Over HALF of drivers don't know what the buttons in their cars do

Over half of British drivers don’t understand what the buttons and switches in their cars actually do… so how many do YOU recognize?

  • Over 50 per cent of Brits admit they don’t know what many of the buttons on their car’s dashboard does
  • More than 62 per cent have no idea what it means when a warning light or sound goes off in their vehicle
  • A quarter are unable to find the fog lights button, reset the clock or locate the lever to open the bonnet
  • More than half of British drivers have no idea what many of the buttons and switches in their car actually do, according to a survey.

    When it comes to the tech and functionality of their cars 53 per cent of motorists are clueless, with more than one in ten confessing they’re confused by almost all of them.

    And 45 per cent  have accidentally pushed the wrong button while driving, ending up unwillingly doing things like putting their full beam headlights on in broad daylight.

    Worryingly, a quarter have struggled to locate the fog light button, while 25 per cent haven’t been able to find the lever to open the bonnet.

    Have you had trouble resetting your clock – and as a result have driven round for ages with the wrong time displaying, like 24 per cent of people surveyed?

    While 22 per cent are guilty of regularly putting the windscreen wipers on when they are actually trying to indicate.

    21 per cent have completely forgotten how to switch on cruise control, while a fifth confess they’ve accidentally left their lights on full beam at night and driven for miles, passing numerous oncoming cars.

    The majority of British drivers said they didn't know what it meant when a warning sign or noise went off in there car according to a study by WeBuyAnyCar - how many can you identify?  (*Answers below)

    The majority of British drivers said they didn’t know what it meant when a warning sign or noise went off in there car according to a study by WeBuyAnyCar – how many can you identify?  (*Answers below) 

    Cars today have a large number of buttons and switches, more than half of British drivers who were surveyed by WeBuyAnyCar admitted to not knowing what many of them do in their cars (stock image of buttons on a steering wheel)

    Cars today have a large number of buttons and switches, more than half of British drivers who were surveyed by WeBuyAnyCar admitted to not knowing what many of them do in their cars (stock image of buttons on a steering wheel)

    As cars become increasingly modern and have more functions, it seems some British drivers are struggling to understand what all the buttons and switches do in their vehicles

    As cars become increasingly modern and have more functions, it seems some British drivers are struggling to understand what all the buttons and switches do in their vehicles 

    19 per cent have been baffled by how to connect their phone to their car, while 16% have been left embarrassed by being unable to unlock the doors to let passengers in – and 15% haven’t ever been able to work out how to put the rear-view windscreen wipers on.

    14 per cent have needed to fill up on petrol, but when pulling into a petrol station have completely forgotten what side their fuel cap is on.

    And 12 per cent have been forced to listen to a radio station they dislike – as they couldn’t work out how to change it – while 12 per cent have also struggled to use their inbuilt satnav.

    A third of motorists have been left red faced when they’ve had friends or family as passengers and didn’t know how to do something simple while operating their vehicle.

    A quarter feel too embarrassed to admit they have no idea how to switch on a simple function.

    And over a 33 per cent of the 2,000 UK motorists polled confess a friend or family member has had to step in and help them out with finding the correct button inside the car.

    The small arrow by the fuel icon (pictured) indicates which side of your car the fuel cap is on

    The small arrow by the fuel icon (pictured) indicates which side of your car the fuel cap is on

    But that’s not all, as 62 per cent have no idea what it means when a warning light or sound goes off in their vehicle.

    Meanwhile three in ten drivers admit they have accidentally switched on a different driving mode like eco or spot – before then struggling to switch it off.

    Yet 16 per cent say that despite this, they’ve never consulted their handbook to try and better understand how their vehicle works.

    Richard Evans, head of technical services at WeBuyAnyCar, which commissioned the survey of 2,000 British motorists, said: ‘With the rise of high-tech cars and electric vehicles, and the more complex functionality that comes with them, it’s not a huge surprise to see that so many of us are daunted by all the different functions and modes available to us now.

    ‘Fortunately, it’s much simpler to sell your car quickly through WeBuyAnyCar so you have plenty more time on your hands to get to grips with your new car when you’re ready to upgrade.’.

