down

Because you left your non-automatic headlights on all night. Again.

7. Parallel parking without the car's help

...Not that anyone really learns that now, anyway.

Willem van de Kerkhof

8. How fun manual transmissions were

"When I was your age, I had to shift my own gears, uphill in the snow. Both ways. It was awesome." 


9. Having a donut in the back

You used to keep it below the floor of the trunk.

Randy von Liski

10.  Gauges

Gauges are evolving. And fast (see: heads-up displays).

Eddie Welker

11. Custom car stereos

And you'd do all the wiring yourself, with tape, and hope for zero fires.

Alexander Nie

12. Dashboard buttons

"Where's the touch screen?!"

Ham Hock

13. The cigarette lighter

Press it in. Wait 5 minutes. Accidentally drop it and burn yourself or your seats.

Ricardo Cuppini

14. Mirrors

"How did you see without a camera?"


15. You don't need YouTube to fix your car

But you will still have parts left over when you put it back together.

Todd Lapin

16. Auto parts stores were the best

For most maintenance items nowadays (including those kitsch air fresheners), companies like Amazon have it covered.

Sarah McCraken

17. Using tennis balls to avoid a collision

See it hit the windshield? Stop.


18. The Club

Actually—even though it doesn't work—The Club might still be around. You'll still have to explain why you ever bought one, though.

19. Exhaust was awesome

An old school V8 with no pollution controls was the sound of America for decades.

Automotive Rhythms

20. Using your e-brake in the rain

Good luck kicking the tail out with an electric parking brake button.

Brad Smith

21. Hub caps

A.k.a "those things that flew off on the highway."

Curtis Perry

22. Halogen headlights

Lasers and LEDs are just so much better.


23. Carrying around extra fuel

"That's what we did when the fuel gauge broke before a road trip."

Aaron Miller

24. Natural aspiration

You can still buy cars without turbochargers...for now.

Bill Hanscom

25. Car maps

And stopping at the welcome center when you cross the state border on the highway.

Danny Baza Blas

26. Ignitions and keys

They'll be a thing of the past soon enough.



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