We have this rental car, from one of the big companies. It has Arizona plates, with almost 50,000 miles on it. The vehicle is in excellent condition. And it’s pretty highly tricked out, for a rental car. Most of those are mid-range trim lines.
But there’s several weird things going on.
The car has Sirius/XM satellite radio, with the little sharkfin antenna on the roof. It has OnStar, with the big flat plate behind the rear view mirror serving as that antenna. But it has two other antennae, clearly aftermarket installations, that serve no obvious purpose at all. There’s no third party navigation system, for example (think Hertz NeverLost). And it’s got a couple of odd third party additions to the dashboard and console.
This appears to be a badge holder, as the clip extends about three feet and retracts. Though why you would keep a badge permanently inside a vehicle I don’t know, as that seems like terrible security to me. I’ve never in my life seen one of these permanently attached to a car console.
This thing is on the dash just below and to the right of the steering wheel. We cannot make it come on or do anything. It might be a control for an aftermarket in-car cellular integration, except the car has a factory-installed Bluetooth integration through the sound system that works just fine, so that makes no sense.
This is the other aftermarket antenna that serves no obvious purpose. It’s a little bigger than an inch square. When you first start the car, this one has a blinking LED that goes green after a minute or so, seeming to indicate that it is successfully acquiring signal.
It’s almost as if the vehicle used to be a law enforcement or security vehicle that wasn’t fully decommissioned, except you’d never find one of those in a rental car fleet from a major rental agency. They buy all their cars brand new in bulk contracts from the major manufacturers.
I’ve rented hundreds of cars over the years, and I’ve never seen anything quite like this stuff. Anybody know what all this is for?