Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thoughts Gleaned from Rental Cars

A few random thoughts from my time shuttling rental cars at McCarran International Airport:

Zillion-way power driver's seats may be okay if you are the primary driver but when you need to make a fore or aft adjustment in a hurry there is nothing like a good, old-fashion manual adjustment.

Way back when, before steering column locks, ignition switches were placed just about anywhere. Then they moved to the steering column to facilitate the locks but the locks were mechanical. Now that locks are electronic why are ignition switches hidden behind the steering wheel? Even after all these years with my old Toyota I still have to look around the steering wheel to insert the key, imagine what I go through with dozens of different cars per day. Why aren't ignition switches right out where they can be seen? Simple fix here folks.

Just about any car with power windows has an "auto down" feature for the driver's door window but precious few have an "auto up" side. Am I the only person in the world who would like to see auto both ways?

I know I sound old when I say this but do instrument panels have to be so busy? I hop into a car after its been cleaned, the a/c is on full and so is the radio but where are the controls? I scan the screen in front of me for some sign of the controls, often finding nothing until I'm frozen and my ears are bleeding. To the very few auto makers who use easy to find knobs and buttons, thank you. (This is kind of a general gripe about modern electronics that seem to rule us instead of the other way round. There may be a wow factor but in the end, simplicity to use is a virtue.)

There are no bad cars. That's an observation not based just on the rental business but it holds true. There may be less desirable cars but damn, even the cheapest are dead reliable.

Some rental customers are pigs; there is no other way to put it. You do realize don't you that someone has to clean up your sty? A little clutter is one thing but vomit, dirty diapers, and rotting food just goes too far.

Have trunks shrunk or are people just traveling with more luggage, or maybe a little of both? Every day I see a couple with a carry-on size suitcase apiece and maybe one or two other, smaller bags who have to put stuff in the back seat because there isn't enough space in the trunk.

That's all for now.

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