New cars nowadays are equipped with the most sophisticated technology that keeps passengers entertained and allows them to stay connected when out on the road, but if you own an older car, you probably don’t get to use any of those cool features that can make your ride more enjoyable and convenient. However, there are lots of ways to make your old car feel like new and more high-tech, such as installing a new stereo system, or an improvised infotainment system, and some other similar tricks that will bring it into the 21st century.
Integrate Your Smart Devices
If you own a smartphone, a tablet, or an MP3 player, you probably want to be able to integrate it with your car and connect it to the audio system, so that you can play music from your device on your car’s stereo. This can be done pretty quickly and easily, and you won’t have to spend too much money on it.
For starters, you will surely want to be able to recharge your phone while you are driving. To do that, you just have to buy a USB car adapted and a smartphone dock, which you can get for as little as $50, and mount it on the windshield or the dashboard. After you’ve plugged the USB adapter into your car, you just have to attach the USB end of your phone’s cable to the adapter. In order to connect your phone to your car’s speakers, you will need an FM transmitter, which you can hook up with your phone through the headphone jack. The other option is to replace your old stereo with one that has an auxiliary jack and connect it to your smartphone or MP3 player.
Install An Improvised Infotainment System
All new cars today have some sort of infotainment system, which provides navigation information and entertainment for passengers, with large touch screens, DVD players, surround sound, but even though your old car didn’t come with all these things, you can put together a similar system if you have the money and know how to install it.
There are various head units that you can choose from and install one in your car, which is the easiest way to get a system that is similar to those found in newer cars. Some of the most famous brands include Pioneer, Kenwood and Alpine, with most of them costing over $500. There is the Pioneer’s AVH-P6300BT, which includes a 7-inch widescreen touch display, and allows you to listen to various Pandora Internet Radio Stations through your smartphone, control an iPod or some other MP3 player, and connect it to your phone via Bluetooth to dial a phone number and make a hands-free phone call. This head unit costs $839.
Another, a little bit cheaper option would be buying Parrot’s Asteroid Tablet, which includes a 5-inch screen, and can be controlled from your steering wheel through a wireless touchpad remote that’s included in the package. It has Bluetooth radio and GPS, and comes with a 1-GB on-board storage. You can make phone calls, and use applications from your smarthpone via voice commands, as it can be connected to Asteroid via Bluetooth. The Asteroid Tablet will set you back $399.
Get The Automatic Link Driving Assistant
This is a great tool that can replace the features on those expensive infotainment systems that help drivers start driving smarter and more efficiently, by providing information on the car’s fuel consumption, average speed, and other important driving data. It’s a small device that you can plug into your car’s data port, which can be found on almost all vehicles sold in the U.S. since 1996. After you’ve plugged it in, the device will connect to the car’s on-board computer and inform you about how many miles you have driven over a given period of time, fuel consumption, driving habits, such as how you accelerate and brake, and it gives you tips on what you need to do to drive more efficiently. You can see the data the Automatic Link recovers from your car on your smartphone via Bluetooth technology.