Your vehicle's dashboard cover helps protect vital components from damage, including the various gauges around the steering column, the radio, and the heat and air conditioning controls. Over time, though, the dash can become cracked and faded due primarily to exposure to UV-rays from the sun.
While you can take precautions to prevent this, such as using a sun shield or conditioners made to prevent the dryness and cracking that comes with years of exposure, they do not always work. Using a dashboard cover is another way to protect your dashboard from harm. By following some simple steps, you can purchase and install a dashboard cover in no time.
The first part of the process of buying a dashboard cover includes determining what kind of cover you can afford, the exact cover you need, and where to purchase it.
Once you find the dashboard cover you want, it's just a matter of buying it and installing it or replacing an old cover. Step 1: Come up with a budget. First you need to determine how much you can afford to spend. Cost plays an important part of the dashboard cover you buy for your vehicle.
Higher-quality and more refined designs add to the overall cost of the dashboard cover. Another consideration is the vehicle type, as the price on dashboard covers on luxury model vehicles, as with many parts, can cost substantially more than those on less pricey vehicles. Step 2: Determine the dashboard cover you need. Next, you need to determine the color, material, and size of dashboard cover you want. Dashboard covers come in a large variety of colors, including solid and multi-colored covers, as well as patterns.
You also need to keep in mind the specific make, model, and year of vehicle you have. Most often, dashboard covers are designed to fit particular vehicles, though you can find universal models that you can have custom fit to your specific vehicle dashboard. Step 3: Check local retailers and online sites. The final step in the purchasing of a dashboard cover is to visit a local retailer or buy it online.
Local retailers represent the best option as you do not have to wait for the cover to ship if they happen to have the cover you need in stock. The downside is that the retailer might not have the exact dashboard cover you prefer. Another option is to shop through the dealership. The dealership offers the exact dashboard cover for your vehicle make, model, and year. Most often, the dealership will have to order the specific part you seek. Once you have received your dashboard cover, you need to install it.
This includes removing the old cover, making sure the dash is cleaned properly, and adjusting the new dashboard cover for fit.O ver the past couple weeks, both CES and the Detroit Auto Show have given gear heads and commuters alike some eye-popping peeks into the future of the road. Still, if you want it smarten it up a bit, who can blame you?
Here are five ways to inject some Internet-connected intelligence into your automobile:. This Apple-approved car audio solution pulls data directly from the iPhone, letting drivers use specially-skinned versions of popular apps like Pandora while they drive. The system analyzes your driving style, and will give you subtle audio tips on how to drive more efficiently, compiling weekly driving scored and keeping track of your mileage.
Actually, this kind of distracted driving is a sure-fire way to get in an accident. But heads-up displays, or HUDs, can help you keep your eye on the road while quickly glancing over at directions and other bits of driving data. Panned by drivers for not being as clear as the Garmin, it still throws some decent information onto your windshield — just be sure you have an anti-skid mat to hold your iPhone in place when you try it.
And sometime this year Navdy is due to make its debut. But more than anything, these half-baked solutions just point out the deficiencies of other, more popular apps like Spotify and Stitcher.
How to Buy and Install a Car Dashboard Cover
But there are a couple of newer location-aware apps that are worth adding to your home screen. Scoutavailable for both Android and iOS, puts a social spin on maps and meeting up, letting friends pick the time and the place for a rendezvous and keep track of where everyone else is on the map. Commuteby the brains behind Mapquest they live! Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. Please enter a valid email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.
For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder.
Contact us at editors time. By John Patrick Pullen. Related Stories. Here's what to know.
Thank you! Most Popular Stories. Stay Home, Stay Up to Date. Sign Up for Our Newsletters Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more.Plus, new car technology often means posh comfort features. Think Wi-Fi access and massaging seats. I have an old Ford GT, which is a unique car they only made for two years.
HUDs not only display arrows for upcoming turns, but also information like your speed, mileage, engine warnings and more — all without ever requiring your eyes to leave the road. Built-in heating pads in car seats debuted on the Cadillac DeVille, but the cozy upgrade has soared in popularity in recent years, with heated seats offered on almost every new model today.
In fact the Ford F, a pickup truck, not only offers a seat warmer, but also front-seat cooling and massaging capabilities as well. Twisting in and out of small parking spots is incredibly stressful, and often leads to scratched doors or fender benders. Parking sensors typically activate when you shift into reverse. Of course, the more you spend, the more features the tool typically offers.
