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How to modernize your old car to make it safer and easier to drive

A shortage of semiconductors and other supply chain issues have driven down the pool of new cars. This, of course, has caused prices to soar. People are turning to the used car market to score a better deal.

Crooks know how to take advantage of these situations, and they’re targeting used car shoppers with elaborate schemes. Tap or click here for tips on spotting used car scams.

The unstable market might have you holding on to your old car. Whether you drive a classic or a 10-year-old car, safety should still be your chief concern. Here are some ways to bring your vehicle up to speed.

Backup camera

A law requiring all vehicles to come equipped with backup cameras was enacted in 2018. If your car is older than that, you may not have one.

You may be happy with standard rearview mirrors, but nobody is saying to stop using those. Adding a backup camera offers these important benefits:

  • A wider view of what’s behind you.
  • It virtually eliminates blind spots.
  • You can better see small children and animals behind your vehicles.
  • Parallel parking is easier.

Aftermarket cameras are affordable and can be purchased with or without a screen (if your car already has a display, you can connect the camera to it). Some kits come with a screen you simply strap over your existing mirror.

GPS

Is your glove compartment full of old maps you got from the gas station? While you can hold onto those, you’ll have an easier time getting around with a global positioning system.

You can get a standalone GPS unit that installs inside your dashboard or mounts elsewhere in your car. You get traffic reporting and map updates; some units even come with safety options such as lane assist.

Yes, you can use your smartphone, but you’ll have to ensure it’s plugged in when navigating, or your battery will drain quickly. You’ll also worry about data usage and your cellular signal dropping out during a trip.

Parking sensors

Nobody likes to admit they need help parking, but there’s nothing wrong with having some assistance. Parking sensors alert you to obstacles while parking, whether it’s another car, a tree or even a person walking behind you. You can also get sensors for the front of your vehicle.

Parking sensors typically use beeps to alert you to how close an object is to your car. The interval between beeps becomes shorter as you get closer to the object.

Combined with a backup camera, parking sensors take much of the headache out of parking and greatly reduces your chances of backing into something (or someone!).

Tire pressure monitoring system

Did you know that maintaining proper tire pressure will increase fuel economy? That’s especially important now, as we’re still seeing high fuel prices across the country. Tap or click here to avoid falling for these scams at the pump.

A tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) monitors tire air pressure and alerts you when it’s low. This helps constantly maintain the best tire pressure, which helps with vehicle handling, decreases tire wear and reduces braking distance. All good things.

Automatic crash response

You never know what can happen out there. You could run off the side of the road, and no one’s around to see it. You could be injured and unable to call for help.

This is where automatic crash response systems can be a lifesaver. These systems detect a crash and can connect you with an operator, who will notify emergency services if needed, even if you cannot communicate. The system’s built-in GPS sends your location to emergency responders.

You don’t have to be involved in a crash to get some use out of these systems, either. If you run out of fuel or break down, you can also contact an operator to send the help you need.

You can add a system that does all of the above to any car. Some physical devices plug into your car’s OBD-II port and communicate with a speaker mounted to your overhead console.

Others consist of an app that uses the sensors in your smartphone (such as your accelerometer) to detect if you’ve been in a crash. If one is detected, the app contacts an operator who can speak to you and get you the help you need.

Try Prime for free for 30 days

All of the above gadgets are available with free shipping and returns as part of Amazon Prime. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial and reap the following benefits:

  • Two-day, one-day and same-day delivery.
  • 2-hour grocery delivery (Where available).
  • Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows.
  • Unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists.
  • Unlimited full-resolution online photo storage and 5 GB of free video storage.

Tap or click here to sign up for your free 30-day Prime trial. Just be sure to cancel your membership if you don’t want to automatically be charged for renewal at the end!

You may also like: 7 Apple CarPlay tips that make your drive easier

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