3 Essential Gadgets to Improve Your Crappy Car
I recently bought a crappy used car specifically for winter. Okay maybe it’s not that crappy, but it doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles that all new cars nowadays seem to have. By that I mean, the radio can’t pick up a decent signal on anything accept country stations, there’s obviously no Bluetooth, and I have no interest in CDs or messing with a tape player/3.5mm adapter (they all suck).
And while I’m glad I didn’t pay the premium price for a few convenient features in an affordable new car, I have been looking for things to make life with my crappy winter car more enjoyable. Here’s what I’ve found so far:
GOgroove FlexSmart X2 FM Transmitter
I’ve never used an FM transmitter, but Amazon reviews tell me that 99% of them seem to be dead on arrival or only capable of working for 5 minutes at a time.
The GOgroove FlexSmart X2, however, is by all counts (reviews and sales) the king of FM transmitters. It plugs right into your cigarette lighter, and features an adjustable neck with a remote attached for easy access to controls. And with a USB port on the remote, you can keep your device charged while out and about or on a road trip.
For $45, it’s a relatively expensive device, but in a sea of competition with bad reviews I think it’s worth the extra money.
Phone Mount and/or Dedicated GPS
When you don’t have hands-free calling or a dedicated navigation system, a phone mount is your $20-$30 alternative to thousands of dollars in manufacturer options. It may not look as cool to your friends, but it will do the job just fine. And if you’ve got an auxiliary port
After nearly destroying my dashboard with one of those air vent mounts, I switched to the iOttie (HLCRIO102) with a suction cup base and have never been happier.
But because I also live in an area with unreliable cell signal, I also have a dedicated GPS that I use for trips. If you’re in the same situation, the $100-$150 is worth it to have a reliable navigator on your side.
SiriusXM Satellite Radio with Vehicle Kit
While I personally don’t need the selection satellite radio offers, it is a great way to enjoy your time on the road in a crappy car. It starts out a $10/month for a subscription, but you’ll need one of the $30-$90 devices that come with a vehicle kit to be able to listen in the car.
If the other gadgets on this list aren’t for you, satellite radio is certainly the most convenient and simple solution to modernize your crappy car.