Simple tricks to improve your driving experience

Using water repellents will help clear rain water, picture credit: www.publicdomainpictures.net

Modern cars come with all kinds of connectivity and convenience features. However, the pace at which newer features are added is fantastic.

As cars are upgraded all the time, it is difficult for the common man to keep changing cars. Some features might be for vanity but a lot of features actually make using the car a lot easier.

Deccan Herald looks at some gadgets and accessories that are pretty simple, but worth investing in.

Anti-fog and water repellent

Fogged up car windshields and windows can be quite annoying. Fortunately, a few products can help solve this issue because visibility is crucial while driving. The liquid has to be sprayed on the inside of the glass and wiped to a clear finish. This will prevent fogging. This product will cost about Rs 450 for a 100ml bottle. Alternately, another trick to prevent fogging is to smear the inside of the glass with white toothpaste, rub it all over and wipe it off clean. This is known to work well too.

Water on the windshield can reduce visibility. Using wipers is the natural thing to do. However, for light rains water-repellent liquids are available. The liquid is to be rubbed on the car glass and wiped clean. During rains, the repellent leads to the formation of water droplets, instead of the water flowing down forming lines, and flies off. This product may not be suitable for heavy rain and is similarly priced as the anti-fog.

Why use this product at all? Cities are always dusty and using the wiper with dust on the glass can scratch it. So, rain repellents might be a good idea.

Bluetooth receiver

Most of today’s cars, at least from the sedan and upwards, come with a Bluetooth connected audio system. Smartphones can be connected and we are able to stream music to the audio system or make a call and listen via the car’s speakers. Even if a new car, particularly small ones, does not come with an inbuilt audio system, there is a wide array of Bluetooth-enabled audio systems one can buy.

For older cars that have audio systems but can’t be upgraded due to the dashboard design, there is a solution – the Bluetooth receiver.

All one has to do is switch on Bluetooth on the phone. The next step is to power up the receiver via a USB port. If the car does not have a USB port, a car charger can be used. Once the smartphone and receiver are paired, the stereo jack of the receiver has to be plugged into the audio auxiliary input of the audio system and it is good to go. One can listen to music and hear telephone conversations over the audio system.

Another gadget is the radio transmitter type. Even this connects to the auxiliary input of the audio system, but instead of using Bluetooth, it emits radio waves. Any empty station on the car radio can be used to receive this signal and play it through the audio system.

The cheaper ones cost a few hundred rupees, while better ones can be bought for about Rs 3000.

It should, however, be noted that talking while driving even with this is hazardous and could land you in trouble with the police.

Seatbelt pads

Wearing seatbelts is compulsory these days. It is done with the obvious aim of keeping occupants safe in case of an accident. However, it can be slightly uncomfortable at the shoulder and chest. The solution is a seatbelt pad. This is wrapped around the seatbelt and the padding makes things more comfortable. The pad may also help prevent the seatbelt from crumpling ironed clothes. These pads cost about Rs 600 for a pair.

Car wooden bead seat

Using artificial leather seat covers enhance the visual appeal of car interiors. They might be okay for most of the year, but will lead to sweaty clothing in summer as they are not porous like fabric or real leather covers. The simple solution is to use a wooden bead seat cover for the sitting surface and backrest. Costing a few hundred to about a thousand Rupees, these are comfortable since they allow air circulation and keep clothes dry.

Tyre inflator

This is a must-have for every car owner because there is no telling when the it ends up with a flat tyre. Most cars have tubeless tyres these days and there are few chances of a blowout like with older tube tyres. But if, for whatever reason, there is no air in the tyre, you can inflate the tyre in minutes with this gadget. Even if there is a small puncture, the tyre can be inflated and driven to the nearest repair shop since the air escape from a tubeless tyre is slow.

Moreover, by the time one drives to the petrol station, the air in the tyre is already hot and pressure would have risen. The station inflator will read the wrong pressure and the tyre pressure will also end up being wrong. With an inflator at home, the correct pressure can be set on a cold tyre.

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