Many modern-day safety systems are available through the aftermarket, and at surprisingly affordable prices. Here are five new car technology systems you should consider for your older vehicle.
Forward Collision And Lane Departure Warning Systems
These are two of the most innovative safety systems you’ll find on late-model cars. Collision warning systems detect whether you are approaching a stopped or slow-moving object too quickly and sound an alert; lane-departure systems use cameras to detect lane markers and warn you if you start to drift out of your lane. We were surprised to learn that these systems are available from the aftermarket, and at surprisingly affordable prices. Best yet, some of these systems will incorporate a dash cam as well.
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Regardless of whether you’re driving a big and boxy SUV or a streamlined sports car, you know how difficult it can be to properly gauge how much room remains off the end of your bumper. A backup camera does more than just show you what’s right behind you—it also gives you a wide-angle view that makes it easier to back out of parking spaces. Backup cameras have proven so effective that the U.S. government mandated them as of model year 2018. The good news: You can buy a complete wireless system for less than $50.
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Bluetooth Hands-Free Calling Kits
Most states have laws against cellphone use in the car (and we all know that putting your call on speaker and holding the phone a foot from your face doesn’t count). The good news is that it’s easy and inexpensive to add Bluetooth phone connectivity to your car—you can find systems that work with your car’s stereo for less than $10, and most have the added bonus of letting you play music from your phone over the car’s speakers. Why risk the ticket (or a crash) when Bluetooth is so cheap?
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Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
Ever since a series of high-profile crashes, new cars have been required to have tire pressure monitoring systems, which warn drivers of a deflated tire (which can overheat, blow out, and cause a crash). Tires lose pressure over time, but not enough drivers are conscientious about checking them monthly. TPMS warns you when your tires get critically low, and you can add it to your car for less than $100.
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Blind Spot Monitoring System
Whether you look over your shoulder or just use your mirrors, it can be easy to miss a vehicle next to the rear fender—after all, that’s why they call it the blind spot. Blind spot warning systems serve as an extra set of eyes that can detect vehicles sitting in the danger zone. Most will give you a warning light located near the side-view mirror, and will flash and beep if you put on your turn signal when there is another vehicle in the way. You can buy one of these systems for around $120.
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