Top 10 Must Have Auto Accessories

Personalizing the appearance and improving the driving experience of your auto is one of the great pleasures of owning your own car, SUV or truck. There are so many different auto accessories out there on the market it can be tricky to narrow down which ones you might want to consider getting to improve your vehicle. The following 10 accessories are those which we consider really are the “must haves”:

1) Floor Mats – It really is pretty ridiculous that an item so basic as a floor mat is an optional extra on many new cars. If you want to protect the interior of your automobile and prolong the life of the cabin’s upholstery then floor mats are an essential and worthwhile investment. Floor mats can be easily picked up from just about every auto accessory shop and even in many supermarkets.

2) Auto Covers – The last thing you want to happen to your pride and joy is for its shiny paintwork to get damaged by the elements, falling objects, or even bird droppings. By using an auto cover you can give your vehicle the protection it needs from the harsh summer sun, heavy rain and hail, corrosive bird droppings and destructive objects falling from trees or blown by the wind.

3) Cargo Liners – Like floor mats for the passenger compartment of vehicles, cargo liners are also a great accessory for keeping the trunk clean and tidy. If you are often putting dirty boots or tools in the trunk of your vehicle, for example, then a cargo liner will keep all that filth off the lining material as well as protecting against any scratches and dents.

4) Brake Dust Shields – With modern vehicles getting more and more powerful and having larger brakes, the amount of brake dust produced is increasing. Using brake dust shields on the insides of your wheels helps to prevent the dust from gathering on your shiny alloy rims, making keeping your auto clean much easier.

5) Car Bras – Bumpers on modern cars are often made from plastic which might look good but isn’t able to put off with much abuse caused by stones, grit and other street debris. A car bra is a specially made protector that wraps around the bumper to shield against flying stones, insects and other debris that can cause damaging stone chips and dents.

6) Fender Flares – Travelling at speed on country roads or rarely used streets can lead to gravel, rocks and other objects flinging up and striking the paintwork of your vehicle. By fitting fender flares you can greatly reduce the amount of debris that can reach your auto’s exterior. For most cars it is possible to find fender flares that match the original color and finish.

7) Mud Flaps – Further protection can be provided by the use of mud flaps which also prevent the dirty water spray containing all manner of pollutants and oil from reaching your car’s paintwork.

8) Heated Seats – Driving a car throughout the long winter months without heated seats can be somewhat torturous, especially when first entering the vehicle. Heated seats can make a journey in cold weather 10 times more pleasurable.

9) iPod / iPhone / MP3 Docks – Tape cassettes and even now CDs are getting very long in the tooth. Why not make use of your iPod or MP3 player in your vehicle and invest in a dock that allows you to listen to your tunes through your car speakers. Many docks also double up as a hand-free system; much safer than talking on the phone normally.

10) Bug Shields – These are an absolute must have, particularly in the South where insects are even more prevalent. A good bug shield made specifically for your model of car or truck can do wonders in limiting the amount of insects and other debris hitting your windshield and hood. Bug shields not only help to keep your car clean, but are also a useful safety accessory helping to maintain good visibility.

Buy Aftermarket Auto Parts Online and Save!

The internet has proven itself over and over again to be a great source for comparative shoppers looking to save money. The newest internet opportunity to saving your valuable dollars is on costly truck and car repairs. Auto repair savings has historically been limited to the Do it Yourselfer or the backyard mechanic – ultimately the savings came in the form of labor. Thankfully, those days are over, as more individuals are utilizing the internet to source and purchase the auto parts they need online and then bringing them to a local garage or backyard mechanic have them installed. The internet provides bumper to bumper coverage of virtually any and all truck and car parts and can offer significant savings over the local auto parts store. I have heard of savings of over 70% on some aftermarket parts. If you take the old standard calculation of car repair costs into consideration (50% parts + 50% labor) the overall savings could be as high as 35%.

Let’s take a typical 4 wheel brake job as an example. The vehicle I used was a 2001 Chevy Cavalier – 2.4 litre engine with front disc brakes and rear drums. I made a few calls to local auto parts stores (I purposely avoided dealerships and OEM parts to generate a better price comparison). I did not include calipers.

I was able to source front semi-metallic brake pads, front rotors, rear brake drums, rear brake shoes and new brake hardware online for $101.40 which included shipping and any and all applicable taxes – delivered to my door! The same brake parts (I specifically did not select any parts they classified as “Premium” level parts) from a local auto parts store came in at $345.47. To be honest I was a little shocked by the fact that I could save over 70% on aftermarket brake parts. I thought a 70% savings would be specific to parts that were normally “dealer” specific.

Couple of other things to take into consideration, I have heard that garages are starting to charge a higher hourly rate if you bring in your own parts, a corking fee if you will. Not unusual as they typically mark up auto parts that they purchase for you by at least 20%. The overall extra cost to you however is minimal as they usually receive a garage discount from the auto part store.

