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Most Popular Must Have Car Accessories

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012
The other day, I came across a list of must-have car accessories, so I took a peek. Four out of the top five items were related to accessories having to do with mobile audio. Most new cars (and pickups, for that matter) already have those multi-speaker, multi-input audio systems installed so one wonders why there would be a prevalence of those accessories topping the list. In the first place, they're not accessories anymore because they are now standard equipment in cars.

Most of us have phones nowadays with built-in music players too so we take along our music wherever we go. Come to think of it, with today's smartphones, we have calculators, memo pads, stopwatches, to do lists, GPS, plus games and music. Savvy users even install custom applications for specific needs. So, basically, today's phones, PDAs and netbooks are our life on the move. Which makes my case for the unheralded and downtrodden charger as a top accessory to have for any car. There was a time when every device you carried needed its own charger. So, your glove compartment would be stuffed 3 or 4 deep in chargers and coiled wires. With the advent of the USB interface, things have gotten so much simpler. Just buy 1 (or 2 for a spare!) chargers with a USB port and get the cable you need for your specific device. There are actually chargers with multiple USB ports, so that you can charge more than one device at any given time.

Think of it, what could be more aggravating than starting the day with a flat battery on your phone? Who's going to remind you of the tasks or meetings for the day ahead? Almost nobody turns their phones off anymore and with today's frantic lifestyle, it's too easy to forget to charge your phone during the night. Today's devices are power-hungry animals. The higher-function smartphones have a battery life measured in hours. Until battery technology takes another huge leap forward, allowing for multi-day battery lives, having a lowly charger stashed in your car can literally save your day.

Another downtrodden accessory that is always overlooked is the lowly floor mat. Mats come in all shapes and sizes and are usually thrown in with the purchase of a new or second-hand car. Not all floor mats are created equal, however. Those cheap vinyl ones are the worst. They look like the cutouts that they are and you usually have to do a little trimming to fit the footwell of your particular vehicle. Plus, they slide all over the place, provide poor grip for your heel (possibly causing you to lose control when your foot slips off the pedals) and generally look tacky.

The better floor mats have a rubbery texture to them and have raised edges so that they can contain spills. It is a major hassle to have to remove your car's carpeting just so you can dry out an odor-causing spill. There are also floor mats that look like your car's carpeting. While they look better than the vinyl-rubber mats, they may not be able to hold a large spill if it happens.

That is what makes accessories so personal. It all comes down to the choices you can make when selecting items that will personalize your car just the way you want.

By Jim Baz


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