Previously, cars were just a means of transportation. People cared about the engine, style, interior comfort. These things still matter, but just as important today is how technologically advanced a car is.
Modern cars offer digital dashboards that display apps on your phone, an infotainment system, 360-degree cameras, keyless entry, and much, much more. But in fact, many people drive their cars for years, sometimes until the engines are closed. These older cars may have some modern capabilities, but not the kind of enhancements that go well with today’s mobile technology.
Wouldn’t it be nice to somehow align your car with the technological life you live in, regardless of the age of your car? Well, these 10 useful gadgets will make almost any car modern. Here’s how to make your car smart.
1. Key Tracker
Loss of keys is guaranteed to happen to everyone at some point. If you spend 10 minutes or an hour looking for them, the time will be wasted and anxiety will arise. You definitely don’t need to go that route as there are several battery-operated key finders from companies like Tile and Chipolo that average around $ 25.
These trackers are great because you can attach them to pretty much anything you don’t want to miss. Using the app connected to the tracker, you can determine the location of your keys via GPS or press the button at which the tracker will ring so you can hear it.
2. Dash Cam
Only in recent years have people become more concerned with recording what happens on the road. Since then, DVRs have become a very common device for drivers, which they attach to the dashboard or windshield.
One of the most popular dash cam on the market right now is the Garmin Dash Cam 55, which costs around $ 200. It is compact with excellent resolution for a DVR. It automatically saves important video clips and tags the footage with time and place.
What makes it really cool are features like voice control; warnings, such as when you need to slow down or when a level crossing is approaching; and Travelapse, which speeds up the recording of your trips so you can share them as fun footage with others.
3. Bluetooth adapter
Compact discs are a thing of the past for ten years. The problem is that older cars lack the technology to easily listen to multimedia from modern devices. This is where bluetooth adapters can help.
There are three types:
- AUX input adapters connect directly to your AUX input. TaoTronics, Mpow and HAVIT models are popular and cost less than $ 30.
- FM transmitters plug into an outlet and use the FM frequency to transmit. Nulaxy has several popular devices under $ 30.
- Visor connectors such as the Jabra carry sound through their own speakers. They tend to be a little more expensive than other Bluetooth connectors, over $ 120, because they deliver superior sound without any feedback or connection issues.
Whichever option best suits your needs, you can now listen to Spotify and podcasts on the go, even if you only have a CD or cassette player.
4. Car diagnostic and tracker adapter
As automakers use big data to improve the performance of their cars, older cars can have that luxury too. By simply plugging a vehicle tracking and diagnostic adapter such as AutoNation Automatic into your dashboard, you can start syncing the data it collects about your vehicle with the app.
This data tells you where your car is, why your check engine light is on, and when it’s time to service. To access all data and features, Automatic is free for six months, then $ 5 per month. Or, you can get access to basic features for free for three years.
5. HUDWAY apps and display glass
Modern digital dashboards are common in new cars today, offering touchscreen capabilities to control everything from AC and heat to GPS. Such aftermarket systems can be implemented but can be quite expensive. A great affordable alternative suitable for any vehicle is HUDWAY Glass, which costs about $ 50 and its apps.
HUDWAY Glass is a phone mount with a piece of specially designed glass that captures the reflection of your phone’s screen. HUDWAY apps like Go and Widgets provide all the information you need about routes, speed, traffic, and more. Their information is essentially projected onto glass so you can see when you are driving. There are other apps you can plug in to get other analytics.
6. Smart tire safety monitoring
You cannot drive if your tires are flat. And if they accelerate slowly, you can ruin your fuel economy or worse, ruin your tires and ultimately cause them to explode.
Modern cars usually include some kind of sensor that tells you when you have low tire pressure – older cars definitely don’t – but their warnings are not always accurate or real-time. Nonda ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor.
The ZUS monitor connects to a USB car charger and collects data from the secure theft-resistant sensors that you use to replace your tire valve caps. In addition to real-time slow tire leak alerts, ZUS informs you through its app of critically low tire pressures so you can prevent a leak.
It also shows the history of individual tires so that you can understand where you might have serious problems with specific tires. It costs about $ 120.
7. Two port USB car charger supports Alexa
You have virtual assistants like Alexa on your phone and in your home – why not take Alexa in your car? With Roav VIVA you can do that, giving you the ultimate hands-free experience when it comes to playing music, making calls, getting directions and more, considering that VIVA contains 45,000 Alexa skills that you can use.
A nice touch is that you can also charge devices very quickly using the two PowerIQ VIVA charging ports. So while your car may be from the pay phone era, you can still turn it on with modern communications technology like VIVA for around $ 60.
8. Air purifier
We all love the smell of a new car, but it fades pretty quickly if you don’t keep the cabin clean. Even with the presence of air filtration in the cabin since the 1980s, after a few years, the car often starts to smell and becomes a little musty. Not only is it an unpleasant odor, it means your air is not as healthy. A Philips GoPure Compact Air Purifier can fix this problem for around $ 150.
GoPure Compact is great for any vehicle, especially older vehicles with inevitably outdated air filtration systems that are less advanced than newer models. GoPure’s unique technology eliminates up to 99% of toxic gases and chemical pollutants and tells you how clean the air in your car is with a sensor that displays blue (good), yellow (fair) and red (bad) so you know you are breathe.
And you don’t have to worry about turning it on every time you drive – it turns on when you turn on your car and tells you when it’s time to change the filter.
9. GOFAR Mileage Recorder and Diagnostic Monitor
You might be able to see the vehicle’s total mileage and trip mileage on the dashboard, but the numbers don’t really tell you anything other than distance, which doesn’t help much if you need to report fuel consumption and mileage for business reasons. What’s more, there is no way to tell how efficiently you are driving other than your mpg total.
This is especially true for older vehicles that already have much lower fuel economy than their modern counterparts. GOFAR can help solve these and other problems.
You simply plug in its diagnostic adapter and start tracking and logging miles through its app, which makes it easy to generate travel reports with claims totals and tabular reports that you can export. The adapter also sends you data about the condition of your vehicle, using the same technologies that mechanics use to diagnose problems and eliminate false alarms.
Besides mileage tracking and diagnostics, Ray is another GOFAR component. It is located on your dashboard and signals with blue light if you are driving efficiently and red light if not.
This will help you save on gas because you will understand in real time how to change your driving habits. Then you can count the number of trips in the app and compare your progress with others to really improve it.
After all, you may not have the most advanced car on the road, even if you use aftermarket gadgets that empower your old car, but you can still be the polite driver on the road and show it off with CarMoji.
The concept behind CarMoji is simple. If you accidentally do something to make another driver angry, you can tell him it was not malicious by pressing the remote button that flashes the happy face you attached to the rear window for six seconds before it automatically shuts down Instead of a nasty gesture or beep, you get a wave of your hand or a smile from the person behind you. That’s roughly $ 20 for a button and $ 10 for an overlay.
The old meets the new
Adding this technology to your car won’t make it as advanced as the computer models rolling off assembly lines today; However, these gadgets can help you create a smoother transition from a high tech lifestyle to a low tech car, and they will definitely improve your driving experience.
The biggest advantage is that by implementing this technology in any car, you don’t have to spend $ 30,000 or more on a new car. Keep this suction cup in working order as long as possible – and try to prevent the engine from jamming.