Nobody wants a ticket for holding a cell phone, or worse, an accident caused by distracted driving. Simply replace your current stereo with a Bluetooth-equipped one. Also, many independent shops sell stereos and provide installation for varying fees.
Nicole Arata is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. Our opinions are our own. Refinance your car loan. Credit score simulator. What happens if… I get an auto loan with an amount of: Get your score! Your new score:.
We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelinesand avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers.
Any comments posted under NerdWallet's official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.Every time I get a new piece of tech it can feel as though a week later my product is no longer the newest on the market.
For those of you who feel that your current car lacks in the tech department, you can upgrade your car without having to make major changes or even spend money on a brand new vehicle. We have found some affordable and user-friendly add-ons that can upgrade your car quickly and easily. Apple CarPlay For certain cars with the right capability, you can add this function by simply buying it from Apple.
This feature hooks up your iPhone to your in-car entertainment system, connecting your maps, messages, music and more. You can talk and interact with the car so you have safe hands-free driving while being able to make calls, dictate a text message, or map the fastest route to work. This is an exciting new feature from ever-evolving tech giant Apple that may make your daily drive much easier. For those non-iPhone users, Android Auto is a similar product.
These small screens, often called head units, can upgrade your old radio or display system to a high-tech display with a touch screen, radio and XM features, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, and capabilities for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Learn more about highly rated head unit products at mycarneedsthis. You can do many of the same things but must do them from your phone, so make sure to stay safe and pull over if you need to, say, change your directions or choose a playlist.DIY Car Upgrades That Are Next Level
Or you could always dictate to Siri what you would like to do. These adapters are typically small and easy to hook up to your current radio system. You can find some of the top rated Bluetooth adapters at www. Tip: Pair a Bluetooth system with a phone mount so you can view and hear your phone and keep your eyes up. As many of us know, using our phones while driving can be unsafe and is illegal in many states, so a mount is a safer, legal alternative that allows you to continue to use your phone.
Here are some of the best options for smartphone mounts. Wi-Fi pebbles This is useful for those of you on the go.
Whether it be to connect your iPad to map functions or for your passengers to surf the web, Wi-Fi is a popular new car function that almost anyone can add to their vehicle. You can turn your car into the newest Wi-Fi hotspot. Often called a pebble or dongle, simply insert this small device into your car and you are free to surf the Web.
Stuck in the past? Here’s how to update your car with the latest tech features
Or, simply use your mobile device as a personal hotspot: many popular phones and service providers allow this function so you can hook up your laptop or iPad while out and about without an Internet connection. If using your phone or these pebble hotspot products, you will typically incur monthly fees, so look into your service provider plans, and certain costs that these may involve. Backup camera Often, while trying to squeeze into a tight space, or back up in a crowded area, I have a hard time viewing what is behind my car.
However, you can now add a backup camera display and sensor capabilities so you can safely and efficiently reverse your car. Some popular products can be found at www. It is a car display, often including speed, gas mileage and other automobile data, that allows the driver to keep their head up and eyes on the road.
They are often clear, or can project an image onto the front windshield so the driver can see typical dashboard data right in front of their eyes.CarPlay is Apple's answer to the car infotainment system. Run by your iPhone, CarPlay replaces the navigation, media, phone and messaging controls of your car with those of iOS — and even includes Siri. CarPlay also works with the touchscreen, buttons, knobs and dials of your car, making navigation as intuitive as it is on both your iPhone and you car's own system.
For Android users, Android Auto works in a very similar way, and is often included as an option on head units with CarPlay installed. A recently-added bonus for both systems is wireless connectivity. But now, with a wireless connection to the car or the third-party head units listed below you can leave your phone in your pocket or the glove box, and use CarPlay or Android Auto just as before, freeing up the car's USB socket for powering something else.
But while CarPlay and Android Auto are mostly advertised as options on new cars, there are multiple ways to bring them to your older vehicle, thanks to after-market stereos. The head units featured in this article include all of the regular in-car entertainment features, like Bluetooth and DAB radio.
But hey also bring CarPlay and Android Auto into the mix - and in some cases, wirelessly too. Here is everything you need to know about adding CarPlay and Android Auto in some cases wirelessly to your car, and some of the best options available to buy right now. One DIN or two? DIN stands for the German phrase Dietch Industri Normen, and refers to a standard size of stereo the country's car makers began installing in the s.
DIN refers to a stereo — also known as a head unit — measuring two inches by eight inches. Obviously, such simplicity harks back to a time when car interiors and dashboards were simpler and more slab-sided than they are today. This design may not win many design awards. But it means older vehicles with poor stereos can be upgraded to the latest Silicon Valley has to offer.
