New cars come packed with great gadgets that make driving your car fun, comfortable and safe, but you don’t need to buy a new car to have the coolest new tech in your current car. Current trends in the aftermarket auto part industry allow affordable upgrades to the interior and exterior of your favorite vehicle with very little effort, tools, or experience. Below you will find my favorite picks to upgrade your car or truck.
I think that there is no better investment for your vehicle than a dashcam. In the unpleasant process of filing an insurance claim, video recording of an accident can save you tens of thousands of dollars. There are very inexpensive and simple ones, but the top features to look for are auto-start, removable memory card, internal memory capacity, and secure mounting hardware.
This gadget plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and connects to your phone via Bluetooth or physical cable. It transmits media and phone calls to your car stereo and allows you to use your phone hands-free as required by law in many states. There are ones with USB charging ports that are very handy when traveling alone or with company.
There are mounts for your tablets, DVD players, or portable monitors that attach to your headrests for your rear-seat passengers, or you can get an entire drop-in replacement headrest with built-in monitors. Having access to movies and games will make for pleasant road trips and excellent car camping.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
This accessory was a pleasant surprise for me. Knowing at a glance and monitoring the air pressure in your tires can be incredibly handy. This kit consists of 4 caps for your tire stems that have easy-to-change batteries and a head unit that goes in the cab of your vehicle. The screen sizes vary, but they all can give you immediate feedback if you have a slow leak or if your tires become underinflated.
These systems are very useful, and there are many installation options. Wireless units can be expensive but are very easy to install; however, I prefer the reliability and price of wired units. If you aren’t very handy, a mechanic can install one, but if you watch the below video on YouTube, you will see that it is not a complicated procedure.
One of my favorite devices is also one of the most practical and affordable. This tool plugs into the OBD2 port on your car (standard in vehicles built after 1996) and, when linked to your cell phone, can give you critical feedback on your car’s engine systems management as well as clear and interpret engine fault codes. You will be able to rid your dashboard of that pesky check engine light that nearly every car seems to have.
These tech improvements to your aging car will make it feel new again. There are many other products that improve the safety and quality of your journeys, and exploring the available aftermarket parts will spruce up your ride like never before. Whether you install these cool parts on your own or use the services of a mechanic, you will be thoroughly impressed with the results.