The Best Christmas Presents For Your Car
By Aaron Crowe
Children aren’t the only ones who want Christmas presents. As an adult, you can still find joy in getting a gift from a loved one. The same goes for cars.
Getting a gift for your car is basically getting a gift for yourself, but it’s also a thank-you to your car for taking care of you all of these years. It has gotten you to work, taken you on dates, and helped you get errands done.
A study on outdoor advertising found that Americans spend an average of 15 hours per week in their cars. That’s a lot of time to not have the best gadgets for your car.
In the hope that Santa Claus might bring us something for our car after he gets his sleigh tricked out, here’s our Christmas wish list of the best presents for a car:
Keep the phone out of hand: A mount to keep an iPhone or Android phone out of your hands but near enough so you can talk on it is important so you won’t be distracted while driving. Josh Smith, editor at GottaBeMobile.com, recommends devices from ProClip.
For people who want to connect their phone to a car radio without plugging in wires every time, Smith recommends the Belkin AirCast, which sends calls and music wirelessly from the phone to a small receiver that connects to an aux port found on many car stereos. Another bluetooth kit idea is the Parrot MKi9000, which includes a wireless remote that mounts to the dash or steering wheel.
Another option is the Dice Cradle, which docks to an iPhone or iPod in a cup that fits in the car’s cup holder. The iDM9 from iHome is another wireless device that fits in a car cupholder, working as a speaker to wirelessly stream calls and music.
The BlueAnt Commute Voice Activated Handsfree Car Kit is a smart way to read and send messages, and make calls handsfree. It offers what the company calls the best voice recognition in the industry, and drivers can prompt it to read an incoming message, reply to a message or dictate a new message without ever having to touch the phone.
Chargers. Smith also recommends a good dual device charger. The Griffin PowerJolt is one of many good options, he says. To charge an iPad, he recommends looking for one with a higher rating, such as the Just Wireless Dual USB car charger at Apple, or one from a local store with at least one 2.1 Amp USB port.
Shark fin antenna. This cool looking antenna sold by JuicedHybrid.com is aerodynamic and screws into the antenna base or can be attached with 3M adhesive. Each antenna is custom painted and clear coated to match the paint code of the car.
Cellphone signal booster. If you’re going on a long trip or weekend getaway, the zBoost cellphone signal booster captures the signal outside of the car and amplifies it on the inside for a stronger “hands-free” signal.
A comfortable, clean seat. To protect your car seat from getting sweaty and stinky after you exercise, cover it with a NeatSeat. The easy-on, easy-off seat cover is made of plush microfiber and it slips easily over the headrest. Each NeatSeat comes with two seatbelt sleeves to protect the lap and shoulder belts from salty sweat stains.
A heated car seat cushion is another way to make Santa jealous. Debbie Anderson, who writes a blog about Christmas gifts, says she got one last year, and she’s given them to relatives as gifts. The heated car seats have elastic bands to hold securely in place, and plug into a cigarette lighter.
Turn up the volume. If you want chest pounding audio in your car, get the Terminator Party Pack enclosure from MTX Audio. The pack includes two 12-inch subwoofers in a sealed enclosure along with an amplifier. It easily fits into a trunk and will add some serious bass to a sound system.
Keep it clean. Cars can get dirty quickly, especially if you have pets. Laura Cruz of Dogtopia, a dog daycare franchise, recommends the Bissell Garage Pro Wet/Dry Vacuum with Wall Mounting System. This vacuum picks up wet and dry messes and has a long hose that stretches 32 feet.
To clean the outside, polish it with Meguiar’s DA PowerSystem. The tool allows you to polish the car like it would be done at a detailing shop. The system connects to a corded power drill so you can polish like a pro.
Driving school. No we’re not talking about car safety school that you go to when you get a speeding ticket, but a high performance driving class. Learning to drive like a pro racer might help you in the commute lane.
Lock up valuables in your car. Carrying an iPod, GPS unit and other expensive electronic gadgets every time you leave the car can be annoying. Lock them up with the mySAFE Lockbox and keep them in your vehicle. The lockbox has a steel attachment cable to prevent a thief from striking quickly.
That should be enough to keep you entertained while driving. If not, grab a Star Wars severed Wampa arm ice scraper and have it at people when you’re not scraping ice off of the windshield.