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Old 09-16-2014, 04:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Undue attention to driving an old Honda?

Gentlemen, I have had two threads locked, please do not start arguing in this one!

Years ago, I was driving home from Church, and realized that the police were following me. I stopped at a store and watched them drive past. Someone told me that the police profiled me because I drove an old car. Recently, I have had similar concerns. People keep telling me different things. My family says that my car is a target. Mom keeps talking about some comedian that was pulled over just because he drove an old car, and the police assumed that he had something to hide. A friend wrote:

I think the reason you get followed is that you tend to drive according to a list of eccentric rules based on how you feel you will get the best gas mileage and performance from your car. Some of the same behaviors from that list are techniques used by people who have been drinking (driving slower and more carefully)

That might explain some of your experiences...
The young lady whose oil pan I replaced said that only kids who want to race drive old Civics, which sounds like a terrible over-generalization. The garage shows 675 Civics. All of the owners are kids who want to race, right?

Have any of you been stopped while hypermiling? I imagine that you can say that they cannot stop you for that, but that was not my experience, and I really do not want any of you to argue over it.

Have any of you obtained the attention of the police and had difficulty ridding yourself of it afterward?

If you want details, send me a private message. Absolutely do not try to get me to reveal anything here, I will only ignore you.

My father passed away a few months ago and everybody liked his Focus. Nobody wanted to see it repossessed and my family keeps trying to get me to take over payments, I just did not think that it was worth getting into debt when I already have a car--two, actually!

Mom would only ask me to pay what my ex-girlfriend is paying each month for Bacon and one friend said that it would be worth selling plasma to have the Focus. With only the factory ecomods, it matches my HX's mileage, while being twenty-percent heavier, having 100% more doors, and without minor annoyances that my Civic has.

I hate thinking about putting my car on Craigslist, although I would hope to find a buyer on here.. I have all kinds of plans for this car, but I enjoy driving both. Dad's car is twelve years newer, with one hundred thousand miles fewer.

To be honest, I wish that I could offer this friend to make payments on this car, her Accord has not been starting lately, and has a host of other problems.

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Old 09-16-2014, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I was pulled over in the Anal Probe twice for no reason. One was during the dazzle camo phase late at night on the way home from a Woodward Ave car meet. The other was in the UFO/boat tail phase late at night on the way home from god-knows-what south of Bayport, MN.

To my memory neither time did the cop mention anything specifically wrong with the vehicle. The first time I was pulled over because the cop had been tailing me for a mile or more and I turned down a residential street in an attempt to get him off my tail. THAT DOES NOT WORK. But honestly, the car was an attention magnet either way and had I kept it I know I would have been pulled over more.

The only time I got pulled over in my Civic was at a speed trap at 4:50am on a Saturday when I was going to work. Admittedly I was "having a little fun", so it wasn't profiling based on the car.

I'd say, if you can't afford the Focus in cash, keep your Civic. As far as keeping the cops off your butt, all I can say is make your car as stock as possible, including (esp. for a Honda) exhaust note.
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I cannot get the spot out but it's okay; It still works in the store
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I do not get pulled over, but I do get tailed very often in my old Civic. My Civic still appears like one out to "play" but I drive slow and very deliberate, maximizing safety and MPGs. There are whole towns near me that I avoid because every time I pass through I get tailed to the town line. The funny thing is, I get no attention at all in my wife's new VW that is much faster looking.
Overall, I find it annoying.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have been pull over several times in my Civic's for no reason then to see if the exhaust was illegal. Even with the stock exhaust running out the back with a e-cutout, running it closed. Then the cop then ask for my licencing and registration proof of insurance and let me go. Every time the cop would see that a older man in his late forty's is driving they would have a shock look on their face.

So on all my builds now I run a e-cut-out exhaust with the stock exhaust out the back. I have even change my mind and decided on my Talon to not run the exhaust out the side now for the reason of not trying to look the part of a import racer.

I was once sitting in a parking lot with my car running looking at a data log and making adjustments and a State Trooper pulled behind me asking if I was racing??? I told him, "nope making adjustments for fuel economy". He got kinda pissed off thinking I was not telling the truth and being a smart ass. So I said I can prove it," just look at my data logs showing mph, instant fuel mileage, map, etc plus the time about 5 minutes ago". He then believed me and responded why are you trying to improve fuel mileage...??? I just said I'm kinda strange that way. lol I have seen him since and now he just waves as we pass by. lol
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I drive slowly and I have been tailed by the cops several times and I have been pulled over twice. One time I was vaping and cops pulled me over thinking I was smoking marijuanas in a busy intersection at 6am asked 200+ questions I didn't give an answer to checked my papers ran my car in the computer took a smoke break and let me free had me stopped on the side of the road for 2 hours. Not 2 weeks later I was pulled over again they got out looked at the car got back in the cruiser pulled up next to me and told me to have a good day. Nothing is wrong with my car. It is 100% legal. I am a safe driver with 5000000 miles behind the wheel. Even before hypermiling I was a defensive driver it has increased 10x. The suv moms and the lifted pickups are the ones you have to watch out for. I will drive old tired ugly cars and trucks for ever. They still work fine. I will never buy a new car when I can get one for $1000.

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Old 09-16-2014, 02:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't think the age of the car has anything to do with it. Most of my cars are well over 10 years old and I've never been followed or stopped for that reason. But all my cars are all in good, roadworthy condition, and they don't have any high profile features to attract attention. However, the condition of the car is often an indication of the nature of the driver. If the car looks like it is unkempt (dents, rust, odd modifications) it will attract undue attention. If it looks like a rolling wreck it's ticket bait. If the cop can find something wrong with the car, it's an easy opportunity for him to find anything illegal and use it as a basis for probable cause.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Remember the old Japanese saying: "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down". Many, if not most, cops are bullies by nature - that's why police work appeals to them. For obvious reasons, bullies prefer to pick on those weaker than they are, which in the cop world translates to young and poor.
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a white 98 civic for a little while. The car was near a fire which melted a couple things on the driver side of the car, and it also took the reflective-ness off of my rear license plate. This all happened before I bought the car. One night I was going home from closing at work ~230am and a sac county sheriff followed me for a mile or so. The car had rear wheel skirts, air dam, a couple things here and there to make it stand out, but he pulled me over for the license plate not being reflective. He did his whole routine and told me to get a new one and he let me go because I made it seem like i wasn't trying to hide anything from him. Which I wasn't

No matter what you get pulled over for, or who the officer is, put your keys on the dash and your hands on the steering wheel. They have no idea if they are coming up to a car that is threatening or not. just my 2 cents

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Old 09-16-2014, 03:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have never been pulled over in my car and I have cops pass by me all the time. I get tons of strange looks, but none ever seem all too interested.

Originally Posted by tvbd56 View Post
No matter what you get pulled over for, or who the officer is, put your keys on the dash and your hands on the steering wheel. They have no idea if they are coming up to a car that is threatening or not. just my 2 cents
Very good advice.

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Old 09-16-2014, 03:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some are inquisitive, they may just stop you because they can't figure you out.
Give them something to label you like those "Baby on board" triangles. Then you're not a suspect, you're a parent.

(Most cars I see with that sticker only have one person aboard. Makes me think that must be the baby then.)

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“We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.” ― Albert Einstein
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