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As most drivers spend a great deal of time in their vehicle, it is understandable that they want to make their driving experience as comfortable and convenient as possible. One way to do increase comfort and convenience while driving is to upgrade one’s vehicle by adding aftermarket controls. In many instances, it is less expensive to install aftermarket features in a car than it is to pay for these options at the dealership at the time of purchase. Cruise control, remote start, and Bluetooth are some of the most popular aftermarket controls added to vehicles. Security systems and keyless entry are equally popular aftermarket control choices for car owners. Car owners shopping for aftermarket car controls can enjoy the added convenience these features offer, while adding value to their vehicles. Learn the main benefits of adding these controls to a car, and find out the best places to purchase them in order to make the most informed decision about aftermarket car controls.
Why Choose Aftermarket Car Controls
Cars are expensive purchases, and adding extra options at the dealership may add value to the car; however, it adds significantly to the cost as well. Consumers can save money but still add value and convenience to their vehicles by purchasing aftermarket car controls, instead of paying for these options at the dealership. Although not all vehicles can be easily outfitted with all types of aftermarket car controls, there are plenty of options out there to satisfy most consumers. From keyless entry and remote start, to cruise control and Bluetooth, the selection of aftermarket car controls is growing. While many aftermarket car controls are simple enough to be installed by the consumer, some may need to be professionally installed in order to function properly. Learn the benefits of adding aftermarket car controls and which ones are most often installed on today’s vehicles before deciding which car controls to add to a vehicle.
One way to save money on a vehicle is to purchase a model with fewer extra options and then shop around later for aftermarket versions of these same options. Many times, consumers are able to purchase aftermarket car controls, and even pay for professional installation, for much less money than they would have spent to get the same features at the time of the vehicle’s purchase.
Add Value and Convenience
Many consumers choose aftermarket car controls as a way to add value and convenience to their cars. Creature comforts, such as cruise control and keyless entry, can increase the value of an older car that was not outfitted with these features at the time of manufacture. Security systems bring peace of mind to many owners who are concerned about theft or vandalism. The convenience of starting a vehicle without having to go outside has many owners shopping around for remote start systems.
Types of Aftermarket Car Controls
There are several choices available to car owners when it comes to purchasing aftermarket car controls. Cruise control, keyless entry, and security systems are conveniences many drivers feel they cannot do without. Remote start is a feature enjoyed especially by drivers in extreme climates. Having Bluetooth integrated into a car’s controls is invaluable to drivers who love to stay connected to their electronic devices.
Car owners can purchase universal cruise control kits that fit most vehicles with mechanically operated throttles. Cruise control kits are also available with custom-mounting brackets and wiring harnesses to fit more specific needs. Control switches for cruise control are available in universal and OEM turn signal levers, as well as dash-mounted control switches.
For many car owners, keyless entry has become a standard feature they would never consider being without. However, numerous cars on the road still lack this feature. Aftermarket keyless entry systems are inexpensive and easy to install. Many come with added security features, such as an alarm and engine immobilization. Some of these systems can even be programmed for operation with a mobile phone.
The convenience of being able to stay indoors but still start a car and let it warm up on a cold morning is the main selling point for remote car starters. Remote starters can be added to a vehicle that is already equipped with an alarm system and keyless entry, or they can be installed as part of a package that includes all of these features.
Security systems can be used to prevent theft and vandalism, as well as to attract attention and warn others in a situation where one feels threatened. Security systems can be as simple as an alarm that sounds if someone forces open a door, or they can have more advanced features, such as engine immobilization, which prevents a potential thief from being able to start the car without the key.
Bluetooth-equipped vehicles are gaining in popularity. The ability to operate a phone or GPS unit hands-free or play music through a car’s speakers wirelessly is a convenience few want to be without. Outfitting a car with a Bluetooth system adds value to the vehicle and brings convenience to the driver.
Where to Find Aftermarket Car Controls
Consumers can find aftermarket car controls locally or online, from Internet marketplaces such as eBay. Depending on the type of control an owner is searching for, he or she may want to shop at electronics retailers, auto parts stores, car dealerships, or on the Web. Consumers should shop around to find the best prices, as well as quality equipment that is designed to fit their specific vehicle.
Big-box electronics retailers often sell a variety of aftermarket car controls. The majority of the items carried at large electronics retailers are usually universal kits that fit a wide variety of vehicles. The benefit of purchasing from a store like this is that they generally offer installation on-site.
Automotive Parts Stores
Automotive parts stores carry new and remanufactured parts, and they often stock both OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and replacement items. Many automotive parts stores also offer on-site installation, which may be preferable to do-it-yourself installation for some car owners. There are also numerous online auto parts stores. These stores have impressive inventories, without the option for professional installation.
While dealerships usually charge the highest prices on their parts when compared to other shopping options, they offer buyers the benefit of getting a part designed exclusively for their particular vehicle. Purchasing aftermarket car controls from a dealer may eat up some of the cost savings, but the benefit of getting a factory-certified part and having it installed by a certified mechanic is worth the added cost for many consumers.
Buying Aftermarket Car Controls on eBay
Drivers looking for aftermarket car controls for their vehicles may want to consider the benefits of shopping on eBay. Thousands of vendors with listings on eBay provide shoppers with a vast inventory of aftermarket car controls at competitive prices. Numerous vendors offer free shipping, which adds up to even more savings for shoppers, and most sellers combine shipping charges if a buyer purchases more than one item at a time.
Drivers who know which type of aftermarket car control they want can quickly navigate to the Parts & Accessories page from the eBay Motors homepage. From there, enter in the make, model, and year of the vehicle, along with a description of the desired part, to be shown a list of compatible parts. You can also simply enter in a description of the car control you want, and then use eBay’s convenient search filters to sort results by vehicle brand, make, model, and year. Additional filters include options to sort search results by location, price, condition, or whether the part comes with a warranty.
Consumers who are new to eBay can find numerous tips and tools to enhance their shopping experience. Read all the basics about shopping on eBay, such as how to register and how to use the eBay mobile app, on the Getting Started on eBay page. The Search Tips page offers great advice on the best way to narrow search results to find that perfect item. Drivers looking for multiple automotive items may want to learn about the benefits of shopping in eBay Stores.
Increasingly, the focus when it comes to automobiles is shifting toward making cars more convenient and comfortable than ever. Older cars that lack some of the more modern features can be outfitted with aftermarket controls, such as cruise control and keyless entry, for a reasonable cost and with minimal hassle. Drivers desiring higher levels of convenience may decide to install remote starters on their vehicles or add a Bluetooth-compatible audio system. Security systems are excellent theft deterrents, and as an added financial benefit, many insurance companies offer a discount on coverage if a vehicle has a security system. Aftermarket car controls, when properly installed and in good working order, can add value to a vehicle. Drivers can shop around locally at auto parts stores and electronics retailers for many of their aftermarket car control needs. Dealerships usually carry model-specific car controls, but these specialty items typically have a higher cost. For a wide selection of aftermarket car controls, consumers can look to eBay.
Guide ID: 28440Guide created: 01/28/13 (updated 02/04/13)
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