The Latest In Car Gadgets

There are a myriad of new car gadgets to improve your journey and make it safer. The coolness factor in these items should not be ruled out. In an ideal world, a device will save you money too- one example would be preventing you forking out after an accident. For some additional advice check out our last article on Car Must Haves.

Tips on Choosing your New Gadget

It is not always the best idea in the world to take the manufacturers marketing content as gospel. Reading a few reviews is a good start. We recommend reading at least one of the 5-star reviews and then reading at least one of the lowest star reviews.

Even relying on on-line reviews isn’t enough. An improved plan of attack is ask your friends and relatives which devices they swear by. Beware of anything too gimmicky, work out if you will still want to use this product in twelve months’ time.

Brand names may be important – have you heard of them? It’s nice to know that the company has been around awhile so they may care enough to fix any issues you encounter, or at least produce a good enough product hoping to avoid having to fix fewer issues. Sometimes buying a brand means that you are paying too much–so use your best judgment.

Head-up Displays

HUDs are a technology inspired by jet fighters, where it’s important to have the most crucial information closest to your view so you don’t have to look away to find it. It broadcasts a see-through picture of vital details over the view of your surroundings.

In 2021 many new cars come fitted with HUD as a standard feature but for those that don’t there are aftermarket models which can be affixed to the dashboard. It can tell you when your car gets too hot or if you seriously need a recharge. Some also come with a warning light.

When buying a HUD check whether it is compatible with Apple or Android. Being able to read clearly is a plus. With some HUDs you have to pay for the accompanying app so it is always best to check. If one with the free app has all the functions you require why pay.

Some gadgets designed to make your drive safer by removing blind spots or monitor tire pressure will work with your smart phone via blue tooth, but these can drain your battery.

Less Vital Gadgets

There are other devices out there and a few seem a bit wacky. Why for instance would you need to buy a step to reach the roof of your vehicle? If you are extremely short perhaps, or if you install a roof storage system. It’s plausible but think twice before adding this to the long list of things you drive around with in your trunk.

Do you really need a dashcam with a front and rear facing camera? Many suppliers believe so. Rideshare drivers love these because you want proof of what passengers do or say in your car in case, they complain about you. However, most people won’t need this…unless you get rear ended. It really comes in handy when you get hit from behind.

There are also devices which can inform you where the speed cameras are in your neighbourhood. Some people use an app on their smart phone. Either way, they rely on someone in your community has taken the time to update the location of the traps. Many people find it distracting though.

Alternately, you can buy a radar detection device so you can be told whether there is a speed trap up ahead. Which again will save you money if you often explore roads you have no prior knowledge of. A cheap one of these will run you under $100 dollars and will go off any time you pass a grocery store with automatic doors. The result is usually paranoia which causes you to stop speeding.

Strip lighting can be controlled via your mobile phone, possibly only useful if you happen to travel at night. It can be synced to your music device.

A subwoofer can be fitted underneath your seats if you are a music fan. A subwoofer is a speaker which produces frequencies at low bass.

Opinion is divided on whether an in-car fridge is a bit too decadent, though if you are going on a long road trip it could well be a necessity; how else will you store the ice cream and cold drinks?

These Military Programs Help Veterans Afford Reliable Cars

With millions of veterans retuning home each year, there is always a need for reliable resources that create an ease in returning to civilian life. Veterans often encounter hardships in obtaining basic needs like housing, employment, or even owning a reliable car. Having access to a reliable car is a necessity in everyday life and there are military programs that aid veterans in affording a reliable car.

Veteran’s Affairs Automobile Allowance

The Veteran’s Association provides many useful resources for veterans, especially when they return home, injured and disabled. Through the Veteran’s Affairs Automobile Allowance, disabled veterans with service-connected injuries qualify for financial support to purchase a specially equipped vehicle. This allowance is specific to disabled veterans that are in need of financial support to purchase an equipped vehicle.

