Thursday, March 23, 2006

Car Etiquette

I know that most people don't really care about their cars. Infact if it starts that's good enough. Routine maintainance is just a pain in the ass and who wants to wash a car that's just going to get dirty tomorrow anyways. I am part of the group that cares for my car, I enjoy having a clean car and I like to know that putting the extra money in synthetic oil will help it last longer. I have noticed some disrespect for peoples cars lately so I thought I would give these helpful tips.

1. Its spring time and cars are dirty so don't set anything on the car. I know that the roof is a convienent place to put your bag or purse while you open the door but its not a good idea. Did you notice that your once white car is now brown? Yes that brown stuff is dirt and it basically just turned your purse into a giant sanding block. If your purse or bag slides along your car it has just sanded some of your paint off. This goes for sitting on the car as well. Not only is your butt giant sanding block but its got your body weight to help remove the paint off of the hood. This also applies to car keys. When unlocking a door hold the keys and keychain in your hand so that they don't scratch the side of the car. The sound of the remaining keys slapping against the side of the car is one that will make most car guys break down and cry. Please be careful putting the key in the lock. This isn't rape, take your time and aim so that you don't scratch the car while trying to put the key in the hole.

2. Speaking of dirt, go wash your car. Yes I know that it is melting out and that your car will get dirty in a matter of minutes but it is still a good idea. Do you notice that in with the dirt is some white residue? That is road salt and combined with water and oxygen it is doing its best to rust your car. Not only will our car look better when it is clean it will also last longer.

3. Slamming the door. This is very disrespectful to someone elses vehicle. Yes I realize your first car was a 1975 Mercury Grand Marquis that had doors that weighed 300 pounds each but my car isn't a land yaught. I realize that the first time you get out of someone's car that it is hard to judge how much force will be required to close the door but do your best. Try to use just the right amount of force so that the door will close but it won't blow all the windows out of the car when you close it. If you close your door and everyone who is still inside the car suddenly starts bleeding from the ears you may have used too much force. A secret is to leave your hand on the door as you close it. This way you can use less force and your hand will stop the door from bouncing off the seals and not latching. After a few times being in a certain car you should get a feel for how to close the doors. The owner will thank you.

4. Stop complaining about the car. Yes I know my car is 14 years old and it may not have power locks and windows but you know what? It is managing to get your fat ass from point A to point B so unless you want to walk, shut up. Unless the owner has set a precident by naming his car "Shit burger" or "Ford" you shouldn't start complaining about the car. Don't compare it to someone else's that is brand new or that has leather seats, just sit down, shut up and be thankful that you didn't have to walk accross town.

5. Food or garbage in the car. Just don't do it. I know that your own car is filled to the gills with old McDonalds wrappers and Tim Hortons cups but please don't lump me in with you. Yes I know my car doesn't have cup holders, that was a selling feature for me, please see point #4. So don't just show up with a double double and expect to get in the car. I know you are responsible and you won't spill but it will happen eventually. I've seen the aftermath and I know that a hot cup of coffee is a ticking time bomb in a car.

6. Backseat driving. This is a popular one and I know I do it too. As you may have noticed in previous posts that I think I'm a pretty good driver. With that I have a habit of trying to tell people how to drive. If you need to make yourself heard atleast know what you are talking about. I've almost thrown a few people from a speeding car becuase their backseat driving wasn't even right. If you are going to shout directions from the back or passenger seat make sure you know your way.

7. Nervous passengers. This is a no win situation for anyone. I am an aggressive driver and you should know this. Please stop flinching, wimpering and clutching at stuff. I don't need nail marks in my dashboard. If you know in advance that you will be riding with an aggressive/crazy driver then either learn to shut up and keep it under control or drive yourself.

8. Muddy/snowy shoes. Yes I know sometimes it is inevitable that you will have large amounts of snow or mud on your shoes but please try to minimize it. I personally don't care that much as long as the snow or mud says on the floor mats but pay attention to the owner of the car. If someone is a bit more anal about this then I have a suggestion for you. Sit down on the seat and with both feet still out the door bang them together to knock the dirt off and then swing your feet into the car. Hitting them on the sill or rocker panel is not acceptable. You might as well get out and start kicking the car.

9. Smoking. This is usually a bipolar topic. People either don't care at all that you want to smoke in their car or they would rather rip their own skin off and roll in salt before letting you light up in the car. I'm in the latter group on that one. My car smells like a car, it doesn't have that new car smell but atleast it doesn't smell like an old ashtray. The heat of summer will usually bring out the smells in a car interior and there is almost nothing worse than hot stale ciggerette smoke. So please ask first or else you may be walking, but hey atleast you can smoke on your walk.

10. Touching the radio or hvac controls. This is a no-no unless you know that you can. Most people work by the rule that the driver gets to choose what to listen to and I aggree with that. If you don't like the radio station or you are too hot/cold then ask the driver. Don't go fiddling with the controls because you might get your hand slapped.

There you go, I've given you ten tips to keep you on the drivers good side. Not everyone is going to care that you just slammed their car door into next week but some people do.
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