Aside from a house, cars are likely the most expensive object most people own. And of course there’s no fixed cost. Once you’ve driven off the lot, you need to worry about insurance, payments, gas, and maintenance. With that responsibility, many of us like to take care of our cars the best way we know how. That might mean a regular wash and wax, a specific kind of fuel, or a rigorous maintenance schedule. Or it could mean adding flourishes to personalize our cars.
This is nothing new. The automotive aftermarket is a multibillion-dollar industry. And if there’s money to be made, there are people out there running scams. From fuel additives to decor, there’s an incredible amount of junk out there. And unfortunately, plenty of people are happy to buy it without asking questions.
Some products are decent but often misused. Others are useless crap. And a small amount can actually damage your car and end up costing you more money in the end. We’ve taken a sample of all three. Here are 10 things for your car that are a complete waste of money.
1. Fake vents
Some performance cars, such as the Corvette Z06, have functional cooling vents on virtually every body panel. These send much-needed cool air to the engine and brakes, which are designed to handle extreme conditions for hours at a time. Your used 13-year-old Lincoln Aviator has no need for extra cooling, so its design team didn’t give it any in the first place.
Still, that hasn’t dissuaded millions of Americans from plunking down $10 or more on crappy stick-on faux vents. They make your car look ridiculous, wreak havoc on its paint, and show the world you’ve been taken for a few of your hard-earned bucks.
Next: For the most part, you can skip this aisle altogether.