500 Auto Accessories!

The auto accessories market is experiencing explosive growth thanks to the ever increasing number of new vehicle models being marketed all across North America. For more than fifty years consumers have been the chief benefactors of this unrelenting growth and the selection for you has never been better. Let’s take a look at some of the many automobile accessories available to auto enthusiasts like you and how you can get your hands on what you want!

By definition, automobile accessories are those items [including parts] that do not come with your vehicle. Yes, in some cases you can purchase a fully accessorized vehicle, but for the sake of clarity I am defining auto accessories as aftermarket purchases only.

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, the accessories available for it will vary. The more popular the model, the more likely that someone, somewhere is making custom fitted accessories for it. Indeed, America’s most popular vehicle – Ford’s full size pick up trucks – have more than 500 different types of accessories made especially for that truck. These accessories come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and ultimately number in the many thousands of different items when calculated separately.

The following are just some of the many accessories available to owners of Ford’s F-150 pick up truck: air deflector, air scoop, bed extender, bed rail cap, bed rails, bed wing, body armor, body kit, brake light cover, bug shield, bumper, bumper cover, bumper guard, bumper mounting kit, bumper trim, cab spoilers, car wash supplies, cargo rack, door handle, door handle cover, door panel, door sill, fender flares, fender molding, front bed cap, front bed protector, front spoiler, fuel door, graphics, grille, grille guard, grille insert, grille shell, header panel, headlight covers, headlight trim, hood hinge, hood protector, hood scoop,mirror,mirror cover, mud flaps, nerf bar mounting kit, nerf bars, push bar, rear window protector, roll pan, roof rack, roof rails, running board mounting kit, running boards, running side box board, side molding, side skirts, side step, skid plate, spoiler, sport tubes, sun shield, tail light covers, tail light guard, tailgate, tailgate cable, tailgate cap, tailgate cover, tailgate handle, tailgate handle cover, tailgate handle relocator, tailgate net, tailgate protector, tailgate spoiler, truck bed rack, truck bed side rail, valance, vent visor, visor, wheel well trim, window covers, windshield wiper, wiper cowls.

As you can see the list is quite lengthy! Staggering better describes the market.

So, how did this whole business get started? Well, for the most part we have California to thank, particularly southern California. While New Jersey gave the world the turnpike and the parkway, the Golden State brought us freeways and a beach culture popularized by such groups as the Beach Boys, who sang about cars, girls, and the youth lifestyle. Sand, surf, girls, and driving go together, so if you are going to be in your car for a long time you might as well make it comfortable and personalize it, right? Thus, companies like Covercraft got started, specializing in car covers, while other companies were launched specializing in the building or modifying of entire cars, like Saleen.

Yes, your choices for auto accessories are simply fantastic: you can outfit your car the way you want it to look by giving it your personal touch well beyond what the automaker had in mind. Hey, this is America: the land of freedom and individuality. Accessorize your car today!

How Are Electric Vehicles Charged?

Before buying an electric vehicle it is essential to gain familiarity with the necessary on-board equipment to prevent “charging” or, to use a current term, “top-up” problems.

It is important to check that the electric vehicle is fitted with a battery charger with a “standard” connection, i. e. suitable to draw electrical energy directly from ENEL’s grid and therefore from the power outlet in our garage. If it’s not then there is something wrong and you need to contact the seller.

This solution in the standard equipment fitted on an electric vehicle allows to charge the batteries in any place with mains electricity. Indeed electric cars have other various types of battery chargers. However, these do not allow to draw electricity from the mains supply but need special adapters or need to be connected directly to the charging points in service stations now available in large towns. The ideal solution is to have a battery charger on board the car with a high-frequency standard socket without the need to resort to external devices.

When taking into consideration an electric vehicle one needs to examine the costs to bear for the energy required to power the set of batteries. Models that allow to reduce energy costs are definitely the ones that allow to charge the batteries directly from the national domestic mains supply. Usually a full energy charge for a complete set of traction batteries for vehicles that draw energy directly from the mains supply does not cost more than 2 euros.

