There are few pieces of technology that we bond with more than our cars. Sometimes you keep a car because it has sentimental value, or to be economical. Sometimes you’ve found a special connection to that one model you can’t buy anymore.
Old cars are great, but when your friend pulls up in a brand-new ride, you might come away with a case of tech envy. That’s OK, because adding technology to your vintage car is completely doable, and will make it even more your own. Here are a few of our favorite methods to modernize your low-tech car.
Upgrade Your Infotainment
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have become buzzwords at new car dealerships. These trendy systems integrate the digital assistant you’re used to using on your phone into your car’s infotainment system. Thankfully, you don’t need a new car to use your assistant and Bluetooth functionality while you drive.
Most modern stereo receivers feature Bluetooth integration technology. Sync the receiver with your phone, and you’re a voice command away from your favorite tune or directions to the nearest video rental store. Just kidding, those don’t exist anymore — but maybe your car remembers them!
Are you an audiophile? There’s no better time to swap out those old speakers, or drop a new and powerful amplifier/subwoofer combo in to add some depth to your favorite tracks.
The youth of today will never know the challenge that was losing the garage door opener. These days, cars have integrated buttons that sync with your home’s door and eliminate that risk altogether.
You can add this practical feature by using an app on your phone to operate the garage door. The two-part system installs a sensor on the inside of the door, and all that’s left for you to do is download the app and sync the two up. The fact that it’s on your phone reduces the risk of loss or breakage.
Back It Up
One chance to reverse in a car equipped with a modern back-up camera is all you need to understand why this feature is so attractive. Even without the 7-inch LCD in-dash display, you can see what’s behind you just by installing a back-up camera kit.
Kits typically cost a few hundred dollars, which is a steal compared to the cost of a new car. The video feed will play on your phone if you don’t have a dedicated screen.
TV in the Headrest
When you have small children, the ability to put on a movie and entertain them for a long drive is priceless. However, wiring a TV into your car’s headrest is going to take a visit from Exhibit to pimp your ride. Instead, use an affordable tablet mount to take your home tablet with you. You can stock it with all the kids’ favorites and avoid the yelling and screaming for under $20, instead of financing a new minivan.
These are just a few ideas. It’s incredible the amount of support you’ll find to add practical tech to your older car. What do you want to do? If it comes on new cars, there’s probably a way to add it to yours.
Scott Huntington is a writer and car fanatic from Harrisburg, PA. Check out his site offthethrottle.com or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.