Here’s some fun car facts you may not have known about the automobiles we all know and love and rely on for transportation:
The first car tires were like bike tires. In the early days of automotive development, tires had to be replaced much more frequently than they do today. Advanced development in materials and technology such as radial belts, stronger rubber, and layers help today’s tires last much longer. But when the first automotive tire was invented in 1911 by Philip Strauss, it was very different. His version of the tire was closer to a bicycle tire, with an inner tube that was inflated inside of an outer rubber shell.
Windshield wipers were invented by a woman. Mary Anderson invented windshield wipers in 1903 after visiting New York City, where she noticed that the streetcar driver had to keep his window open in a sleet storm and clean his windshield by hand with a squeegee. She acquired a patent for the windshield wiper but couldn’t sell her invention to car companies, who claimed that the device did not have commercial value. But after her patent expired in 1920, windshield wipers soon became a standard feature on automobiles. Even in sunny Southern California, changing your wiper blades is an important part of automotive maintenance – you don’t want to be caught in a rainstorm and have wipers that only make your windshield cloudier!
Your car uses six primary fluids. While most people know to change their motor oil regularly, less people realize that there are five other important fluids that should be changed or replenished at regular intervals to keep your car healthy. These are your coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. Many of these are also hazardous and need to be disposed of properly.
Antilock brakes were invented over 50 years ago. Although they are a relatively recent safety feature on most passenger cars, antilock brakes have actually been around for more than half a century. The British company Road Research Laboratories created the first antilock braking system in 1958, which was called “Maxaret” and used in production on the 1966 Jensen FF sports sedan. These systems were initially extremely expensive and were not widely used, but advances in brake controller technology have made ABS standard on almost every recent model vehicle.