Vehicles fitted with a standard battery charger allow to optimise the time spent at home to charge the batteries. Indeed on average it takes 8 hours to fully charge a set of traction batteries. We recommend charging the entire set of batteries overnight, after the vehicle has been used during the day, in conjunction with the cheapest electricity tariff. It is also possible to charge the batteries for less time during the day for partial charges.

Partial charges do not result in problems affecting the runtime and/or efficiency of the set of batteries, as they are not subject to the memory effect. Precisely because they do not suffer from the memory effect, the set of batteries of electric vehicles has an average life of about 4 years.

A fully charged set of batteries of an electric vehicle allows for an uptime that varies between 70 and 100 km, depending on the model and set-up selected.

Top 10 Must Have Auto Accessories

Personalizing the appearance and improving the driving experience of your auto is one of the great pleasures of owning your own car, SUV or truck. There are so many different auto accessories out there on the market it can be tricky to narrow down which ones you might want to consider getting to improve your vehicle. The following 10 accessories are those which we consider really are the “must haves”:

1) Floor Mats – It really is pretty ridiculous that an item so basic as a floor mat is an optional extra on many new cars. If you want to protect the interior of your automobile and prolong the life of the cabin’s upholstery then floor mats are an essential and worthwhile investment. Floor mats can be easily picked up from just about every auto accessory shop and even in many supermarkets.

2) Auto Covers – The last thing you want to happen to your pride and joy is for its shiny paintwork to get damaged by the elements, falling objects, or even bird droppings. By using an auto cover you can give your vehicle the protection it needs from the harsh summer sun, heavy rain and hail, corrosive bird droppings and destructive objects falling from trees or blown by the wind.

3) Cargo Liners – Like floor mats for the passenger compartment of vehicles, cargo liners are also a great accessory for keeping the trunk clean and tidy. If you are often putting dirty boots or tools in the trunk of your vehicle, for example, then a cargo liner will keep all that filth off the lining material as well as protecting against any scratches and dents.

4) Brake Dust Shields – With modern vehicles getting more and more powerful and having larger brakes, the amount of brake dust produced is increasing. Using brake dust shields on the insides of your wheels helps to prevent the dust from gathering on your shiny alloy rims, making keeping your auto clean much easier.

5) Car Bras – Bumpers on modern cars are often made from plastic which might look good but isn’t able to put off with much abuse caused by stones, grit and other street debris. A car bra is a specially made protector that wraps around the bumper to shield against flying stones, insects and other debris that can cause damaging stone chips and dents.

6) Fender Flares – Travelling at speed on country roads or rarely used streets can lead to gravel, rocks and other objects flinging up and striking the paintwork of your vehicle. By fitting fender flares you can greatly reduce the amount of debris that can reach your auto’s exterior. For most cars it is possible to find fender flares that match the original color and finish.

7) Mud Flaps – Further protection can be provided by the use of mud flaps which also prevent the dirty water spray containing all manner of pollutants and oil from reaching your car’s paintwork.

8) Heated Seats – Driving a car throughout the long winter months without heated seats can be somewhat torturous, especially when first entering the vehicle. Heated seats can make a journey in cold weather 10 times more pleasurable.

9) iPod / iPhone / MP3 Docks – Tape cassettes and even now CDs are getting very long in the tooth. Why not make use of your iPod or MP3 player in your vehicle and invest in a dock that allows you to listen to your tunes through your car speakers. Many docks also double up as a hand-free system; much safer than talking on the phone normally.

10) Bug Shields – These are an absolute must have, particularly in the South where insects are even more prevalent. A good bug shield made specifically for your model of car or truck can do wonders in limiting the amount of insects and other debris hitting your windshield and hood. Bug shields not only help to keep your car clean, but are also a useful safety accessory helping to maintain good visibility.