More often than not, dads are devoted to their cars. Whether it is his tough-as-nails truck, a racy red sports car or his faithful commuter companion, your dad very likely has money invested in his vehicle.
This Father s Day, there are more ways than ever to spruce up his ride. The most obvious way is literally to spruce up his ride with auto detailing. This could be as simple as borrowing his car and cleaning it top to bottom yourself. If you really want to treat him, though, take his car to a professional detailing company, or get a gift card so that he can take it to one. If your dad cannot be parted from his ride, send mobile detailing experts to his vehicle.
With the right cleaning service, Dad s car can come out looking brand new. We have a long list of other ways to improve his ride, too, including upgrading his sound system, adding navigation tools and more.
Pamper Him With In-Dash Navigation
To really treat a technology-loving dad, you need to find a gift that exceeds all expectations. With our help, you can find an in-dash navigation system that fits the bill and your budget. These units are basically entertainment systems and GPS units combined in one. They will integrate seamlessly into Dad s dash, get him to his destination and allow him to listen to his favorite tunes along the way. With an accurate and efficient GPS on board, he will never be late to an event again.
The Kenwood DNX7160 is one of the finest in-dash navigation systems we looked at. A 3D mapping system means he won't need to stop for directions, not a favorite activity of most dads we know. This particular system can even respond to basic voice commands and questions like Where am I? or Find nearest gas station. An in-dash navigation system is the ultimate addition to any dad s vehicle.
Audio Books Make the Time Fly, Even in Traffic
Your dad might spend a lot of time in his vehicle, whether it is an 18-wheeler, central command for a real estate business or just a car used for long commutes to the office. One thing that will make extended spans of time more pleasant in any situation are audiobooks. Listening to a good book is a great way to help the time pass. Limited selections of audiobooks are available at your local library, but gift-wrapping one of those seems like a bad idea since Dad would have to return it in a couple of weeks. Subscription services like Audible.com offer monthly plans starting at about $8. You could also opt to just purchase a book or two and see how he likes them. iTunes offers an incredibly wide range of titles. An iTunes gift card would buy him as many or as few as you decide. Most titles cost $15 or less. You can still find books on CD, or even tape, for low-tech dads, too. Whether it is a murder-mystery, fantasy or self-help book, it will make his journey much more enjoyable.
Put Safety First with a Bluetooth Car Kit
MOTOROKR T505 Bluetooth Car Kit
Your dad has always been there to protect you and keep you safe. Now it s your turn to protect him. The right Bluetooth car kit, such as the MOTOROKR T505, can keep his hands safely on the wheel while still allowing him to talk on the phone in the car. These systems clip securely to your dad s visor and allow him to make calls using only voice commands. The best ones offer easy-to-use buttons so his eyes will never leave the road and his hand will only have to leave the wheel for seconds at a time to find the right button.
The MOTOROKR T505 can seamlessly pair with both smartphones and non-smartphones. Making a call is so easy with this device. Once the numbers in Dad s phone are automatically synced to the device, all he has to do is say the name of a contact and he will be connected to that person. As long as it's compatible with his phone, this device allows your dad to listen to his music library through the Bluetooth car kit s speakerphone or through the FM transmitter. When a call comes in the music automatically shuts off. When the call is over, Dad s music will come back on in exactly the same place.
Protect His Investment With a Quality Car Alarm
If a man s house is his castle then his vehicle could be considered his trusty steed. A quality car alarm can help make sure Dad gets years of faithful service from his automobile. Car alarm systems have come a long way. Many now offer remote starters and other interesting features that would thrill many dads we know. Being able to start your car with a remote is not necessary, but that's not the point. Just the idea that your car will already be toasty during the winter or comfortably cool during the summer before you even get in the car is a luxurious dream.
There are some very practical features on the best of these systems as well. The Viper 5901 is a great example of a combination of all the best features. This unit will, of course, sound an alarm if anyone breaks a window, bumps the car too hard or opens the door. It will also alert you to some advanced theft methods, which is ideal. Today, criminals may skip trying to jimmy their way into the car and instead just tow the car or lift it onto a truck rather than trying to drive it away. The Viper has shock sensors to combat those methods. The Viper 5901 also provides keyless entry and a trunk opening function.
