While buying a new car can get you all the latest tech and convenience amenities, that can be a steep price to pay. But you actually can get those features for relatively little coin by adding some choice vehicle upgrades to your existing car. These aftermarket enhancements can help make life behind the wheel safer and more enjoyable. Here are some essential upgrades worth considering.
By law, all new cars must be equipped with a backup camera. This camera provides a clear view when you’re reversing your car, which makes backing up less of a white-knuckle experience. If you have an older car that’s lacking this vital equipment, you can get an aftermarket wireless backup camera. They’re not too expensive, installation is fairly easy and they can make rearward maneuvers easier and safer.
2. Blind-Spot Monitor
Stress can suck the joy out of driving, and there’s nothing more stressful than wondering if there’s a car in your blind spot when you’re about to change lanes. A blind-spot monitor can help. This technology is widely offered on newer cars but harder to find on older models. By installing an aftermarket blind-spot monitor, you’ll reduce some of the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with driving. Best of all, you’ll have a car that’s equipped with modern safety features.
3. Onboard Wi-Fi
Onboard Wi-Fi can provide you and your passengers with a reliable connection while you’re traveling. This technology is relatively new and isn’t available in some older cars, but there are aftermarket options available. For example, you can install an OBD II device or upgrade your vehicle with a car router. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay for a data plan after installation.
4. Touchscreen Stereo
Adding a digital media receiver — or touchscreen car stereo — is one of the most effective steps you can take to modernize an older car. These stereos are available with built-in Bluetooth technology that facilitates hands-free phone calls. This technology allows you to stream wirelessly from apps like Pandora and Spotify using the home screen, and they can also work with your Apple and Android devices via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And some come with an extra USB port for playback and charging. If your car accommodates it, you can upgrade to a double-DIN stereo for maximum screen space.
5. USB Charger
Modern life keeps many of us glued to our cellphones. These devices need to remain charged, but many older cars lack USB ports. Aftermarket chargers are available, and some can plug into your car’s cigarette lighter. This upgrade helps prevent you from being stuck with a dead cellphone when you’re on the road.
You don’t have to part ways with your old car to enjoy new technology. The aftermarket additions discussed above can help you transform your vehicle into something more modern and appealing.
Check out all the stereo upgrades available on NAPAOnline, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on vehicle upgrades, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA Auto Parts store.
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I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.