You can try to cling to your acid wash jeans for as long as you want, but deep down you know they are dated, out of style, and no longer serve much purpose. If that’s also how you could describe your car, then you’ve come to the right place. There a few simple ways that you can upgrade your car and get back to enjoying what’s important, hitting the open road. While these tricks won’t turn your rusted Sunfire into a Tesla, they can can help provide some modern luxuries to an aging vehicle.
Go Go Gadget Electronics
The most improved part of vehicles over the last few years has arguably been the interiors. In a short time, vehicles have gone from basic transportation to living rooms on wheels. Touchscreens and heads-up displays now dominate the vehicle interior. There’s no denying the convenience that built-in GPS or Bluetooth adds. If your car still has a cassette deck, or even an 8-track player, then we’re here with some advice.
Car USB Ports
The quickest way to add some modern functionality to your vehicle is with USB ports. Not that long ago, this would require some intricate knowledge of disassembling your vehicles console and soldering USB ports. Nowadays, a simple cigarette lighter USB port adapter can be picked up for less than 5 dollars at a gas station. This doesn’t really connect your phone to your car, but it does offer options for charging your phone on long drives.
If you are feeling a bit more bold, then there are simple ways to add auxiliary ports to your vehicle. In most cases, it can be more difficult to get access to the radio than it is to actually add the extra port. An all in one aux jack that you simply plug in to your vehicles radio is widely available and removes any complex wiring or soldering.
Another way to quickly bring your car up to speed is to add mounts for smartphones and tablets. In most areas, using mobile devices while driving is illegal, so make sure to abide by all local laws before buying a bunch of peripherals for your car. A phone mounting bracket can be made inexpensively using an old binder clip and elastic bands.
Other gadgets that can bring your car into the future are things like back-up and dashboard cameras. These options are slowly becoming common on most modern vehicles. In the case of backup cameras, these provide the simple luxury of being able to reverse without having to turn around, while offering a much better view of your vehicle. Dashcams can sometimes lower insurance rates as they provide a record of your driving. Some dash cams can even be built into rear-view mirrors, meaning they take up less space on the dashboard.
A new car hugs the road and handles like nothing else. In addition to modern electronics, some basic vehicle driving enhancements have become standard over the last few years. Many of these options are simple upgrades that can be added to your car now.
Shocks, Struts, and suspension options will provide one of the most immediate differences in driving conditions. While vehicles have always been equipped with shocks or struts, many people don’t realize they should be replaced every 50,000 miles (or 80,000km). A new set of shocks or struts can help improve the comfort of your ride, and can also help to improve cornering and stability when driving, since one of the main features of the vehicles suspension is to keep your vehicles wheels planted on the ground.
One item that has become fairly common but may not be found on your older car is a sway bar. Sway bars work by strengthening your vehicles chassis, by connecting the opposite wheels on the end it’s connected to. Strengthening your vehicles chassis makes for better handling in corners and increases your safety. Some cars may already be equipped with front sway bars or none at all. Depending on the type of car and the driving you do, a front sway bar may be sufficient for a noticeable gain in corner handling.
Something that most new vehicles also use is HID lights. High Intensity Discharge lights offer a brighter, longer lasting light than traditional halogen bulbs, and they give off a more white light vs the halogen’s yellow tint. You can take this conversion a step further by replacing the entire headlight assembly, which also removes old, cloudy headlights. If you’re looking to simply clear up old headlights, toothpaste is a great, low cost way to remove the haze from your lights.
Most people think that four or all-wheel drive is the key to handling in adverse conditions, but in reality, those systems are useless without the proper tires. Many times, people with older vehicles will neglect their tires, opting to drive on worn out all season tires instead. Putting a fresh set of rubber on your vehicle can make just as big of a difference to handling as suspension upgrades.
Updating a car to be more modern isn’t something that needs to be done, but it can save you the cost of having to upgrade your entire vehicle before its real time. When looking to spend money on your vehicle, the focus should really be on parts that help it function, before you spend on interior options. Things like brakes and filters will do more good for your vehicle than touchscreens and cameras, but with some simple advice and AutoShack.com, you can get the luxuries you want and the prices you need!
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