1. Oversized Spoilers
Spoilers serve an aerodynamic function by “spoiling” air currents that contribute to drag and turbulence — but only when they’re necessary. When they’re purely cosmetic, they don’t add anything to the car but weight. And when they’re gigantic for no reason, they’re little more than ugly cop magnets that can actually reduce aerodynamics and performance.
2. Fake Performance Badges
Among the saddest class of drivers are those who feel they can pose their way into a high-performance model just by slapping a decal on a run-of-the-mill make. You might see an AMG badge on what’s clearly an entry-level Mercedes, or a decal designed to trick people into thinking that a vanilla BMW is an M3 hatchback that never actually existed.
It’s hard to imagine who, exactly, badge posers think they’re fooling, but don’t be a fool by becoming one of them.
3. CDs in the Rearview Mirror
Some automotive add-ons can be free and worthless at the same time. An enduring misconception says that hanging a CD or DVD in your rearview mirror will somehow deflect and interrupt police radar, making your car invisible to cops with radar guns. It will not. It’s a long-debunked urban legend — and since law enforcement has been privy to it for years, it will likely only make you stand out even more.
4. Anything in the Rearview Mirror
Even if you’re not intentionally trying to foil police with an obvious and ineffective disc, it’s a violation in some jurisdictions to hang anything in your rearview mirror because dangling objects can impede your vision.
That includes innocuous things such as air fresheners, super-cool fuzzy dice, rosary beads and even handicapped placards, which you’re supposed to remove whenever you’re not parked.
5. Cupholder Swivel Trays
You can spend $15 on a flimsy contraption that turns your console cup holder into a swivel tray designed to help you eat fast food while driving, but you shouldn’t. First of all, doing 65 mph with an elevated, swiveling mini-dining spread 8 inches from your face is probably a bad idea.
Also, many of the top brands get poor reviews on sites like Amazon for being cheaply made, ill-fitting and wobbly. If you use it enough, the chances of you eventually wearing your burger and fries after a sharp turn or a sudden stop are essentially 100%.