Four techy ways to touch up your pre-Y2K car
Have a car that you bought before the year 2000? Here are four practical upgrades for it
Cars before the 'noughties' (the decade from 2000 to 2009) have a few things going for them. They lack the bloated look of modern cars, are more engaging to drive, and most importantly, cost a fraction to buy and maintain when compared to new ones.
That said, they also have a lot of shortcomings, especially when it comes to safety and practicality. With this in mind, here are four upgrade options for your modern classic that will make them more practical and safer.
USB car charger
Charging your phone is annoying, and having to carry around a power bank to charge in case of emergency is even more annoying.
But, if you have a pre-2000 car with a good old fashioned electronic cigarette lighter, there is an alternative. Just get rid of the old and likely dangerous lighter and stick a USB car charger in the now-empty 12-volt socket. Not only have you gotten rid of a potential fire hazard, but now you have also given yourself the option to charge two (or more, depending on the model) devices at once.
Prices on these chargers vary from a few hundred to a couple of thousand taka and are one of the best 'plug-and-play' modifications you can make in your car. Just do not go cheap while shopping for one, as the poor quality of bargain-basement options can end up damaging your electricals in the long run.
Dashcam rearview mirror camera
Dashcams, in addition to being a great source of Russian entertainment, is a great tool to have in your car.
Mounted on the dashboard or on top of the windshield, these devices record everything that happens in front of the car. You can record your entire road trip, or in case of road rage, have first-hand evidence to defend yourself.
Dedicated dashcams are expensive and are sometimes tricky to mount in ideal places, especially in older cars. Dashcam rearview mirror cameras are a nice workaround to this, as they clamp directly onto the existing rearview mirrors. Higher-end options even come with an in-built screen and a backup camera, allowing it to be used both as a parking assist as well as a safety tool.
Price on these ranges from a few thousand to a high four figures, and we recommend you have the wiring done professionally just in case.
While the old yellow headlights look nice, they are not the best options for nighttime illumination, nor do they last longer compared to modern alternatives.
To put it into numbers, a 55-watt halogen generates around a thousand lumens and lasts for roughly a thousand hours. On the other hand, an equivalent HID will generate an estimated three and a half thousand lumens for two thousand hours while an LED will create a near blinding five thousand lumens for over 15 thousand hours.
Price ranges from a few thousand to tens of thousands, and while DIY options exist, we also recommend you go to a professional for this one as well, especially to ensure your new lights are not blinding oncoming traffic because of incorrect alignment.
Smart infotainment system
Chances are, your pre-20th-century car already has an aftermarket stereo system. And while its Bluetooth/Aux port would make it perfectly capable of running music from your phone, it does have some significant drawbacks.
The interface is usually clunky, you do not get navigation, and most dangerously, you can not change your music without taking your eyes off the road and looking at your phone. An aftermarket system supporting Android Auto and Apple Carplay is a bolt-on solution to all these problems, bringing your car to modern times and making sure you keep your eyes on the road.
However, these systems are not cheap, with decent models starting from as much as Tk20,000 and going up. That said, the safety and convenience offered by such a system make it worth the cost, just make sure whoever installing it knows what they are doing.