USB shortage

Q&A with Sharon Peters

Q:

It seems crazy to me that with all the attention carmakers are giving to technology, there seem to be no cars with USB ports for backseat passengers. If you’re traveling with three or four others, it’s kind of dumb to have to take turns plugging in your phone. Has anyone picked up on this and stuck in a few more power ports?

A:

Some have, but backseat power ports are, indeed, more rare than one might imagine. Among vehicles that offer them: Nissan Murano, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Altima and GMC Yukon. I’m predicting that you’ll see a surge of this feature on the crop of 2016 vehicles that will be arriving in dealerships soon.

Q:

I am perplexed as to why brake pedals on automatics are so large. It’s not as though the foot has to distinguish between the clutch and the brake. Could the enormous pedal be the reason so many drivers appear to “ride” their brakes? Also, why don’t cars have universal side gas tanks? It causes quite a bit of jockeying at the filling pumps.

A:

Hmmm. I’ve not really heard the too-big brake pedal complaint before. I, for one, appreciate decent-sized brake pedals. In fact, on a few occasions I’ve had rental cars with what I regard as toosmall pedals and it takes some time for me to develop enough muscle memory that I can hit it instantly every time. Any other readers have a problem with brake pedals being too big (or too small?) As to the second question, I’m with you all the way. Whenever I rent a car I try to remember to check on which side the fuel door is located, but with all the chaos of checking in and checking for dents and how the windshield wipers and lights go on, that doesn’t always happen. So I regularly find myself on the wrong side of the gas pump. Look at it this way: shorter lines for fill-ups since we’re not all diving for the same side of the tanks when we pull in for gas. And don’t forget that little arrow on the fuel gauge that points in the direction of the vehicle’s fuel door. © CTW Features What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.