While some car accessories are absolutely crucial in the everyday world, others are actually wrapping us up in the hype of what we think we need. We rely so much on technology that at times it feels as though we forget what we’re capable of doing without it. At least I can speak for myself when I say I’ve come across a few belongings that make me think, “what was I thinking that I needed this for again?” And with that said, I have come across my top three “Why is this taking up space in my car?” Items.

  1. The Garmin Portable GPS
    Any model really. Now, not to say each and every human being definitively carries around a phone with GPS capabilities, but for the large portion of us that do, why do we have this voice box in our cars? Not only have I wasted time getting the suction cups to hold secure onto my windshield through a whole ride, but I’ve also spent the $120 on it to do exactly what my good ol’ google maps can do. Some of these also require you to update them, which c’mon technology, what are we paying you to do?? While some cars don’t come equipped with a built in GPS system and easy to see monitor, if we have a GPS application loaded onto our mobile phones, and we NEED to look at the route and our little blue path along the way, we can just buy a dashboard dock for our phones. Which brings me to the next item…
  2. The LifeProof Car Mount
    Again, not to pick one out, this goes for all phone docks. And yes, I did just mention these could be useful to hold our phones up as a monitor, but here’s the exception to the rule. If you are NOT using your screen to see a route and avoid looking down at it, you really shouldn’t be using one of these. I mean, you can either a) be reading texts b) be playing a game c) using it for selfles. As I am not one to look much at my moving location ball, why oh why did I get myself tangled in more suction cups for my car? Ever hear “out of sight, out of mind”. That applies to cell phones…while you’re driving. It’s hard enough to hear a buzz and resist from looking to see who it is, but to see messages or notifications directly come into your sight is pretty dangerous and distracting, considering your sight should be on the road. While these aren’t a big pocket buster, ranging from $10-$20, if they’re being used to keep the life distractions in your face when they shouldn’t be, they will never be as convenient as you may think they could be. Ever.

3) Car Antlers
Just why. I’ll tell you why. These are undeniable ridiculous, or cute. I’d like to think a little of both. However, they do add height to your car (making it hard to go into low ceiling garages…like the ones you already think the height warning dangling pole will take off your roof). They also could potentially make some non-Christmas spirit drivers angry. I really don’t have much negative to say about these, but they are pretty common, and pretty annoying. But that’s probably just me denying their magic.

Tips for Modifying Your Car: How to Keep it Legal

If you are planning to modify your car there are 2 big myths that you may have encountered concerning this endeavor. First, that modifying your car instantly voids your car’s warranty. Second, that it’s illegal to modify your car.

True, these are just myths that are not to be taken seriously. However, there are regulatory boards in the automobile industry that you need to consult and some regulations that you need to keep closely in mind before modifying your car.

There are 2 regulatory agencies that oversee the automotive industry – they are the EPA or Environment Protection Agency, and the DOT or the Department of Transportation. Both of these agencies oversee the automotive industry on the federal level.

What Do They Do
Most of the regulatory power that these agencies have is focused primarily on creating and enforcing laws and regulations that deal with safety and emission equipment along with some criteria that a car to be sold in the US needs to meet.

If you’re a car manufacturer, you should take a close look at the guidelines set by these agencies. If you’re a private consumer, however, it’s very improbable that you’ll have direct contact with these federal government agencies.

There is one instance, though, that EPA and DOT actively interferes with your automobile dealings as a consumer – when you buy or bring in a gray market car in the US road for personal use.

Gray Market Car Defined

A gray market car is a model that was never officially sold in the United States. However, these gray market cars have features, bells, and whistles that are so desirable that people like you, who love modifying and turning ordinary vehicles into performance cars, ignore the law or go through a very expensive certification process.

This certification process involves crash testing as well as retrofitting and analyzing emissions and safety features that the gray market car has.

Examples Of Gray Market Cars

2 of the most popular gray market cars that have penetrated the US are the Porsche 959 and the Nissan Skyline GTR. Many enthusiast and car modifying fans have spent a lot of cash, time, and effort in search for these cars and to get them into US soil.

If you’re planning to import a gray market car that you’ll modify and tweak, you need to consult your attorney about the process to make it legal. Don’t even think about ignoring the law. Doing so can result to financial damage as well as jail time. That’s not my definition of fun!