What Does Google Search’s Autocomplete Think About Your Car?

The internet can be helpful when it comes to questions about your car—and sometimes, it can be downright creepy. If you thought your searches for Wrangler wobbles or BMW VANOS death were between you and whatever deity you’re hoping will spare you from woe, think again, bud. All of those searches feed into predictive text, which can actually tell you a lot about your car. 

Google’s auto-completing search box brings up a weird snapshot of your car’s culture, like it or not. Typing in “why does my [car]” or “why is my [car]” brings up a list of suggestions based on prior searches, hence our question today. What does Google have to say about your car? 

Sometimes Google comes up with harmless questions, like why your older BMW smells like crayons. (I’ve been wondering about this for years, by the way, because it happens with Porsches, too.) Other times, it’s sad. Google’s lone result for “Why does my Mitsubishi Lancer” was “discontinued.” That doesn’t even make grammatical sense, and I’m still depressed about it. Occasionally, it’s even a compliment: “Why is the Honda S2000 so good?”

These Ask Jeeves-style queries also bring up a list of frequently searched problems. For example: 

  • Why is my Mini Cooper making a ticking noise?
  • Why is my WRX burning oil?
  • Why is my VW Golf not starting?
  • Why does my Jeep Patriot stutter when I accelerate?
  • Why is my Porsche Boxster smoking?

The only downside is that starting a question about less popular cars doesn’t bring up much. Case in point: Typing in “Why does my VW 411” only brings up “for sale,” “fastback” and “wagon.” “Why does my Trabant” is even funnier, as one of its suggestions is “Why does my Trabant car?” Why does it car, really? 

You also need to be specific if you have a model that means something else, lest you get suggestions like “Why is my cervix STI?” or “Why are my cayenne peppers not turning red?” 

Oh, no. 

So, what does Google have to say about your car? Drop your results down in the comments so we can commiserate about our overheating Cadillac Devilles, beeping Renault Kadjars, jerking Honda Elements and “Why does my Isetta price?”

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