Progressive’s Keys to Progress Program

As one of the largest companies that provides insurance, Progressive has utilized their platform to give back and get involved through their Keys to Progress Program. Each year starting in May, veterans can request an application through a non-profit organization or through their VA Caseworker. After applications and need eligibilities are determined, recipients of this one-day giveaway event are selected in September and receive their vehicles by November. Since 2013, Progressive has honored many veterans and provided transportation support through this program.

Navy Federal Credit Union

Credit unions offer great opportunities to stay financially healthy. For veterans, the Navy Federal Credit Union provides good research, information on buying or financing, and all that is needed to protect a car. Having all the information for buying a vehicle in one place, this credit union provides ease and accessibility for veterans to afford a car. With low interest rates, affordable car insurance, and other great benefits for military life, the Navy Federal Credit Union helps veterans afford reliable cars.

United States Automobile Association

When purchasing a car, auto insurance rates can be intimidating. A way for veterans to get discounts and savings on auto insurance is through the United States Automobile Association.

The USAA caters to the military by providing vehicle storage, military installation discounts, and other benefits related to automobile needs. Their website also offers online financial assistance, and free car insurance quotes. When seeking the best options for military car insurance discounts, the USAA is a good place to look.

Private Lenders

Another option for veterans is to consider affording a reliable car through getting a loan with a low interest rate. Private lenders like Omni Financial , and Pioneer Military Credit offer auto and personal military loans with low-interest rates. When using private lenders, doing some research and comparison shopping is important. Having a car already in mind will help the process and determine which rates offer the most affordability in the long run for purchasing a car.

Extended Warranty

Lastly, car dealerships and manufacturers offer a wide variety of options when purchasing a car. For veterans, one of the benefits that these companies provide with purchasing a reliable car is an extended warranty. Car warranties often save a lot money for repairs and maintenance, but there is often fine print in the agreements. Car manufacturer companies like Toyota, Subaru, and Nissan offer military appreciation benefits and incentives with car purchases.

An easy way to find warranty agreements for cars, is through an internet search. Similar to the use of private lenders, extended warranties should also be reviewed and researched in order to determine the best offer for an affordable and reliable car.

Make Use of the Available Help

Although the stress of being in the military life can cause hardships, exploring military appreciation options will help a veteran get back into civilian life. Over the years, veterans’ benefits have become more resourceful, and have given veterans the opportunity to find a reliable and affordable car.

This post is brought to you by Tire Kickers a major supporter of US Armed Services Veterans and by Sending Our Support NW (SOSNW) a Nonprofit Foundation that helps vets access the assistance they earned from private and federal sources.

In-Car Air Quality Innovation; the Crispify Story

It sounds obvious but the air you breath is important, not just that you get enough, but that it’s clean. Just like our taste buds go blind to a higher than healthy sodium level in our diet our noses go blind to air that’s not really fit to breath. For people with asthma or COPD the air must be clean or they’re in danger, but even if it’s not a health risk, it’s unpleasant to breath bad air.

All modern cars do something to filter air for both the vehicle and the passengers. Just look at these pictures of places that haven’t yet addressed air pollution. The pollutants don’t have to be visible to the naked eye to be something you don’t want to breath in.

Crispify is one company taking on in-cabin air quality. This Israeli based start-up set out to apply cutting edge technology to the user’s air quality experience. They’re able to transform any climate control system into a smart Air Quality Management solution capable of identifying and mitigating pollutants, and more.

They do this through AI powered monitoring and analyzing platform harvesting data from inside and outside your vehicle to achieve unmatched air quality.

Fleet Applications:

A side benefit of the air quality technology is its fleet applications. Of course, enhanced passenger wellness is a bonus but the same technology can allow employers, rental fleet owners, even rideshare owners to know if passengers are violating smoking policies. By maintaining the best possible air inside a vehicle, the car will be fresher for the next user, which aids in customer satisfaction.

