Automotive Gift Guide for the Holidays
Need the hook-up on stocking stuffers, Hanukkah gifts, or even a birthday present for the driver in your life?
There’s plenty of goodies, gizmos, and gadgets available at your local dealership, repair shop, and online. Here’s some ideas of what to shop for.
Portable battery charger
Portable battery chargers are either powered by lead-acid batteries (same as what’s under your hood) or lithium-ion batteries (the ones that in your mobile devices).
Models built on lead-acid batteries are bulky and often unwieldy, but typically last longer between charges than their lithium-ion counterparts. The lead-acid versions sometimes include a 120-volt electrical outlet, which increases the device’s versatility. Lithium-ion-powered models are the size of a smartphone.
They can be stored in the glove box or sit in the center console, charging your mobile devices from a USB port (if it has one).
Floor mats add aesthetic appeal to a vehicle’s interior and help protect the carpet.
Clean carpets keep the air in your car from becoming musty by reducing the amount of dust and allergens inside. Look for a product that comes with a warranty. Such safeguards give consumers peace of mind.
Insist on custom-fitted mats. A mat designed specifically for your make, model and year fits best and provides maximum protection.
Ever lost something between the driver’s seat and center console?
An LED flashlight stashed in the glovebox keeps you from blindly fumbling around. Put one of these in the car and you’ll be amazed at how much you find yourself using it.
LED models are longer lasting than traditional bulbs and provide better illumination. Superior to traditional bulbs, LED lights provide long-lasting, consistent, and powerful beams of light.
LED flashlights are available for camping, tactical, and military use.
Polarized sunglasses are a driver essential--they reduce glare and can be a statement of style as well.
“Sunglasses are so important people tend to include them in their mental checklist with wallet and cellphone before they leave the house,” said Bill Yerby, director of sales and marketing for Serengeti Eyewear. “While glare is the biggest issue, eye strain caused by harsh light and squinting presents a real and pervasive hazard for drivers.”
Lenses are made of glass, plastic or composites. Glass lenses provide the best visual clarity, Yerby said. Color affects visibility as well. Yerby suggested amber-tinted shades for driving.
“Amber is the best compromise because it is dark enough for protection in bright sunlight but light enough to still perform in the shade.”
Stashing a portable vacuum in the family car provides an on-board convenience, especially when the device is specifically designed for the cabin.
“Small, lightweight devices make cleaning less of a chore,” said Sarah Windham public relations manager at Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., which produces four styles of handheld vacuums.
Binoculars are more precise and durable than ever, and that’s why they still warrant a spot in the glove compartment.
“I always have a pair of binoculars in my vehicle for impromptu wildlife watching,” said Mike Capps, a media relations specialist for Bushnell Optics. “They can also be handy in some circumstances when there’s an incident of some sort off in the distance and you want to get a better idea of what’s going on.”