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Most ridiculous aftermarket add-ons

Whitey just reminded me of that device that gets plugged into your power port and “cleans up your car’s electrical system”, and we’ve recently had a thread that reminded us of toilet paper filters. I got such a kick out of being reminded of these things that I thought a thread of the most ridiculous car things we can remember might be fun. No limit to how long ago the item was.

Anyone remember any “oldies but goodies” that haven’t been heard of for a while?

This is going back over 20 years but a Nissan dealer I worked for used to provide a pricier white wall tire option; back when those were a bit more common.

The dealer had some guy come around with an oddball machine that would spin a tire up out in the parking lot. An attachment would peel a roughly 1/2" wide swath out of the sidewall and apply white tape into that swath. This was done for 20 bucks a car in minutes and while I have long since forgotten the customer pay price I do remember that it was considerably more than 20 bucks a car.

The thought of peeling rubber out of the sidewall of new tires always made me cringe.

Me too! So far that one gets the lead for “dumbest”. I assume that was I the days of bias plys???

No, it was all done on radials. The only surprise to me is that a tire didn’t let go at some point and get them sued to oblivion.

There were a couple of complaints over time of the white sidewall coming loose (usually after a trip through a high pressure car wash) but the dealer would cover it even if it meant a new tire.
They were making so much money on the sidewalls, pinstripes, side molding, wheel well moldings, and so on that smoothing over something now and then didn’t even dent the pile of money made off of this stuff.

Someone had to pay for that heated pool and lighted tennis court at the dealer’s house… :-0

I’d have a hard time sleeping if I’d spent the day carving rubber off the sidewalls on people’s new tires. I guess that’s why I’m not rich.

I always thought the tires with the two little orangey-red stripes looked sharp. Better than whitewalls. How did whitewalls stay fashionable for such a long time? There wasn’t anything that special about them and they always got a bit grimy eventually. When did the first ones come out? They were still standard ca. 1970 except on true sports cars, though by then the white part wasn’t very wide.

My favorite was the magnets that you put on the fuel line to align the gas molecules so they would burn better.

I always thought the fake continental kits were so ridiculous, Why would you…

My other favorite is I tend to see alot of chevy trailblazers with bull guards on the front of them and tailight protectors. I always say to myself when I see one of those, “Going on a safari huh?”

How to look like a fool in one easy step: install a two foot high wing on the rear deck lid of a mid 90s civic.

Two words: fart can

How about the distributor cap button that acted as an insulator to increase dwell and therefore spark energy?

Great, not only do the paragraph breaks not work (fun to add them manually) someone changed the mobile app edit method. Poke around incessantly for a miniscule active spot and then get a bar on the bottom that has to be selected right next to everything else…

Where we live is cattle country and a white Cadillac Eldorado or other big “Boss Hog” boat with a set of steer horns as the hood ornament was quite common. Technically there are illegal, but the cops ignore them, and the more enterprising owners had them mounted in a “swing away” fashion, just like the Flying Lady on a Rolls Royce hood.

Deer whistles. Some swear by’m, some don’t.

Rear wing on a Prius so huge it looks like someone stole it from a Mitsubishi Evo. What’s the point of buying a fuel efficient car and ruining its aerodynamic shape

ok4450 The added whitewalls sounds insane. I remember some sort of glue on whitewalls in the 1970s. They were probably one of JC Whitney’s quality products. In 1977 I worked for a short time installing body side molding and vinyl tops at local dealerships. They would end up with a “stripper” that they couldn’t sell and want to dress it up. To this day I don’t understand vinyl tops. YUCK!

Mark, it might be interesting to note that tires were originally white, very poor quality rubber. It wasn’t until carbon was added to the mix seriously improving the rubber that tires became black. Whitewalls were commonplace when I was a kid, and on many cars I like them, but it’s purely a matter of taste. I have none, so for me whitewalls are great.

Sgt, I generally don’t like vinyl tops either, but my '76 Corolla was deep blue with white vinyl and I liked the look. Being cheesy, it sort of celebrated the fact that the Corolla was an econobox. Vinyl when used as a “pretend convertible”, as was the fad for a while on the “big three” luxury cars, looks silly.

Years ago the “Tornado” fuel saver was a popular item. The only thing that it really did was take money from the customer and put it in the seller’s pocket. I removed several of these “scam” devices and they were either rusted to the point that they would not turn or they had fallen apart in the intake.

See this thread for something really utterly ridiculous:

I saw a Prius the other day and they had added a big Mustache where the front grill is, blocking all air flow inside. Wondering what that would do for gas mileage in the California heat.

I was in downtown San Antonio a week ago and saw a raised 4x4 with steer horns at a stop light. I was impressed. Not in a positive way, but still very impressed.

jesmed Junior Grease Monkey

My favorite was the magnets that you put on the fuel line to align the gas molecules so they would burn better

I remember those. I knew at the age of 4 or 5 that magnets only effect iron and it’s alloys. Gasoline of that vintage contained lead which contains no iron. Another one was a plate that was inserted between the carburetor and intake manifold which had a freewheeling fan(s) which was supposed to better atomize the fuel. It only slightly restricted fuel and air. It is hard for me to understand why people of that era were trying so hard to get better fuel mileage. Leaded regular was about 25 cents per gallon. My favorite was an additive not an addition. Does anyone remember the “magic beans” that you could add to your fuel tank then top it off with water? They were supposed to turn water into gasoline. In my opinion if anyone actually did this they need to be wearing a football helmet and living in a rubber room in the local “casa de whacko”!