    There are dozens of warning lights (pictured) that can go off in a car, 62% admitted to having no idea what some of them mean, how many out of 64 can you name? (Answers below)

    There are dozens of warning lights (pictured) that can go off in a car, 62% admitted to having no idea what some of them mean, how many out of 64 can you name? (Answers below)

    The research also indicates that 29% of drivers had no idea that the arrow on their petrol gauge indicates more than just the amount of fuel in the car – and that it tells you which side the cap is on.

    It’s also been revealed that a quarter of British motorists admit it’s completely overwhelming the first time to sit in a high-tech car and see all the different buttons and functions available.

    nearly 70% of drivers said it took them some time to fully understand how to operate a new car – with one in ten confessing they still don’t get it.

    In fact, 37% admit they always try to get to grips with all the functions in a new car, but know it’ll never happen – while 16% take a more relaxed approach, preferring to drive and use their car by instinct.

    The most commonly misunderstood car functions and mistakes, according to British drivers: 

    1. Trying to find the fog lights button 25%

    2. Finding the lever to open the bonnet 25%

    3. Resetting the clock 24%

    4. Putting the windscreen wipers on instead of indicating 22%

    5. How to switch on cruise control 21%

    6. Accidentally putting the lights on full beam 20%

    7. How to connect a mobile phone to the car 19%

    8. Trying to unlock the doors to let passengers in 16%

    9. Forgetting how to put the rear-view windscreen wipers on 15%

    10. Going to fill up petrol and forgetting which side the fuel cap is on 14%

    11. Being unable to switch to a different radio station 12%

    12. Using the satnav 12%

    13. Accidentally put child locks on the doors so no-one can get in 8%

    14. Put the car into reverse mode instead of driving mode 8%

    15. Couldn’t change the traction control 6%

    16. Couldn’t work out how to use the air-conditioning 6%

    17. Put the hazard lights on by mistake 5%

    18. Don’t know how to fill up the screen wash 5%

    19. Struggled to put the windows up or down 4%

    20. Couldn’t find the rear-view heater 3%

     

    * How many did you get right? The symbols are as follows: 1: Fog lights 2: Wind screen wipers 3: Door lock 4: Open the bonnet 5: Raise/lower windows 6: Cruise control

    What do all of the car warning symbols mean? 

    1- Fog light (front)

    2- Power steering warning light

    3- Fog light (rear)

    4- Washer fluid low

    5- Brake pad warning

    6- Cruise control on

    7- Direction indicators

    8- Rain and light sensor

    9- Winter mode

    10- Information indicator

    11- Glow plug/diesel pre-heat warning

    12- Frost warning

    13- Ignition switch warning

    14- Key not in vehicle

    15- Key fob battery low

    16- Distance warning

    17- Press clutch pedal

    18- Press brake pedal

    19- Steering lock warning

    20- Main beam headlights

    21- Tyre pressure low

    22- Sidelight information

    23- Exterior light fault

    24- Brake lights warning

    25- Diesel particulate filter warning

    26- Trailer tow hitch warning

    27- Air suspension warning

    28- Lane departure warning

    29- Catalytic converter warning

    30- Seat belt not on

    31- Parking brake light

    32- Battery/alternator warning 

    33- Parking assist

    34- Service required

    35- Adaptive lighting

    36- Headlight range control

    37- Rear spoiler warning

    38- Convertible roof warning

    39- Airbag warning

    40- Handbrake warning

    41- Water in filter

    42- Airbag deactivated

    43- Fault problem

    44- Dipped beam headlights

    45- Dirty air filter

    46- Eco driving indicator

    47- Hill descent control

    48- Temperature warning

    49- ABS warning

    50- Fuel filter warning

    51- Door open

    52- Bonnet open

    53- Low fuel

    54- Automatic gearbox warning

    55- Speed limiter

    56- Suspension dampers

    57- Oil pressure low

    58- Windscreen defrost

    59- Boot open

    60- Stability control off

    61- Rain sensor

    62- Engine/emissions warning

    63- Rear window defrost

    64 -Auto windscreen wiping

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