A family car can be an expensive investment, which is why you spend so much time deciding which one to buy. Ideally, you want this car to last for as long as possible. If you take care of it, you could keep it for over ten years. During this period, you may wish your car has a few new features that make it more practical or modern. Before you rush out and buy a different car, think about all the upgrades you could make!
The awesome thing about cars is they can be altered in loads of ways. Some of the upgrades on this list are to improve the aesthetics, while others focus on performance, practicality, and safety. Either way, let’s look at some funky upgrades to add to your family car:
A new set of wheels
You can begin with the wheels – which are a crucial aspect of every vehicle. A good set of wheels will help your car perform better, be more economical, and be safer. Over time, the tires can wear down and become really worn and dangerous. Obviously, you’ll replace them now and then, but the wheels themselves may decline in quality.
Consequently, you should make a big upgrade by changing all four wheels on your car. Get some big custom rims that improve the way it looks and functions. A new set of wheels can make your car better at driving off-road, while also providing more safety for the family. Give this some thought if you want to add new functionality to your family vehicle.
An improved stereo system
Usually, the sound system in a car is pretty poor. That’s okay; you’d rather have a poor stereo than a car with terrible braking! It’s not a focus for manufacturers, and you can usually get by with what they give you. Still, if you want to improve the driving experience for you and your family, think about upgrading the sound system to something much better.
Two great ideas are to upgrade all the speakers and improve the radio. If you have an older car, you could upgrade the radio, so it has a digital signal. Basically, this unlocks far more stations and relies on a better signal. So, you should get more coverage and be able to find radio stations that you enjoy. It makes the long journeys to and from work/school a lot easier to bear.
This is something of a luxury for your kids to enjoy. Unless you have a super fancy family car, you won’t have screens built into the back of the seats. Don’t worry, you can buy some that strap onto the back of the front seats for the passengers to watch in the back. It can be hooked up to a portable Blu-ray player or mobile device, and they can watch shows while you drive.
For me, this is almost essential on long car journeys. It keeps the kids entertained and stops them from bugging you. I know that sounds harsh, but there’s nothing worse than a child constantly asking if you’re nearly at the destination. Plus, if your kids get car-sick, this is a brilliant remedy for that. Watching a TV show or film will distract their mind and stop them from feeling sick. It sounds like magic, but most people with carsickness only feel sick because they keep thinking about feeling sick!
Upgrade the brake pads
Remember, the safety of your family is the most important thing in the world. You need to feel confident that your kids are safe when you’re driving. A large part of this comes from your own driving ability. If you’re a good driver, you tend to feel confident that you won’t get involved in accidents! Nevertheless, the state of your vehicle also comes into play. Mainly, the health of your brake pads.
Over time, brake pads can wear down and become less responsive. This means you have to push harder on the pedal to see a response. As you can imagine, this doesn’t bode well for safety! It makes it more likely that accidents can happen, putting your family at risk. So, you should upgrade the brake pads to a newer and more modern variety. Suddenly, your brakes are more responsive than they’ve ever been. Your family is much safer in the car, and the car is easier to drive.
Swap out your spark plugs
We’re really getting into the technical upgrades now! Spark plugs are a vital part of your car, helping it function correctly. To avoid all the fancy mechanical lingo, let’s just say that spark plugs are responsible for turning on your engine. They act as the go-between for the ignition and the engine. Again, they can deteriorate over time, which is why your car sometimes stutters and struggles to start. You’ve definitely had mornings where you’ve had to turn the key multiple times before it kicks into action! Also, some spark plugs are just generally not that good, even when the car is brand new.
With this upgrade, you will drastically improve your car’s fuel economy. Enhanced spark plugs basically give a better connection between the ignition and engine, making your car more economical. It conserves more power, which means it uses less fuel. You don’t need to know all the science behind this; just understand that new spark plugs equal better fuel economy!
A backup camera
If your car is only a few years old, it may already have one of these. If not, it’s the perfect addition to add to your vehicle. For those that don’t know, a backup camera basically helps you reverse and park your car. It shows you an image behind the vehicle, and you can easily drive back without crashing into anything. If you struggle with reverse parking, this is a critical upgrade to make!
Furthermore, it adds to the car’s safety. Again, you always need to think about minimizing risks when driving. A backup camera can stop instances where you accidentally reverse into a parked car or bump into a wall. These don’t sound like big problems, but even small impacts can be harmful to kids. Plus, you’ll damage your car, meaning you have to spend money repairing it. You can buy these cameras online and install them yourself, or go to a garage and get it done for you.
A blind spot detector
Following on from the previous point, you could also install a blind spot detector in your car. Once more, modern cars probably already have these installed. You’ll know if yours has one, and you’ll know if it doesn’t. Effectively, this is a unique device that you install in your car, and it uses sensors to detect things around you. It recognizes your blind spot and will beep or flash if a car has entered it. This can prevent so many accidents as you won’t switch lanes or pull out if a car is in this spot.
Blind spots are scary because you can’t see anything in them. As a result, this device is one of the only ways you can deal with this problem. You know the drill by now; it’s another gadget that enhances the safety of your vehicle. You will feel more confident when driving with your kids in the back.
Similarly, you might think about installing a collision-avoidance system. This takes the blind spot idea to a totally new level. It’s not essential, but it can give your car some new safety features. A collision-avoidance system will also use sensors to detect things around your car. The main difference is that the sensors tend to go on the front of your vehicle. Here, they detect everything in front of your car. This is super helpful at avoiding any collisions with other drivers. If you get too close to the car in front, the system will start beeping to let you know to be careful. The faster and louder the beep, the closer you are. Some systems are advanced enough to automatically brake for you.
Unfortunately, advanced systems like that are usually found in modern cars. They’ve been built into the vehicle rather than added after. Still, you can definitely find some sound collision-avoidance systems to install in your vehicle. They might not be packed full of the best technology, but they still work and alert you of any dangers. You’ll also find them helpful when parking your car – particularly when parallel parking. Some car bonnets are really long and hard to see past, so you don’t know how close you are to hitting the parked car in front of you. This system will beep when you’re too close, so you know when to put your foot on the brake.
On that note, you’ve come to the end of this guide. There are loads of useful ideas that will help you upgrade your family car. Most of them are focused on improving safety, which is undoubtedly the main priority. Pick out any of these options if you’re keen to make your car better!