5 Must-Have Automotive Accessories to Gift this Holiday Season
November 19, 2018 | By mwilson |
In today’s day and age, we’re obsessed with technology and accessories. We’re always on the look-out for the next big trend and with the holidays right around the corner, we made a list of five pieces of technology you should consider buying for you or a loved ones’ vehicle.
One piece of technology that has become increasingly popular over the years is car dashboard cameras. In times past, typically only law enforcement vehicles used dash cameras as they were an expensive – but necessary – piece of equipment. Today, the manufacturing process has become so streamlined that these cameras are readily available and affordable at all price ranges.
The main and most common use for dash cameras is to have first-hand evidence in the event you’re in a motor vehicle accident. Not every accident has witnesses, so for situations like this, a dash camera is the only concrete proof you’ll have of what happened.
Apart from accidents, vandalism and theft are other situations where a dash cam may prove useful. Many modern dash cameras utilize motion sensors, so if someone were to come near your car the camera will automatically turn on and start recording. This could be especially useful in areas with higher than normal crime rates.
A fear we all have while driving is seeing flashing red and blue lights in our rear-view mirror. Instantly your mind goes to “Was I driving too fast?” or “How much is this going to cost me?”. These situations can be all but neutralized by using a radar detector.
A radar detector identifies radar devices based on the radio waves they emit and will notify the driver when they are close to the signal source. While radar detectors can occasionally pick up other radio waves from security systems and automatic doors, it’s better to slow down and be safe if any signals are picked up. Radar detector prices can range anywhere from $75 to $10,000 with the more expensive ones being more accurate at detecting police radio waves than their cheaper counterparts. A radar detector can easily pay for itself if it can help you avoid just one ticket.
Inflatable Car Jacks
Another fear we all have? Getting a flat tire on our ride home. We pull to the side of the road, take out the spare tire from the trunk, and grab our traditional hand crank jack. We guess and pray we put the jack in the correct spot and start cranking, only to hear a resounding “crack”. We look under the car to see our car’s frame bent or body warped. These are extremely costly repairs that stemmed from not being able to correctly use a jack.
One way to avoid these problems is to use an inflatable car jack. Inflatable car jacks work by using the emissions your vehicle produces. The bag is attached to your exhaust and is filled with these emissions and inflates to raise the vehicle. Inflatable car jacks not only are more efficient and require less work on the handlers’ part, but they’re also more convenient. A fully deflated car jack can be stored in areas as small as your center console, whereas a traditional crank must have a designated space in your trunk.
How many times have you been going over your mental checklist of things you need before leaving the house to realize you don’t know where your car keys are? I guarantee you won’t get far without them. The good thing, however, is with the advancement in technology we now have devices that can locate our keys wherever they are. Typically, all that you need to do is attach a bluetooth key fob on your key loop which then communicates with a mobile app to show you where your keys are located.
Another way to utilize this technology is to use it as a parking assistant. Airports, malls, and cities parking layouts can be tricky, and you may not be able to remember exactly where you parked. Just leave the key fob in your vehicle and you can use the mobile app to track its location.
Bluetooth FM Transmitters
Newer cars tend to come standard with all the bells and whistles like power windows, heated seats and bluetooth capabilities, but many still don’t. While most of these upgrades would cost an arm and a leg to install with aftermarket parts and services, some have quick and easy fixes. One of these fixes? A Bluetooth FM transmitter.
A Bluetooth FM transmitter can be plugged into the DC connector (formerly cigarette/cigar lighter receptacle) in your vehicle for use with your bluetooth enabled device. Simply insert the transmitter in the DC connector, set it to a radio frequency that is coming through strong, and connect it to your device. You can then use your bluetooth enabled device to listen to music, make calls, and act as a navigation system.
All in, these accessories will run you a couple hundred bucks at most but can save you a lot of time and a lot of headaches down the line.