Add-on accessories for your car will make your ride more enjoyable. A power cord from your cell phone to the cigarette lighter socket will keep your phone running without draining its battery. An iceless cooler will conveniently keep a drink cold. A heated mug will keep coffee hot as long as the car is running. Add-on accessories add enjoyment to your ride. Below is information and comments about five types of accessories. To locate the items online, use the link to Leisure ideas at the end of this article.
12-volt heated mug – A mug with a plug for getting power from the cigarette lighter socket. It keeps a liquid such as coffee hot for as long as the vehicle is running. Some models have a thermostat to set the temperature.
- Wagan Tech Heated Travel Mug, removable cord plugs into cigarette lighter socket, 16-ounce capacity, double wall vacuum insulation to keep drinks hot up to an hour after you unplug, mug fits cup holders, available for about $30.
- New VR3 Stainless Steel Heated Insulated Travel Mug Cup, plugs into cigarette lighter socket, 14-ounce capacity, base sized to fit cup holder, about $10 plus shipping.
- Bell & Howell Hot N’ Go Heated Car Mug, heats to 145 degrees F in 30 minutes, 16-ounce capacity, priced about $18.
- JLR Gear Smart Mug, set the temperature you want, has ready light, 16-ounces, plugs into lighter socket, available online for about $20 plus shipping.
Cooler/warmer – These give the choice of keeping food hot or cold. Can warm food and can cool. Some are sized to hold a can of soda or a mug of coffee, larger units might hold a six-pack or more.
- Coleman 12-Volt 9-Can Console Cooler/Warmer, cools to 40° F and warms to 120° F, 9-can capacity. Available online for about $60.
- Vector® Thermoelectric Portable Food Cooler/Warmer Chests, cool to 40° below outside temperature, warm to approximately 130° F, 9-foot cord plugs into lighter plug. Two available, 6- and 12-can capacity, priced $75 and $85.
- Koolatron 18-quart Food Cooler/Warmer, cools to 40° F below ambient temperature or warms to 125° F, detachable 10-ft. cord, 3-amp draw, holds 23 12-ounce cans. Available for about $110.
- ROADPRO 12-Volt Mini Cooler / Warmer, holds 9 12-ounce cans, about $50.
- 12-Volt 7-Liter Cooler/Warmer 12-Volt 7-Liter Cooler/Warmer, holds 9 12-ounce cans, about $60.
- Pyle – Automotive Travel Cooler/Warmer – PLCOOL6, holds two 12-ounce bottles, 9-foot detachable cord, 12 volt/120 volt/220-volt, about $40 online.
- Rubbermaid® Cooler/Warmer 289377 1.1-gallon capacity, holds 6 12-ounce cans, plugs into cigarette lighter socket, in warming mode, warms to 120-degrees F., tie-down strap and buckle strap for fastening to seat back. 7′ long 12v cord. Available online for $80 plus shipping.
Cell phone charger – Plugs into the cigarette lighter socket to power or charge your cell phone.
- Virgin Mobile Silver Dolphin Car Charger, for Kyocera phones, plugs into car’s power outlet and charges phone in 2.5- to 3.5-hours, http://www.radioshack.com can locate the stores nearest you where you can get this charger, about $15.
- Phoenix Wireless Vehicle Power Adapter for Samsung M300/M510, has coiled cord that plugs into cigarette lighter socket, about $25.
- Quick Cell 3900 Car Charger Nokia, web site lists stores nearest you that stock this charger, about $15.
- Phoenix Vehicle Power Adapter for Samsung Phones, has coiled cord that plugs into cigarette lighter socket, 3.5-mm plug, for many Samsung phones, for about $25.
- Generic Car Charger for Nokia N91, N90, N80, 770, 7370, 6282, 6265i, 6165i, 6155i, 6126, 6103, 6102i, 6102, 6101, 3155i. Available for about $5.
Power inverter – Plugs into the cigarette lighter socket, clips to battery, or wire it in. The vehicle’s 12-volts dc is changed to 120-volts ac to power things like laptop computers, coffee makers, cell phones, camcorder battery chargers and other small appliances. Don’t go bigger than 400 watts unless you want to go directly to the battery with heavy wire. Even then, high power devices will drain your battery quickly and could fry the alternator if the engine is running.
- Xantrex X Power Mobile Plug 75, only 75 watts, very light duty, for about $30 online.
- Whistler 400-watt Power Inverter with Circuit Pro, will run TV/DVD combos, laptops, cooling fans, $30 plus shipping.
- Xantrex Technologies XPower Plus 400-Watt Inverter #851-0400, 400 watts for 5-minutes, 600-watts surge for easy startups, and 300-watts continuous power, plugs into car cigarette lighter, automatic shutdown mechanism protects against overload, over-temperature and low battery conditions, two 3-prong grounded AC outlets, and a DC outlet. Available online for about $30.
mp3 player – Down load music or other audio content onto either the player’s memory or a separate flash drive. Hours of audio can be stored in a single memory device. Some content can be downloaded for free. Listen to the program any time you choose.radio strap
- VR3 MP3/WMA FM Modulator w/USB Port and Audio, VRFM8BLN, plug a flash drive into its USB port and use Play, Pause, Volume, Shuffle, and Track Selection controls to play MP3 and WMA files, has a mini jack to use a mp3 player or other audio source, has cigarette lighter plug, priced about $35.
- DLO TransCast FM Transmitter for MP3 Players, 0092007, use to play audio from an MP3 player through a car’s radio. Gets power from cigarette lighter jack or batteries, 3-foot cord for connecting an audio source, compatible with MP3 players, PSP, and iPod. Available from radioshack.com for about $40 plus shipping. Radio shack will ship free to the store nearest you.
- USB Car MP3/WMA FM Modulator Player W/Audio Input, will accept a standard USB drive to play MP3 files with car’s FM radio, plugs in cigarette lighter jack, input jack for audio from CD, DVD or MP3 player. Available online for about $25.
- Belkin TuneCast II Mobile FM Transmitter, will accept audio from a MP3 player’s headphone jack and transmit it to a car’s radio to be played through the car’s existing speaker system, powered by batteries or through car’s cigarette lighter jack, available for about $24.
Other accessories that can be used to enhance your car include seat covers, floor mats, steering wheel covers, sun shades, head rest covers, litter bags, can and cup holders, inside/outside thermometer, gps/map device, extra loud or novelty sound horns.
Items to keep in your car for repair, emergency, safety and miscellaneous – Jack, lug wrench, trouble light, flares, jumper cables, maps, cell phone and phone numbers, coolant for radiator, drinking water, long storage food, empty container for gasoline, various hand tools, gloves, coat, hat, blanket, rain poncho, and a first aid kit.
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