The 10 Best Car Gadgets: Dash Cams, Navigation, Bluetooth Audio, and More
Does anyone remember that show “Pimp My Ride?” In it, beloved rapper X to the Z Xzibit put fish tanks, barbeque grills, giant TVs, and all kinds of other nonsense in cars.
Even if you’ve never seen the show, you’ve probably seen the popular meme based on it: ” I heard you like X, so I put an X in your Y so you can VERB while you VERB.” Here’s an example:
Today, we’re going to introduce you to some gadgets that will let you pimp your ride in a way that would make even Xzibit stand up and take notice. Well, that’s not entirely true, because the gadgets we are going to look at today are a bit more “normal.” So while your car will be awesome, you won’t be able to slow smoke a brisket while playing PS2 and ironing your clothes.
The first thing you need, before getting too involved, is to protect your car. Well, we can kill two birds with one stone, because a dash cam records what’s happening around you, while also helping to deck your car out.
While the camera you choose is up to you, we have plenty of articles to help you decide. We have reviewed several camera models , plenty of which have received rather high scores (the Vantrue N2 Pro received a 10/10 from Christian). We also published a detailed article that helps you choose the right camera .
You know what sucks? Getting lost! Getting yourself a navigation system will make it so you never have to worry about getting lost again. And, compared to using your phone for navigation , you won’t have to worry about getting a ticket. Check out the Pioneer AVIC-6100NEX in-dash navigation system. It combines multiple features into a single package. And it receives a decent rating on Amazon and an A-rating on FakeSpot.
When it comes to choosing a navigation system for your car, there are two types that you’ll look at — in-dash and external. A built-in navigation will also serve as your car’s stereo, but it’ll cost much more than a Garmin or TomTom unit.
Tracker: Tile Mate
While we’re on the topic of tracking stuff, a really cheap and useful gadget that’ll help you keep tabs of your freshly pimped car is a tracker. There are lots of them to choose from, with Tile being one of the more popular options. Some other choices are TrackR, Spy Tec, and CUBE.
We have plenty of articles that cover using trackers, and you should definitely check them out:
- How to Use a GPS Tracker to Keep Track of Your Kids
- Some Unconventional Uses For Tile Trackers
- How to Stop Losing Your Stuff (And 7 Trackers to Help You Do It)
Heads Up Display: Garmin HUD+ Navigation System
This is the ultimate cool gadget for your car. If you want to feel like you’re driving around in the future, having the key information about how fast you’re traveling displayed right on the screen will give you that feeling. And while you can get HUDs on high-end cars from the factory, the rise in popularity has made it so you can buy one right now for your car.
As far as which one to buy the Garmin HUD (our review ) offers a good middle ground in terms of price and features with its $150 MSRP. In terms of pure features, the Navdi model is loaded with literally everything you could ever want, but it comes with a $500 price tag to match.
Phone Mount: Mpow Car Mount
This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you plan to play music through your phone, or use it for navigation , you need a holder for it. Even if you plan to make calls, you’d better do it hands-free if you don’t want to get a ticket or put lives at risks, and a nice mount will make that easy.
There are literally hundreds of models out there to choose from when it comes to phone mounts, and most of them will handle the job well enough. You’ll primarily find four types — dashboard, vent, power socket, and CD player mounted options.
Add Those Missing Features
Sometimes, what you need to pimp your car isn’t anything too fancy. Instead, you just need some of the cool features your ride is missing! Bring your car up to 2017 with these gadgets.
Bluetooth Receiver: TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver
Most new cars come with the ability to play your music through Bluetooth, but if yours doesn’t, you are most certainly not out of luck, as you can get a Bluetooth transmitter and get in on the wireless fun.
And best of all, you can get Bluetooth receivers for anywhere in the $20-$30 range, so you won’t even need to break the bank!
Backup Camera: LeeKooLuu Rear Window Camera
A backup camera used to be a super premium feature on cars, but they’re actually common now (my relatively cheap Chevy Cruze comes with one). Because of that, you can get aftermarket backup cameras for pretty cheap. Of course, wiring it will be a bit of a pain, but it’ll be worth the effort!
Get To Pimping!
If you want to have some fantastic features in your car without actually going out to buy a whole new one, these gadgets are exactly what you need. Whether you want to record the world around you, look through a HUD, or keep your phone secure, you’re good to go!
What kind of gadgets have you pimped out your ride with? Share your favorites in the comments below!