Monday, September 3, 2012

Guest post: 5 must-have car accessories

The best car accessories combine efficiency with style, and can make the daily commute and longer drives much more enjoyable. Options range from integrating a number of different accessories through a dock, to more elaborate remote start technology, and including pressure washers, security and air conditioning accessories. When choosing these kinds of accessories, it is important to focus on ones that actually make a car more practical, and that have long lasting uses beyond novelty value. Car dice, and any purely stylistic alterations have consequently been excluded, albeit with the admission that they can be a great way to add personality to a vehicle. In terms of essential value though, these accessories should be considered:
1 - All in One Docks
It is much easier to combine a range of different entertainment and communication features into a single dock, rather than trying to integrate different ports and sensors. An entertainment dock that is either directly attached to a car stereo, or connected to wheel controls, can be used to coordinate Bluetooth devices like GPS, and enhance satellite radio. An all in one dock can similarly be used to act as a mount for a smart phone, which can run many of these features through its own operating system. More advanced docks can also be used to wirelessly connect to satellite television and rear seat DVD players, while also helping with general driving performance.
2 - Remote Start
Buttons that allow you to start up a car while still at a distance can be valuable if you need to heat up the engine before approaching the car. A remote start button can also activate a dock system, and can ensure that the car is ready to go when you get into it. While the device ultimately means that you only save a few minutes of time, this can be a luxury that means you spend less time fiddling around with controls before each journey. A remote start function can also be installed through an iPhone.
3 - Improved Security
Adding more advanced security features through accessories is always going to add value to your car, while providing you with peace of mind. Again, Bluetooth enabled technology can allow you to run a number of different security features through a single dock. Key security options to consider include mobile identification, as well as tracking sensors and deadlocks. Other security systems can monitor for changes in tyre pressure and car weight.
4 - Pressure Washer
A hand held pressure washer represents an excellent accessory if you want to skip a visit to the car wash for a full clean, and want a quicker wash than a bucket and pad. A high quality pressure washer can be used to quickly scrub down and spray your car, and uses a range of detergents and buffers to make sure that you get a high quality wash.
5 - Air Conditioner Features
Air conditioning is regularly ranked as the most important accessory that every car should have. Versatile and able to adjust to changes in temperature and pressure, a good air conditioning system can either be included as standard with a car, or can be added. Cutting edge air conditioners can deal with changes in heat and pressure in more precise ways than older models, and can also help to evaporate moisture and control humidity.

Rob James is a mechanic and kit car enthusiast. His first car project was a used BMW e46 m3 he bought at an auction and renovated back in 2003. Rob likes to blog about kit cars, general maintenance, and enthusiast rallies.