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What is a Feature?

What constitutes a feature? A big knob and a TV screen that makes you think if you could just find the quarter slot, you could play Tempest? Headlights that can’t be shut off while the car is on? Airbags that explode from every direction, pushing the Dixie straw from your coffee into your brain? A DVD player in the back of your seat so you can listen to Shrek 2 for the 3000th time? I guess a clutch is asking to much.
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Comments

  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "I guess a clutch is asking to much."

    Yeah, tell me about it. Going after the domestics, other non-features that I'd like:

    - manual transmissions available on the optional engines.

    The Big 3 are famous for this...sure, you can get a stick, but only if you order the wheezy 4-cyl base engine. :mad:

    - real "sport packages"

    I love it how just about every run-of-the-mill "sport package" seems to begin and end with some upgraded, bling-bling alloy wheels. How about some better shocks, lower springs, sway bars, etc.?

    - "Spoiler delete" feature

    Kudos to Ford for finally offering this on the Mustang...though I'm holding my breath to see if Dodge is going to offer us a limited edition Charger Roadrunner edition with towelrack spoiler in back and aero-nose in front... ;)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    but everything else you said is a "feature", yes. Plus all the stuff like power package and cruise, and the other options you can order for the car. Plus stuff they like to boast about, like "magic" or fold-flat seats, coin and cupholders, all that sort of stuff.

    Basically, anything not totally basic to the powertrain, anything without which the car would still run and move, that they can put in the glossy brochure and promote is a feature. At least, to my way of understanding.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    ...when manufacturers want to bulk up the features list of their econo cars, they mentally revert back like 25 years and list as "features" such then-cool but now pretty-standard ammenities as side mirrors, spare tire and radio.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    The way things are going, having a spare tire really WILL be a feature....
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    we do have mainstream manufacturers boasting if they have a full-size spare instead of a donut now. That must be a feature! :-)

    On the features list of the base-model short cab Tacoma, Toyota lists "two outside mirrors"! Guess that's a feature.

    In the upcoming Yaris, rear defogger will be a "Feature" which is optional! Talk about stepping back 25 years...

    :-)

    A feature which I loved in my old Matrix, which I have never had before or since: flip-up glass in the rear hatch that opens separately from the door.....wellll, actually my 4Runner has roll-down glass in the rear door, but it's not quite the same. That is a "feature" that is fairly rare among midsize SUVs, which I am very fond of.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...has been listed as a feature in the not-too-distant past.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    RWD is being listed as a feature again! How funny.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • A real spare is a must have feature in my mind. Along with rear defrost, int wipers, heat and automatic timing advance.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    "heat and automatic timing advance"

    Hasn't automatic timing advance been in every model since the mid-90s because of emissions standards? I could be wrong, but I thought so.

    As for heat, I wonder what the last car without heat was....I kinda figure every car since at least 1970 and maybe further back has had heat. Those early VW Beetles had pretty primitive heat that ran off the engine's blower for air cooling, and didn't provide much heat until the engine was real hot, and not much unless you were moving either (there was no fan to force the air out for heating the cabin).

    In the last couple of decades, it has been real hard to find cars with a real spare and not a donut - now full-sizers are finally making a bit of a come-back, and I'm glad. Ubber, what have you bought since 1985 that had a full-size spare? Just curious. Do the Caravan or Sebring have one?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Actually the newest car I was in without automatic timing advance was from the 20's. I don't mind using hand signals to stop, but adjusting the timing advance is a skill I do not have.

    In some parts of this country (Minot) you will discover a be difference between having a heater, and having heat.

    P.S. My sympathy to anyone actually in Minot, and let me say with all sincerity, burr.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    I know of cars prior to 1975 without automatic timing advance, and I think some hung around longer than that without it, but it was pretty common by the 80s because smog controls were taking hold, and in California at least, the adoption of OBDII standards for MY 1996 mandated it.

    What part of the world is Minot in?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • North Dakato, Looks like they are getting a rather balmy high of 21 today. They must be enjoying the warmer weather.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "...though I'm holding my breath to see if Dodge is going to offer us a limited edition Charger Roadrunner edition with towelrack spoiler in back and aero-nose in front..."

    Actually that would be a Charger Daytona you're talking about. http://www.wwnboa.org/70csed.htm

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I know of cars prior to 1975 without automatic timing advance, and I think some hung around longer than that without it..."

    Really? Which ones? I ask because I turned a wrench on LOTS of cars back in the 1970s, and given that most of them were owned by poor college students, the age range of the cars that I worked on was from a newish 5 years old to a very long in the tooth 20 years old. Even still, the only car that I've ever even seen without a timing advance was my 1970 Dodge Challenger, and that's because Super Shops had a deal on Mallory Dual Point Distributors, one of which I bought and installed myself. My fuel mileage without the timing advance went into the dumper so bad that I think I only had that thing in there for a couple of weeks before I pulled it out and bought a Mopar Electronic Ignition kit.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    well, memories of the 70s are fuzzy at best (;-)) but as I recall the Corolla didn't get ignition advance until it went electronic in 1975. I remember working on a friend's that was like a '72 which didn't have it. I think there have been others, but my brain has stopped functioning very well today. If that is true of the pre-'75 Corolla, it is probably true of a lot of the Japanese cars from that era that were at or below the Corolla's price point. Just guessing on that last, but the Big 3 Japanese all follow each other pretty closely.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    But cars got heaters when they were required by federal safety standards to have defrosters. This would likely have been as of 1/1/1968, when the bulk of the early safety standards became effective.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Here's betting that cars got heaters (defrosters too) in something like 1925 if not before. After all, all a heater is, is a second radiator inside the car.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Maybe as option in 1925 or before, but I remember from my youth (1960s) when used cars ads still used the term "R&H" to mean radio and heater. In other words, neither of these were standard in many cars.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    Since long ago distributors had centrifugal weights that automatically advanced the timing of the spark with engine speed. They also had a vacuum control that advanced the spark automatically in relation to the amount of vacuum.

    Now a computer controls the advance amount. But there has been automatic spark advance since the 50s. Does anyone have a car since then that had a level for advancing/retarding the spark on the steering column? That would be manual advance.

    This message has been approved.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Yes, my remarks were in relation to vacuum advance, which went into the '75 Corolla. It's long enough ago that I can't remember if it had some type of system with centrifugal weights for spark advance before '75. Could very well be, as my memory isn't the greatest! :-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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