Q: What is a Glove Compartment?

December 17, 2013 12:53 PM

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A glove compartment is also sometimes referred to as a glove box. In some regions, the glove compartment is also known as a jockey box or a cubbyhole. It is a special compartment that is most often located above the footwell of the passenger front seat in a vehicle. It is contained inside the dashboard and is used for storing miscellaneous items. Some of the more common items you might keep in a glove compartment are owner's manuals, insurance paperwork, maps, a flashlight, napkins, or a tire gauge. The name is derived from the compartment's original purpose, which was to store driving gloves. Originally, the compartment was comprised of a box that was located near the driver on the floorboard. Driving gloves were worn to keep your hands clean and were considered an essential piece of equipment in early vehicles. Many vehicles at the time did not possess a hard top, and fast-moving air could quickly cool and numb your hands when driving. Glove compartments can now be found in a coupe as well as in convertibles and, truly, virtually in every car on the planet.

The glove box closes with a latch in most vehicles. The option of locking the compartment is also often available. This is a beneficial practice when using a valet service, as the valet key cannot be used for opening the glove compartment. When there is a lock on the glove compartment, it can only be opened with a single master key. The glove compartment can also be a handy security tool when parking a convertible with the top down. You can easily lock small items in the glove compartment and ensure they remain secure without the need to raise the top of the convertible.

Some vehicles also feature an area that can be used for holding cups when the glove compartment is open. Others feature a secure section for holding a pencil or pen. In some models, the compartment may be temperature controlled. In this case, it can be used much like a cooler. Some designs include an additional vent in the glove compartment from the heating/air conditioning system. Some family car options feature multiple glove compartments. This can be helpful if you prefer to keep a lot of items in your vehicle, such as small tools and other belongings. An internal light that automatically turns on when the glove compartment is opened is featured in some vehicles. This can make it easier to quickly search for items in the glove compartment in the dark.

You can also order replacement glove compartments. A replacement glove compartment might be necessary if the original glove compartment breaks or is damaged for some reason. In addition, aftermarket accessories are available that make it easier to organize the items in your glove compartment. A glove compartment organizer often features several spaces where important travel documents can be easily stored and organized, including registration and insurance cards. With an aftermarket organizer, important documents and other items can often be stored in the organizer and quickly removed in an envelope-style packet without the need to gather loose items from the glove compartment.

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