4 Jun 2013

What is the most pointless button in your car?

There is one button in my car (and in any car built from 1990 onwards I have ever owned or driven) that I consider to be the single most useless waste of 5 grammes I've ever come across.  It is absolutely pointless yet continues to be standard fitment in every car on the market.  Even in Dacias.  I'll come back to what that is later - although if your eyesight's good you might be able to make it out in the above photo.

I asked on Twitter this exact question, "What's the single most useless button in your car?" and received quite a varied response.

  • @fluffyskg weighed in first with 'indicators' which he reckoned didn't apply to him but 99% of drivers who were "bellends" and didn't use them.  He then changed his choice to 'the fan setting that blows air only at your feet.'  Can't say I disagree with indicators, but I quite like blowing air on my feet sometimes.  Does that make me weird?
  • @Lawdachrisy said 'front fog lights button' which, again, seems to be a pop at the gormless idiots we share our roads with.
  • @Joe_Hallenbeck said, 'The lock/unlock all doors button. Can't say I've ever pressed it. Yet it's next to the hazard light button, annoying.'
  • @rappskallion said, 'The auto headlights switch. I never use it because I know when it's dark,' which seems to me to be a pop at the never-ending creep of useless technology.
  • @NotPoshPete reckoned the single most useless button in his car is the 'rear heated window switch.'
  • @jimmysideburns said 'the dial dimmer switch.'  He's got a point.  I only ever use that to turn it back up again after I've accidentally knocked it and dimmed the dash lights.
  • @GTP_Famine said, 'Currently it's the clutch pedal.'  Nope me neither.
  • @tbs30stm said, 'The button that stops the passenger from opening their window, you know in case they want to fling themselves out the car.'  Which is an extremely valid point.
  • @BryanADobson said, 'Rear blind switch. Traction control off. Heated seats. That button that recirculates air.' Which is cheating as that's three buttons, but I'll let him off because one of those is also my choice.
  • @jonbradbury said, 'Indicators.'  Again, showing that Speedmonkey readers are a cut above the average.
  • @alfistigt said, 'Cruise control'.  Actually, I like cruise control for getting through those infernal 50mph zones on motorways.  Also know as the M4 in South Wales.
  • @dogknob1 said, 'hyperspace button'  I'm not sure those are fitted to Volvos.
  • @Grimmenstein said, 'Traction control "off" button, because in reality TC is not really turned off only 1 function is.'
  • @MotoringLifeMag said, 'Depends on the car, have the 208 gti this week and the 7-inch info system is one of most infuriating I have ever used.'  Which you might think is cheating but given the way functions are being segued into info screens is actually quite valid.
  • @BuddaPSL said, 'After a double nose bleed I’ve decided to go with air recycle button, since air quality system handles that automatically.'

Quite a range of answers.  Two respondents mentioned the button I would choose as the single most useless.  The air recycling button.

Its purpose is to prevent outside air from entering the car and instead to recirculate the air already in the car.  Presumably this is to stop outside smells from entering the car.  But smells are invisible so you don't smell the sewage works by the M4 at Slough, for example, until you are upon it - and by that point it's too late.  The smell is in your car and to recirculate the air already in your car is to recirculate the combined whiff that the populations of Windsor and Slough have flushed down the toilet over the past 24 hours.

Which is disgusting.  So what's the point of the button?  I can't think of one.  Can you?

What would you say is the most pointless button in your car?