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.

2. Road trips without GPS and cell phones

And you were definitely in an unreliable car. 

3. Using a bottle of Coke to fix your battery

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

4. Window cranks


5. Hood prop

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

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.

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.

10.  Gauges

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

11. Custom car stereos

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

12. Dashboard buttons

"Where's the touch screen?!"

13. The cigarette lighter

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

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.

16. Auto parts stores were the best

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

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.

20. Using your e-brake in the rain

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

21. Hub caps

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

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."

24. Natural aspiration

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

25. Car maps

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

26. Ignitions and keys

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