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Things on a car you can't do without

Out of all the features on your car which would you miss if you had to downgrade?

I wouls really miss the Power steering, especially when parking. Then the aircon ( tho i use this less to save gas ). Then the electric windows.

How about you?

electric starter

There is a difference between “can” and “prefer not” to do without. I have owned 5 cars without power steering, 6 cars without Air Conditioning, 5 cars without cruise control, for instance.

A lot depends on your age, where you live (cruise control in New York City?), your driving skills, and so on.

We are shopping for a new small car for my wife, but I will be driving it as well from time to time. The minimal list of features will be: automatic, power steering (hard to buy one without), power windows, cruise control, air conditioning, windshield washers, reclining (fold down) rear seat (don’t like ski racks), rear window defroster, block heater.

I realize that such a small car with those items will also have a number we don’t need, but we’ll have to live with that.

I probably wouldn’t buy a car without a favorable power to weight ratio. In my case that’s about 150 HP per ton of car.

I require a decent audio system

A/C is a requirment

Rear wheel drive only please, though AWD would be doable.

limited slip diff is desirable

I think power windows and door locks, especially in minivans are safety items when managing kids and “swapping” drivers is the norm. Power lumbar supports and climate control, I can do without. Sure, but my next car will have them too as I just like them too much.
ABS, stability and traction control all have their good and bad points. I like them but would like some over rides on some of these features. Manufacturers are catching up and some do.
Cruise control is an absolute necessity for me and I will never own a car, tractor or power boat (they naturally do) w/o it.

I’ve grown soft…
Heated seats
Heated steering wheel
Memory seats

I prefer manual windows, all my cars that have one have also needed a regulator changed at the 13-15 yr mark. The PS not much of an issue with me. I need the heater, the AC is nice but have been without them in the past.

I wish I could find a car that I could buy without power steering. Driving a car without power steering gives you a good upper body workout.

Personally, I am really fond of my brakes. I wouldn’t want to drive a car without them.

Engine, transmission, brakes, wheels. I just need the basics.

I could crank the engine by hand if I needed to. I’ve done without power steering on my first car. I’ve gotten through Texas summers without A/C. I’ve never had a car with cruise control, although I do enjoy it when driving other cars. I’ve never had a car with power windows, and I don’t really care for that feature.

All I really need is a car that starts, goes, steers, and stops.

Six way power seats, dark rear window, electric controlled external mirrors.

I would not miss airbags, antilock brake system, stability control, but that would be an impossible downgrade.

I’m curious, why wouldn’t you want airbags? It seems there’s no real downside to having them compared to the potential benefits.

I’m not breaking wrists with you…

I guess if you have never had a chance to use it, you really don’t miss it…

I just don’t like “inspection breakers” that can cost a fortune to eliminate, and if you buy a used car, you don’t really know if the system even works. Some people get caught with state inspections that can’t be done because of airbag indicator lights being on.

You can’t get away sometimes without spending hundreds on your old car. I would suggest that more people keep their cars with 200,000 miles on them, but all these electronic parts and older safety devices can pose problems if they malfunction. If the law won’t let us drive our older cars economically, how can we afford to be drive at all? It’s good that everything doesn’t break as often as I expect it to.

I forgot to mention seat belt prepositioners, the small explosive charge that jerks the belt to keep you in place during the crash. Toyota recalled the Yaris for the potential fire that could be caused by flammable sound deadener in the pillar between the doors.

There have been some improvements that I liked. Small ignition modules instead of the four pound ones that used to be in Ford pickups. I don’t hate all changes. I don’t miss wooden floor boards, much.

I bought a “bare bones” car–a 1965 Rambler Classic 550. I had owned a 1954 Buick Special. The Buick had a manual transmission, no power steering and no power brakes. The Rambler didn’t even have the back up lights nor the windshield washer that the Buick had. I did miss these features, so I had them installed on the Rambler. My wife didn’t like the fact that there were no interior lights that came on when the doors were opened on the Rambler. THat didn’t bother me at all. I did point out to my wife that the Rambler did have one luxury feature–a passenger side sunvisor. I remember strippo cars that didn’t include a passenger side sunvisor. I also had to add a left side rear view mirror. It wasn’t remotely controlled, but I didn’t have a problem opening the window to adjust the mirror.
Some features that I do miss from my strpped down Rambler were the little vent windows on the front doors–these reduced the need for air conditioning. I miss the full size spare tire.

Seat belts.
I hate sliding all over the vinyl bench seat when I round a corner.

Otherwise I like plain and simple.
I have in fact special ordered vehicles with downgrades to get more plain and simple.
Special ordered manual windows and bench seats.

“Seat belts.
I hate sliding all over the vinyl bench seat when I round a corner”.

Actually, all you need to do is glue a pair of pants to the driver’s seat and slip o them on and off when you get in and out of the seat. I wish I had done this years ago–I would have been motivated to keep my weight down if I wanted to keep driving.

In fact, with all the publicity on obesity and the public’s love affair with driving, this should be made mandatory. It would either keep people from gaining weight or reduce the number of cars on the road.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you can’t afford to keep your car in working order, and fix malfunctioning equipment, you should find another way to get where you need to go.

Oh, I can just picture it now :wink:

For all the accessories that cars began without, I’ve been a seat belt advocate since the begining. ( born in 1955 )
I can live without most things like A/C and power everything ; steering, mirrors, seats, windows, blend doors, moon roofs, etc.
But I grew up with my Dad adding belts to vehicles without and special ordering if offered as an option. Front AND rear seats.
I learned early of the immense value of the simple seat belt and being able to remain in control of the vehicle.

–Dad instilled this in me and I passed it along.
– My son would often be the only person ( you know how kids are ) among six with his belt on. :slight_smile:
– My daughter was driving with one passenger miles from home, she could do as she pleased, But when she encountered ice hiding in the tree shadows and rolled the truck, they both were belted at her insistance and walked away with only scratches.
–The vinyl seats in Dad’s 72 Scout II were no problem when out 4x4ing and tilting at all angles when belted in tight. Yes, tight. These were not the p-c slacker belts with an inertia catch but you could pull it down tight and that’s where you stayed.

Our Dads thought alike. My Dad bought his first new car after WW II in 1960. The car was a Rambler. He insisted that the car have seat belts installed as part of the deal. Three years later, my brother and mother were on a 350 mile trip to visit me while I was in gradute school. A semi rear-ended the Rambler at a stop light. The impact buckled the car and the engine crashed into the radiator. All doors but one were jammed shut. My brother and mother escaped uninjured. They would have been thrown through the windshield had it not been for seat belts.

I agree with you. I would even replace the power or manual windows with side curtains, but the seat belts are a necessity.