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!

Electric Vehicle Kits – Build Your Own Electric Car

With rising fuel costs, more and more people and are looking for alternatives. One such alternative that is gaining popularity, especially with the do-it yourself types, are the electric vehicle kits. Anyone familiar with automobiles can now use these kits to convert traditional gas powered vehicles to one powered by electric current.

However, converting a traditional Gas powered vehicle into an electric vehicle can be a very daunting task. Only those who are the very mechanically minded should try this. To convert the vehicle will require extensive modifications to nearly all-mechanical parts of the car. Everything from the engine to the radiator, heater and air-conditioning, to the gauges on the panel. On top of that, the electric cars have to be recharged on a regular basis, which means having to purchase or use the services of recharging station. Solar power could be another potential source of power for the electric vehicle.

Can any car be converted into an electric vehicle?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Not all cars can be converted into an electric vehicle. However, and the most common electric vehicle kit seems to be the Chevy S-10 pick up kit. For examples to follow just do a search online for Chevy S-10 pickup Electric conversions.
Other cars that are good candidates for conversion are the Chevy Geo, especially from 1989 to 1999. These cars are good potential candidates for an electric vehicle kit conversion. Cars similar to the Chevy Geo Metro, such as the Chevy Sprint, Pontiac Firefly and the Suzuki Swift are also ideal for conversions too.

Are there downsides to using an electric vehicle kit?

Going back a few years, many people associated electric powered vehicles with slowness and a lack of power. But as usual, thanks to technology, significant advances in the electric vehicle have changed all that. With these electric vehicle kits some cars can reach top speeds of between 70 and 75 mph. nonetheless, converting to electric power still has its drawbacks.

The biggest drawback it is of course the need for recharging the batteries. As an example, the Chevy Geo Metro kit must be recharged every 20 to 40 miles, depending on driving habits and battery quality. For city driving, this would be ideal. However, for lengthy commutes on the highway, this would not be ideal.

The Chevy S-10 with an electric vehicle kit installed will run a little longer on a single charge. On a single charge, the S-10 should last between 40 and 60 miles. Again this depends upon the driving habits as well as the size and quality of batteries. Some S-10 models can be equipped with solar powered panels which would in reduced in the need for charging, at least when driving during daylight hours.

Converting vehicles with electric vehicle kits is not a cheap affair. Most conversion kits seem to cost between $8000 to $10,000. And this does not even include professional installation as well as the cost of the batteries, not to mention access to or the purchase of a charging station.

Quite frankly, with the cost involved of using an electric vehicle kit, it probably wouldn’t be very practical for the average consumer, especially if they do a lot of highway driving. However, that being said, it probably would be ideal for a back yard mechanic who loves to tinker with cars and has a few bucks to throw around and wants to impress his beer-drinking buddies.

Discount Auto Accessories Make the Grade

Everyone is trying to save money these days and trying to curb any major purchases like cars. Not creating extra expenses is the name of the game especially when it comes to vehicles. Payments can jump for not much of a car in many cases. That is why it is important to learn to find discount auto accessories.

It also helps even if you are auto repair challenged, to keep a small tool kit in the car. A pliers, screwdriver, a set of jumper cables and some fuses plus a small wrench set can get you out of a lot of jams. Even if you don’t know what to do with the tools, there may be someone around that knows what to do with the tools. Many cars are now operated as much by computer as anything else, but if your battery goes dead, having a set of jumper cables can get you on the road sooner. Make sure your tool set is what you need either inches or metric. Check to make sure you have the correct type for your particular vehicle.

The discount auto accessories industry is very competitive and there is a healthy secondary market. You can check out the local salvage yard or auto parts shop but if you need something major like a radiator, there are entire networks of salvage yards and garages that you can post what you need and they will find it for you. Then you can decide on the best deal and then the part is delivered to your door. In most cases, it is at least as cheap as having to find and remove the part yourself at some obscure salvage yard and not have the right tools. It’s a lot less messy and the part is torn up before you get it.

To make the most out of discount auto accessories, it is probably wise to get a complete manual for your vehicle. No, not that hokey booklet that passes for a manual that comes with the car, but a detailed manual that has parts, fittings, etc. This will help you get the right part yourself without having to go to a dealership and pay full retail. Sometimes you can get the part and then find someone who can put the part in. In many cases however, you will have to get a code reader and hook it to your car if you need to figure out why a certain light is on and what can be done to fix the problem.