Without having to invade privacy the way camera monitoring does, air monitoring can check in-vehicle condition. Is it time to clean or change the upholstery? What if your car sent you a message to notify you?

Features include:

  • Real Time Monitoring.
  • Virus and Bacteria Checks
  • A crisp score (rating the current air cleanliness)
  • Trends and Metrics of your vehicle over time
  • Recommendations (identifying vehicles that could cause problems over time.)
  • GPS (Don’t’ go to the expense or trouble of installing a separate service, it’s included)

Another side benefit to rideshare owners is the increased confidence customers have in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fleet Conversion:

The Canary Device by Crispify is an aftermarket device that installs easily as a plug and play device should. There’s no need to replace your fleet just to gain the useful features of this technology—simply retrofit your current fleet. The MaaS software will expand easily with each new license purchased as a monthly subscription.

The optional API also allows for integration with common fleet management software or built-in infotainment systems.

Possible Life Saving Technology

Crispify doesn’t just protect against the long-term problems from chronic exposure to pollution. High levels of CO2 can cause drowsiness which can be life threatening when operating a vehicle.

Toxic Chemicals are used or incorporated in many interior parts of a vehicle. If heat, age or improper installation has allowed some of these chemicals to leak into the car’s internal atmosphere it could cause skin, eye, nose or throat irritation which could send false messages about health condition. Who wants to go to the doctor with a mysterious rash when you actually need to take your car to the mechanic?

Making a Splash

Crispify is starting to get noticed with press coverage on platforms like TechCrunch, Embryo, and GeekTime.

Crispify is partnering with other forward-thinking companies so look for them to be a part of the future of cars for many years to come.

They’ve partnered with Avis Budget Group, Tesla, Connetic Ventures, Hatcher +, GoAhead, AWS, Techstar, Plug and Play, & Fusion LA.

We look forward to potentially interviewing them sometime in the future. Until then…you can do your own digging on the website Crispify.io

Best of the Web: F9 Movie Review

When it comes to movies we all have our tastes. Frankly every critic out there has a guilty pleasure. For every wife laughs at my thin plotted action films her husband watches there is a husband biting his lip as he sits through his wife’s critically acclaimed docu-romance. You know the ones where the male love interest is a lawyer turned cop turned surgeon turned Navy Seal–the strong silent type who can communicate. Totally believable!

Well cars have become item #3 on the controversy list after religion and politics. Many of us love them passionately and many of us think they’re going to kill us all (perhaps quickly through an accident or perhaps slowly through climate change.)

Here is an entertained review of the latest installment of Fast and Furious by someone who would never see such a film. Yes, number 9 in the series, so they are popular, and pretty easy to make fun of, and not known for redeeming social virtue. I see a pattern, but, judge for yourself.

Click here for the Review.

Various Marks On Your Car

When your “pride and joy” gets damaged, what do you do? Well, it depends on the damage; a scuff mark caused by paint should be treated with a compound and a scratch remover, rub it over with a towel. Another thing people suggest against scratches is toothpaste which acts as a gentle abrasive and helps remove the scratch. Unfortunately, toothpaste won’t work if the paint layer is damaged.

Damaged Paint

Paint is easily damaged because it’s applied in three layers-the clear coat, the second layer and the undercoat. The outer layers don’t bond to each other perfectly which allows paint to come off in chips or in flakes.

The clear coat is what protects the car from both UV rays and heat from the sun. When it starts peeling, (the technical name is delamination) you should first clear the area of general muck and apply strong sandpaper and deal with the region around the peel. Don’t apply substances like dishwashing liquid and you don’t want to do a car wash.

Scratches

Scratch removers on the market generally work only when the scratches are not too far embedded into the paintwork. It’s a good idea to give it an all-over wax afterwards.

You can choose to repaint a scratch for aesthetic reason, but you only really need to if you can see the metal peeping through, so it takes quite a deep scratch—deep enough that you should just get a pro to do the repair.

