Even the Smallest Add-On Can Add Up to Millions

Dear Car Talk:

I love your column and wouldn't miss it. Here's my question: Why don't car manufacturers put two sun visors on cars -- one for the windshield and one for the side window?

I live where there are lots of winding roads, and every time I go around a bend, the sun "shifts" and ends up right in my eyes.

Years ago, I had a Volvo with two visors, so when I was driving, I didn't have to keep flipping the visor back and forth from front to side as I drove. Thanks. -- Fran

A handful of cars I've driven have had them, Fran. But off the top of my head, I can't remember which ones.

I know I've driven older Ford Explorers with them, and older Nissan Pathfinders. And I occasionally see them on some higher-end cars like Porsches and Range Rovers, when customers let me sit in them.

Why doesn't everybody do it? Well, I don't want to accuse the automotive industry of being cheap, but I'm guessing that the extra cost is a factor. Maybe it only costs a few dollars to add a second visor, but you multiply that by a million vehicles a year and suddenly your customers are saying, "Wait, the tire tread is optional?"

I think the other factor is that the demand is not universal. Not that many people regularly drive on the kinds of roads you drive on, Fran.

While we do hear from people who want two visors, it's not what we'd call a groundswell. It's currently tied with electronic butt scratchers as the 131st most-requested new car feature. It would be nice if you could order it as an option. But it's not necessarily easy to add on after the car is built, since it's mounted to the underside of the car's roof.

So you'll probably have to do what your fellow sun-in-your-eyes-on-winding-roads compatriots do, Fran. Get a good pair of sunglasses or a strip of tinted plastic and some double-sided tape for the top of your side window. Happy squinting!


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What the stars say about your car for 5/23/2022
For whom do the blue lights flash? Good guess. Sorry.
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