The Christmas season, as the song says, is the most wonderful time of the year. It's a time to celebrate the year that was, reconnect with our family, and show appreciation by giving presents to those we hold dear. For car owners, that includes their precious rides.
There are a lot of items out there that you can give, especially now that e-commerce sites have become even more popular. Unfortunately, not every abubot out there will serve a good purpose, and some may even end up doing more harm than good for your car.
With that said, whether you're buying one for your car or for someone else (like your jowa, family, friend, etc.), we have put together some useful presents that can come in handy, and also some stuff you should avoid adding to your Christmas list.
BUY: Gas cards / Fuel coupons
This is perhaps one of the best presents we think you could give to someone who owns a car. Considering the high fuel prices nowadays (plus the dreadful Christmas traffic), a car owner will love you for helping him/her in keeping their precious steed topped up with fuel.
Some fuel cards come pre-loaded with a set amount, and some are also reloadable. They can also be used not just to buy fuel, but also for lubricants such as engine oils. Most of the country's major oil players usually have these readily available, so all you have to do is pay a visit to your nearest gas station to purchase one of these.
BUY: Emergency tool kits
You never know when car troubles hit you. But in case it happens, it pays to have tools that will come in handy. With that said, you can do your motorist loved ones a favor by giving them emergency tool kits as a Christmas present.
Emergency tool kits may vary depending on where you're buying them, but usually, the basic ones at your e-commerce sites consist of an early warning device, fire extinguisher, jumper cable, towing/recovery strap, flashlights, and a 3-in-1 safety hammer (window glass breaker and belt strap cutter).
BUY: Windshield water repellents
Since it's the holiday season, expect your motorist friends to be on the road quite often. And since the weather will always vary whether you're going on an out-of-town trip or just somewhere nearby, the occasional downpour will have an effect on driving visibility.
One way to help improve that is by applying off-the-shelf windshield water repellents. What it does is it makes the glass surface slick to the point where raindrops will only fly off your windshield while driving. These items are either directly applied to the windshield or added to a car's windshield washer reservoir.
Give your loved ones an extra set of eyes on the road by buying them a dashcam. These things normally come with memory cards for storage and a Wi-Fi connection that allows you to view live recordings and playback videos in case an unforeseen circumstance on the road happens.
BUY: Cellphone holder
With the heavy traffic that comes with the Christmas season, discovering alternative routes to cut down travel times, especially across the metro will be a helpful thing in making you arrive at your destination on time. Unfortunately, only the newest models out there come with smartphone connectivity such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to flash Waze or Google Maps on your infotainment screen. So what if you don't have those for your convenience?
The next best thing is to have a cellphone holder. These are usually clipped onto your car's aircon vents where you can place your smartphone while driving. Moreover, it essentially reduces instances of distracted driving, as you spend less time looking back and forth between your phone screen and the road ahead.
DON'T BUY: Blinking taillights
We've already covered this one before, but it seems some motorists simply don't get it. Blinking taillights are not just irritating, but technically under local traffic codes, they are also illegal. Moreover, you can even endanger fellow motorists, especially if the driver behind you is prone to epileptic seizures. There are enough kamotes on the road already, so do your loved one (and yourself) a favor by not having these.
DON'T BUY: Seatbelt alarm eliminator clip
Most modern vehicles feature seatbelt warning alerts the moment you start rolling without being strapped in. Now, the last thing you wanna do is put in a clip on the belt buckle to stop the alarm. Not only would it set you up for traffic apprehension by breaking the seatbelt law, but it also puts you in potential danger once an accident occurs. Seatbelt alarms were invented to keep you safe, and deactivating them using eliminator clips will only do you more harm than good.
DON'T BUY: Rubber-type door edge protector strips
Rubber-type door edge protector strips may keep your door edges free from dings and paint chips. But just because it says “protector” doesn't mean it won't harm your car in the long run.
The problem is, these rubber-type strips have the tendency to collect water on those little openings, which can leave moisture on the surface. And since it doesn't dry off, prolonged moisture could eat away your car's paint and eventually lead to rust. What's more concerning is that you won't see it coming until you've actually removed the protector strip. By the time you see spots of rust outside these strips, then it's highly likely that the damage has been done.
If you really want to protect your door edges from dings and paint chips, we think you'd be better off opting for a paint protection film.
DON'T BUY: Brake caliper covers
Your car's brake discs and pads produce a lot of heat under braking instances. And to keep it performing effectively, the brakes also need to dissipate that heat as quickly as possible. So if you've installed one of these brake caliper covers to your car, then congratulations – you have just put unnecessary stress on your car's braking system.
From the word “cover”, these brake caliper covers may perceive a better look, but from a functionality standpoint, this will hamper heat from escaping the brakes. Overheated brakes are never a good thing as they no longer create the friction needed to slow your car down. So it's no longer a case of trading function over form, but also throwing safety out the window.
DON'T BUY: “Jet sound” exhaust tips
You've probably heard some cars on the road sounding like jets doing a fly-by, and the fact that they exist means some people think it's cool. But for others, well, it can be downright irritating. What's more important to know is that jet sound exhaust tips basically do nothing to add horsepower to your car. It's nothing more than a useless purchase that will only attract people's attention and for the wrong reasons.
These are more or less budget-friendly items that can also be found on your favorite e-commerce sites. And as we said earlier, it pays to actually give a gift that would serve a good purpose to the receiver. So which one are you adding to your cart? Got any more car gift ideas you should buy or avoid? Let us know in the comments.