Not sure what to get that gearhead in your life? We’ve brought together best car accessories for car enthusiasts just in time for the holidays!
If you’re not that into cars yourself, shopping for a car enthusiast can be a headache. I know my family asks me year after year what to get me because they have no idea what I want or need in my garage. To help alleviate this issue, I’ve brought together some great car accessories that the gearhead in your life will appreciate. I’ve found items that’ll help make routine maintenance a breeze as well as some nice, affordable additions to any project car.
To start things off, a simple cordless tire inflator. Sure, most cars come with some sort of tire inflator that runs through the auxiliary power outlet and your recipient may have a nice compressor in the garage, but a cordless version is a nice little upgrade to any car enthusiast’s inventory. There’s no cord getting hung up as you move around the vehicle to each tire, they’re usually pretty lightweight, and they can be tossed in the back of the car for emergencies. You can’t really go wrong with purchasing one of these cordless tire inflators, but I recommend the Avid Power Tire Inflator for those on a budget or the Milwaukee M18 18V Cordless Tire Inflator if you’re willing to splurge a little.
Most modern cars feature a built-in tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). However, a lot of project cars are too old to have this technology, so the owners must take out their trusty tire pressure gauge and check each tire one by one occasionally. How about getting your car person something like the TPMS Retrofit Kit from Schrader to help them get real-time tire pressures while out on the road? This little kit installs itself in the valve stems of all four tires and then each TPMS monitor is wirelessly connected to a small display inside the vehicle. There are plenty of options out there for aftermarket TPMS kits, but this Schrader Retrofit Kit in particular runs off solar power. That means no cords and no batteries to worry about.
A portable jump starter is great for those situations when you’re stuck in a bind on the side of the road or just needing an impromptu power source in the middle of nowhere. These automotive focused batteries have grown to be an almost necessary piece of equipment while out on the road. Products like Noco’s line of portable lithium ion powered jump starters offer not only enough power to bring a dead car battery back to life but they also can charge your smart phone, tablets, and any other devices you may have.
Now, the car wash kits every single year during the holidays can be a little annoying, but not when you get a good one. For instance, the Chemical Guys offer a great kit that features a number of their car wash protectants, waxes, and other cleaners along with a number of great car washing accessories. There’s a bucket, a microfiber mitt, applicator pads, towels, a soft brush, and even the TORQ Foam Blaster 6 hose attachment. You can of course look at other car washing kits from brands like Armor All or Mequiar’s, just make sure they offer products that are worth it to the car enthusiast in your life.
Whether it’s a shop vac or the cordless handheld variety, a vacuum can be a great gift to a car enthusiast. There’s nothing they love more than keeping their ride tidied up, so a vacuum is a must. I’ve grown to have a hairy dog and some messy toddlers, so it’s become an essential piece to my car cleaning experience. Personally, I find that Black+Decker’s 20V MAX dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet Hand Vacuum is perfect for automotive cleaning. It not only provides a powerful electric motor to get all that debris sucked up, but it also features a unique spinning attachment that’s perfect for getting rid of pet hair in my car’s carpets.
Some gearheads have an older car they will continue to drive during those cold winter months or their classic suffers from a lack of modern security. Luckily, a remote car starter can still be installed on a lot of older models. These aftermarket starters will allow the driver to keep themselves inside while their vehicle warms up and feature an advanced security upgrade. Remote starters can range from cheap and simple all the way up to starters from Compustar that feature a lot of added tech and even a mobile app that connects to your vehicle.
It’s unfortunate, but accidents happen. A dash cam is a must while out on the road as they can be a vital tool when reporting an incident to the authorities and your insurance. A simple quick recorder with a memory card will suffice as a stocking stuff this holiday. However, if you’re willing to shell out a little more, be sure to check out some of the dash cams from Nexar and other top brands. These high-end dash cams feature higher resolution video captures, better storage on the device and through the cloud, connected smartphone apps, even built-in GPS location for some. Nexar in particular offers a unique dash cam that not only records outside the vehicle but inside too – perfect for those that drive for Uber or Lyft!
Check engine lights can cause a bit of panic when they pop up in the gauge cluster, so having an OBD2 scanner on hand can help pinpoint the source of the warning. These scanners help identify the root cause of the issue that resulted in a check engine light by connecting through the diagnostic port and into the vehicles electronic control unit. These little devices can be relatively cheap while providing the codes necessary to pinpoint a problem, but spending a little extra can be worth it. The Innova 1000 OBD2 scanner can provide live data straight to a connected smartphone app that not only alerts the owner of an issue but also provides helpful resources on where to go for parts and how to fix it.
I don’t know how many times I’ve held the flashlight wrong for my dad while trying to work on the car, but a basic headlamp can help everyone keep their stress levels down. It’s a light that your car enthusiast can strap right on their forehead and wherever their looking will be lit up just where they want it. It’s also helpful should you run into car troubles at night and need to get a better look at what went wrong and try to fix it.
This is kind of a copout, but a gift card to their favorite auto parts store or online merchant is a great gift for a gearhead. They can use it for parts, new tires, maintenance items, rear spoilers, new aftermarket seats – you name it. The hardest thing about shopping for a car enthusiast is that they’re all different, so giving them the gift of some extra cash to spend on something they know they need or will enjoy is ideal. Some auto parts stores to consider would be Jegs, Autozone, Advanced Auto Parts, NAPA, Oreilly’s, or one of your local shops.