Technology

Cheap car hacks that modernize your old engine and save YOU £1,000

Buying a new car can be a difficult and lengthy process these days.

If you don’t have to wait forever for your new car to be built thanks to the supply chain semiconductor problems, you instead have to pay the resulting inflated prices for a used car.

Most new cars now come with Apple CarPlay, but you can add it to older cars too

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Most new cars now come with Apple CarPlay, but you can add it to older cars tooCredit: Alamy

So how about upgrading that old engine you already have?

Fortunately, there are many inexpensive solutions to bring your car up to scratch.

Some require a professional to customize, others simply require an online purchase and can be customized by you immediately for use.

And it’s not just the in-car tech that makes the list – there are also inexpensive ways to make your old car safer and more efficient.

12 volt USB charger – £5

The humble 12 volt USB charger is one of the most affordable ways to modernize your car

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The humble 12 volt USB charger is one of the most affordable ways to modernize your carPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

It seems that every device is USB charged these days, so not having a USB port in your car can be a big problem.

Luckily, there are tons of inexpensive options on the market to adapt your car’s 12-volt cigarette lighter to USB power.

USB-A and USB-C adapters are available, or even adapters with both USB formats can be found if you have devices with both types.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – from £150

It is best to hire a professional to fit these aftermarket screens

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It is best to hire a professional to fit these aftermarket screensCredit: Alamy

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto essentially replicate your phone’s screen in your car.

That’s handy because most people know their phone, but many struggle with car systems.

Most new cars now come with these systems, but you can retrofit older cars by replacing their radio units with a new screen.

We’d highly recommend hiring a professional for the fitment, but units for some cars start from £150 on Amazon and eBay. Halfords sells Sony and Pioneer sets from around £270.

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WiFi in the car – free of charge

Your smartphone is a brilliant WiFi hotspot when you have enough data

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Your smartphone is a brilliant WiFi hotspot when you have enough dataCredit: Alamy

If you travel a lot and work a lot from the car, you should think about a stable WiFi connection.

If your car was built before the internet was invented, you might be wondering how on earth is that possible.

There are dedicated WiFi dongles that can be plugged in, but since most people have a smartphone these days, we’d suggest using that as a free hotspot instead.

Just make sure your phone and network are capable of it and that you have enough data for what you need to do.

DAB radio – £50

Retrofit kits like this start online from as little as £50

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Retrofit kits like this start online from as little as £50

Digital radio is the future and every new car sold now comes with a DAB radio receiver.

However, nowadays it is easy to buy a DAB radio receiver upgrade for your car and enjoy clearer radio reception on the go.

If you are skilled at DIY, you can do it yourself or hire a professional to do it.

Either way it opens up hundreds more radio stations that are DAB only.

Headlight bulbs – £20

Far superior headlight bulbs are available for relatively little money

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Far superior headlight bulbs are available for relatively little moneyPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Headlight technology is one of the fastest developing areas of the car.

You used to be happy to see where you were going.

Now we have OLED lights with hundreds of pixels that detect oncoming cars and prevent them from being blinded from hundreds of meters away.

You can’t have that on your old banger, of course, but from around £20 you can buy more powerful bulbs that have whiter light to vastly improve what you can see at night.

Aero wipers – £20

Purchasing the latest wipers makes driving in wet weather safer

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Purchasing the latest wipers makes driving in wet weather saferPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Windshield wiper technology hasn’t advanced quite as quickly, but the latest wipers will last longer and wipe more effectively than those of yesteryear.

They are often designed to be more aerodynamic, so reduce wind noise at high speeds and also help reduce fuel costs.

Buying new windshield wipers and using products like Rain-X on your windshield to prevent smearing also means you can see more and drive safer on wet days.

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https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8726882/cheap-car-hacks-that-will-modernise-your-old-motor/ Cheap car hacks that modernize your old engine and save YOU £1,000

Fry Electronics Team

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