However some single-DIN systems exist where the display slides out of where a CD slot would be and flips upwards. A quick warning: Car head unit makers are really terrible at naming their products, so you'll have to forgive us for repeating their meaningless, alphabet soup-inspired titles. It features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto an, crucially, can offer both with a wireless connection to your smartphone.
This means there is no need to plug in with a USB cable, so your phone can stay in your pocket, in the glovebox, or rest on a wireless charger if your vehicle has one. You can opt to plug in your phone, if you so wish. The device has an audio power output of 50W for four speaker channels. There is the option to fit a reversing camera to the Pioneer, which will show its video feed on the unit's display when you select reverse.
We recommend you pay for professional installation if fitting a wired parking camera to your vehicle. There are no wireless options here other than Bluetooth but this is reflected in the lower price.
There is also a voice control function and Bluetooth. Although a camera isn't included in the box, this Sony unit can be connected to a third-party reversing camera if you already have one installed, or are looking to buy one in the future.
This 6. Only Android Auto works wirelessly, which is a shame for iPhone users, but wireless CarPlay is still a rarity, even among factory-fitted options on new cars. The unit features inputs for two cameras, so you can have one in the front to help you out of blind junctions, and one in the rear of your car to help with reversing and parking.
You do not get any wireless connectivity for that other than Bluetooth and it also misses out on Android Auto. But if you are an iPhone user and want CarPlay in your vehicle, this is a very good option at a competitive price. The unit is double-DIN as most are and has a 6. The screen resolution is fairly low, at xbut the CarPlay interface is made up of large icons and easy-to-read text, so that should't be too much of a concern. And anyway, you are supposed to be keeping our eyes on the road.
The previous four options have all required a double-DIN space in your car or truck dashboard, but many cars only offer a single-DIN head unit slot. The flip-out screen is also larger than most double-DIN options, at seven inches, and the unit also includes a rear-view reversing camera, to attach to your license plate.During these challenging times, we guarantee we will work tirelessly to support you. We will continue to give you accurate and timely information throughout the crisis, and we will deliver on our mission — to help everyone in the world learn how to do anything — no matter what.
Thank you to our community and to all of our readers who are working to aid others in this time of crisis, and to all of those who are making personal sacrifices for the good of their communities.
Article Edit. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Author Info Updated: March 29, To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has also been viewed 7, times. Learn more Explore this Article Steps. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Spruce up your car with seat covers. You can also use it to protect the original interior upholstery. They are available in different materials such as leather, neoprene, sheepskin, canvas and vinyl.
Most car owners go for leather seat covers because of its luxurious look. Neoprene seat covers are also popular nowadays because of its easy-to-clean, water-resistant material. It makes use of a high-end rubber material that is also used for wetsuits.A few key upgrades can fix that, providing you with everything from a killer Bluetooth audio system to a smoother, more enjoyable ride.
In both situations, our cars are a little bit crappy and could use an upgrade. While most tires will get you from point A to B without much trouble, great ones offer several benefits and weak ones can cause a number of problems.
Here are the basic things you should evaluate when upgrading your tires and the benefits they afford:. Crappy cars generally do not handle well because they are, well, crappy. A few minor DIY upgrades can make a noticeable difference:.
Whether you own your car or lease it, these upgrades are relevant. Most anyone can afford a sway bars and handle the installation. While every car looks a little different and may require minor adjustments, these general steps should get you set up in no time:. Once you have everything in place, you can dock and plug in your devices easily.
For more tips, check out our car tech organization guide. Crappy cars tend to have crappy audio inputs, limiting you to radios, cassette tapes, or a CD player at best.
Each situation has a few upgrade options. Here are the most common situations and their solutions:.
Despite all of these options, an aftermarket stereo system will provide you with the best experience. If you really want to take a leap into the future, add a tablet to vehicle and harness the power of a mobile operating system like Android or iOS to aid your driving needs.
The advantages of a car-mounted tablet include turn-by-turn navigation on a large screen, streaming music or at least an easily-access local music collectionvideos for passengers, and pretty much anything else any app can provide. With a few simple upgrades, you can make your car function and better-integrate your technology without making major modifications or spending a lot of money.
Title image created by David Broderick. The A. Shop Subscribe. Read on. Subscribe To Our Newsletter. Adam Dachis. Filed to: cars. Share This Story.
Get our newsletter Subscribe. Where to Donate Your Stimulus Check.