The paint may oxidize causing a stain which appears chalky and blotchy; the color will fade around the stain. It’s usually caused by the car being left out for a couple of months. It can be fixed by an item called a “clay bar” or simply leave it indoors or use a car cover.

Avoiding Scratches

There are several things you can do to avoid scratches.

  • Don’t apply pressurized water too vigorously. You should keep applying wax so the car will be less likely to pick up debris.
  • Park as carefully as possible, if you park in a driveway you are less likely to get scratches. Avoid driving too close to hedges or tree branches though if you are on a narrow road, you may be left with little choice.
  • Even car washes can create a scratch effect.

If you drive on a dirt track or large alley you run the risk of small rocks or other debris hitting the car so it’s always best to take it slowly.

Swirls in your Wax

If you polish a black car it is likely to create a swirl design over its surface, though it is usually only noticeable close up or in extreme sunny conditions. To avoid this, use a towel rather than a sponge, anything which doesn’t abrade the surface. If you must use sponges make sure they aren’t too dirty or too old as it will aggravate the problem. The best way to avoid this swirling is probably not to have a black car at all but it’s up to you.

A perfect car is attractive to look at, but you can overdo the cleaning. So you’ll need to balance your need for clean with your need to preserve your paint job.

Cars and Water – A Good Mix?

It would go without saying that automobiles do not go well with water – or do they?

Design

Most car design is inspired by planes, but are they any that are inspired by boats? Rolls Royce’s Nautical Wraith is one, but it may be a one-off. All we know about availability is – not for the UK. Possibly US? It has a dashboard made of Tudor Oak. For those who don’t know, Tudor Oak is a dark green version of oak with a noticeable number of knots.

Before the Wraith came the Nautical Phantom which had an anchor design.

Rolls Royce is being a bit cagey on the price of the Wraith too. It has a blue shade (known as Arabian blue) with a white roof. Definite a nod to a millionaire’s yachts.

Rolls Royce is one of the few bespoke car manufacturers to actually try their hand at boats – Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini have also produced examples too.

Yacht Rock

A now forgotten type of car was known as Yacht Rock. It was used in the 1970s and early 1980s and was named after certain jazzy songs on the West Coast, known as the West Coast Sound.

Acts Associated with Yacht Rock:

Yacht rock is a broad music style and aesthetic commonly associated with soft rock, one of the most commercially successful genres from the mid-1970s to early 1980s. 

Wikipedia

Examples of such cars are Lincoln Continental and Chevrolet Caprice. It’s not immediately clear the connection with nautical matters apart from the yachts in the background of their marketing.

The cars drew inspiration from the music, which drew inspiration from the yachts. There’s a certain feel to smooth music that suggests a nautical environment, which somehow made some people think of fast cars. The cars were mainly American, although there were some Japanese and British pretenders which also wanted to embody this type of music.

The Jeep Wrangler??

The Jeep Wrangler is inspired by a light sailboat which is apparently the reason for its strong white color. The interior resembles a sailboat too with naval white leather (naval officers generally wear white) as well as a deck floor mat. It also comes with a white awning.

Moving from cars slightly linked to water to those immersed in the substance…

Many cars that get caught in floods do not have the correct insurance, though if you usually park in a place and it suddenly becomes flooded then it should be covered by insurance.

When they are sold they tend to be in a substandard state—all dried out, but does that mean they’re good as they were before?

To repair a flooded vehicle requires an experienced mechanic. To do it yourself will cause too many problems. Even when they are fixed there will be chances of electric defects and so on.

You need to look at the suspension joints, which can be rusted, and get the car cleaned to remove mold. The lights and the brakes may also need replacing.

But all this is useless if it is flooded with sea water. Despite what you remember from James Bond films it’s completely undrivable and should be scrapped.

If the fuse box was submerged it should be replaced as should the control modules. The control modules are the various electrical engineering of the vehicle. If you don’t replace them it will fail after a while, even if it works okay now.

They are probably best being scrapped in any case as the interior will stink!