Another important consideration is to make sure you purchase the right auto parts online – determining with 100% accuracy which auto part fits your vehicle can be very difficult. Most online stores offer toll free numbers and friendly knowledgeable staff that will cross reference your vehicle to ensure you get the right parts. You don’t want to end up with parts you can’t use and have to potentially ship back at your expense (some online stores also charge a re-stocking fee). Another option is to contact a dealer to confirm the part numbers you need before you go online to purchase. Dealerships can use your VIN # and provide another level of accuracy when it comes to identifying the right part for the right vehicle.

Bottom-line, there are significant savings available online for auto parts. The days when the only way to save money on auto repairs was to do it yourself or hire the local backyard mechanic are gone.

Tips For Buying Used Auto Parts

Automobile manufacturing is one of the largest industries in the manufacturing sector. Hence it generates a large amount of waste products. The auto salvage industry thrives on salvaging useful components from irreparable cars. Up to 70 % of the auto parts of an irreparable car can be salvaged, such as body panels or bumpers, wheels, front or rear ends, motors, transmissions, electronics, among others.

Advantages

Used auto parts are a great way to save money for maintenance and repair of your car. Used auto parts are fairly cheap and may cost anywhere between 20 to 80% of the cost of a new auto part. Used auto parts are environmentally friendly, as not using them would add to the junk in junkyards or consume scarce landfill space. Furthermore, manufacturing new components would also consume too much resource.

Availability

Used auto parts are available online or from local stores. . Most towns and cities have used auto part stores. Used auto parts can be purchased on online auto parts stores by credit cards, and the parts are delivered or shipped within 3 to 6 days. While purchasing online beware that the image shown on the site may not match with the actual part.

Identification

The car part can be easily matched with your car by having your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). This number provides the seller with lot of useful information, such as the make and year of manufacture, engines, transmission etc. If there is any confusion the used auto stores sales person are in a better position to help you.

Warranty

Ask the seller to provide warranty. It is prudent to read the terms and conditions of the warranty.

Age

It is necessary to find out the mileage on the auto part. Also confirm whether the part is being sold as used, repaired or remanufactured.

Duplicate

Auto parts can be duplicated easily and these are generally not safe and reliable. Usually it is easy to identify a duplicate part by visual inspection. If the part differs in look from a new part, has a mismatched logo, or typo or anything out of the ordinary then it can be assumed with high certainty that it is counterfeit.

Paint

Usually there is a mismatch between the used auto part color and your car body. Consulting your body shop is necessary before purchasing the part.

Maintenance and keeping your car road worthy is becoming costlier by the day. Used auto parts can reduce the maintenance cost to a great extent. However some caution should be exercised before buying used auto parts.

The Must Have iPod Auto Accessories

Are you listening to your iPod while driving? If yes then you must buy proper iPod auto accessories. So what are the essential Auto Accessories? Read on…

Music helps us relax, relieve stress and even change a bad mood to a good one with the right type of music. Music helps us exercise, meditate, energize and express our feelings; it is not surprising that most of us want to carry our favorite tunes with us wherever we go whether we are in the car, walking, jogging or in the house. The iPod offers us the possibility to carry a huge selection of music anytime we want and now you can listen to it in the comfort of your car with the right iPod auto accessories. One of the first iPod auto accessories that you must invest in if you want to listen music from your iPod in the car is an iPod car mount so you don’t misplace your iPod, which is very thin and light and therefore can anytime slip on the floor where you may step on it and cause it damage.

There are several types of iPod car mounts available to fit your requirements; most of the car mounts for the iPods can be fit in the cup holder so it is secure and does not cause clutter others can be placed in the AC vent from where you can access it with ease in order to change a song or control the volume. The next essential iPod auto accessory is the iPod car charger with which you will be able to charge your iPod as you wish without having to access your computer and thus, ensure that it will provide you music for as long as you like. In iPod car chargers too you will find that several different types to match your iPod type and needs.

Must Have Stuff

In order to always drive safely you need to ensure that you are listening to the music from your iPod on the car speaker and not through the earphones, which will impair you from hearing any warning signs that may occur on the road such as, a ambulance, fire or police siren that requires you to pull on the extreme right in order to give them priority. In order to connect the iPod to the car speakers you will require the connection device that is compatible with your type of iPod and car.

Where to Find iPod Auto Accessories

The best place to shop for iPod auto parts is at the Apple Inc. online store or at the iStore, which is recommended by Apple and is dedicated to providing everything you need for any type of iPod available on the market even the now discontinued iPod Mini. Start enjoying your iPod in the car as well with the right iPod auto accessories, which will make listening to music or anything else that you wish from your iPod safe and easy.