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Car accesssories: which ones do you really need?
With all the new gadgets and gizmos for your car available --it's hard to know which ones you really need. Here are some ideas from those that are simply useful to those that save lives.
A navigation system comes in handy whether you're directionally challenged or visiting a new city. It's one of the auto features that are so handy, Consumer Reports says you should seriously consider getting one. Another, is an automatic rear-hatch door that opens at the touch of a button. It's really convenient when you're carrying a heavy load.
Can never find your keys? Keyless ignition can help. You can leave your keys in your pocket and start the car with the touch of a button!
Stereo controls on the steering wheel let you keep your eyes on the road while you find the perfect song.
If you have kids, you're probably tired of hearing "Are we there yet?" A DVD player on long trips can keep everyone happy until you reach your destination.
For safety: Electronic Stability Control is a must have. In video taped testing the results were startling. A vehicle that had its stability control system disabled, went out of control in a turn. The same vehicle at the same speed with the stability control operating normally took the corner without a problem.
"We think stability control is the next best safety feature behind seatbelts. It has the possibility of saving ten thousand lives," says David Chapman with Consumer Reports. "I would not buy a car, SUV, or anything without stability control."
Every year power windows kill kids. Rocker switches and toggle switches are dangerous. They can be activated by a child's knee and in seconds a child can become trapped unable to cry out for help. Safer switches are ones you have to pull up to get the window to go up.
Some people are unaware how large the blind spot is
behind their vehicle and it can have tragic results. In tests of four types of vehicles, pick-up trucks' blind spot was a surprising nine meters --more than twice the distance of any of the other vehicles.
A back up camera especially in vehicles with large blind spots is a really good idea.
Some come as an option. There are after market cameras you can buy as well.
More new cars are coming loaded with convenience features. Such as rain-sensing windshield wipers and outside temperature display. And if you are in the market for a mini-van, windows that roll down for the second row of seats really improve ventilation.