Building a Better Sound System
The sound systems that come standard in most new cars are tolerable, but they won't satisfy the true audio nut. This year, pamper Dad with a truly awesome stereo system for his car, especially if his car is from a previous era. Even if your dad s car has one of the newer and better systems, he might like one that is more personalized to his needs.
The first stop on the journey to a better car stereo is a great receiver. We like the ones that can reproduce sounds from a number of sources, including CDs, iPods and Bluetooth devices. Units like the JVC KD-A615 allow you to use any of those sources; you can even access your tunes with nothing more than a flash drive. A detachable faceplate is also a great trait for discouraging theft. The JVC KD-A615 has it. It also is designed to give 50 watts of output power over four channels and comes with a remote control.
Help Him Lose the Frustration, Not the Call
Wilson Electronics Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit
As cell phone technology progresses, dropped calls become less and less of an issue, but that s no consolation if your commute involves remote areas or hilly terrain where dropped calls are still pretty common. If your dad has complained about dropped calls or limited coverage, give him the gift of lower blood pressure by buying him a cell phone signal booster for his vehicle. These units are designed to strengthen cell phone signals using powerful antennas that attach to the roof, mirrors or windshield of a vehicle. We d go with a unit like the Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit from Wilson Electronics. All of the units in this family of products have an excellent reputation for boosting the number of bars you get in remote areas for any U.S. cellular service provider. This product works great for an RV or even your home. Many users report getting more bars just by throwing it in their back seat. Dad won t even need to go to the trouble of mounting the antenna on his car to have marked improvement in coverage.
Charging On-the-Go Made Easy
Griffin PowerJolt Dual Micro
For years, your dad worked to instill common sense in you. How about putting it to use this Father s Day with a practical present that keeps on giving? An iPod charger for his car may not be the most original gift, but your dad will appreciate it. Nothing is more annoying than a dead phone. On-the-go dads may not always remember to charge their mobile devices as often as they should. His car should not leave the driveway ever again without one of the great new chargers, like Griffin PowerJolt Dual Micro. This little dynamo charges not one, but two devices at a time, including iPhone, iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, iPod Touch and really any device that requires a USB port. This unit is also teeny tiny, which makes it very portable. It won t get in the way of anything when it is plugged into your dad s dash.
Bring Out the Bass With Subwoofers
True audiophiles are never too old to appreciate a thumping bass. The best subwoofers can add depth to any type of music, not just the window-rattling rap with which they are often associated. The best of these units respond quickly to input signals, handle a high number of watts for extended periods of time and can handle an even higher number of watts for short periods of time. Our reviewers looked at a number of these units and the JL Audio 10W3v3 stood out for impressive sound levels and fidelity. This subwoofer can handle up to 1,000 watts of power. Dad will not likely use that much power often, but it is nice to know that it's available.
HD Radio Offers Singular Sound
If you are looking to upgrade Dad s car stereo this Father s Day it is worth considering an HD radio. These will really appeal to the techy type, upping the potential clarity of sound and the information options compared to an analog system. The HD in HD radio does not stand for high definition. It does not stand for anything except a specific brand name. What makes an HD radio stand out is its ability to pick up the digital signal, which will always have a better sound quality than your typical analog station. A digital signal also means you will be able to see the name of the artist and title information on your radio screen while you are listening. When Dad hears something he likes he can press a button that will store the information about the song until he connects his iPod, making it easy to purchase the song if he chooses. There are also a ton of radio stations available on HD radios, stations that used to be only on the internet. The best HD radios can play music from a wide range of sources, including iPods, Bluetooth systems and even SD cards. The Kenwood KDC-HD545U is an example of an excellent HD radio.
Arriving Safely With Radar Detection
Escort Passport 9500ix
A radar detector may be a practically perfect gift for your lead-footed father. A quality radar detector might encourage him to slow down, at least when he knows a police car is in his vicinity. It even makes sense for the more conservative driver. No one likes a speed trap. The best of these products can filter out false alerts and just narrow their finds down to police equipment. The Escort Passport 9500ix is a great radar detector. This unit can quickly alert Dad to commonly used radar bands such as X, K, Ka and Ku as well as laser guns used by law enforcement. Hooking the unit up to a computer using a USB port gives Dad access to an oft-updated database of red light cameras and speed cameras. The Passport 9500ix offers voice alerts and multiple threat displays. The easy-to-read LED display will help make the warnings unmistakable.