9 Easy Ways to Add New Technology to Your Old Car

Parking sensors, a rear view camera mirror, multimedia system and Apple CarPlay are just the start; update your car with new technology for a safer, more connected drive.

Add Safety Technology Old Car

New Technology Will Bring Your Old Gal Into The Modern Age

The average age of a car on American roads today is 11.5 years. That means the average driver is tooling along without the benefits of new technology for safety and connectivity.

However, it’s possible to bring those old cars up to speed. You might be surprised to learn that it’s easy and affordable to to do this and most can be installed at home. 

And, the popular tech features are available, many of them have phone apps for better function and most are less expensive than the comparable built-in option on a new car.

Here are 9 ways to add modern safety technology to your old car – plus some bonus options that will make your car even more luxurious.

Take your car from old school to space age in no time.

1. Collision Avoidance Systems

Add Modern Safety Technology To Your Old Car Crash Detection

Crash detection systems monitor traffic and alert the driver of a possible crash. Photo: Mobileye

What it does: Detects potential safety hazards to help avoid a crash.

How it works: A camera and dash-mounted display. With some systems, sensors are embedded in the vehicle’s bumper and can detect traffic, traffic lanes, and people or objects around you. It gives you a visual warning if traffic slows, if you drift from your lane or if you’re speeding (some systems can read speed limit signs).

What it doesn’t do: Automatic braking, which is available in most new cars.

Shop collision avoidance systems here

Apple Carplay Android Auto New Technology For Cars

Apple CarPlay/Android Auto system. Photo: Amazon

2. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

What It Does: Connects your phone to a monitor so you can see select apps, including your playlists, navigation, Siri, messages and more. 

How It Works: A stand-alone screen is attached to your dash allowing easy display and connection to the system. 

What It Doesn’t Do: Connect to your car’s multimedia system

Shop for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems here.

Use Thisbluetooth Adapter To Add Wireless Android Auto Or Apple Carplay To Your Old Car

Use thisBluetooth adapter to add wireless Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to your old car. Photo: Amazon

3. Add Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 

What It Is: Hop in the car with Bluetooth activated on your phone and you’re instantly connected to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

How it Works: Just connect a Bluetooth adapter to your car’s USB port, connect your phone’s Bluetooth to the adapter and you’re set. 

Shop for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectors here.

4. Blind Spot Monitors

Add Safety Technology Old Car Blind Spot Warning

Blind-spot monitors are a great add-on for an older car. Photo: Goshers

What it does: Lets you know if something is in your blind spot.

How it works: Sensors are installed in the front and/or rear bumpers to detect traffic surrounding traffic. Alerts are installed in the car (usually near the rearview mirrors) and flash when there’s something in your blind spot.

What it doesn’t do: Automatically brake to avoid a collision

Shop blind spot detection systems here.

Rear View Camera Mirror New Car Technology

This rear view camera mirror allows you a great view behind the car. Photo: Amazon

5. Rear View Camera Mirror

What it does: Provides a video view from the rear of the car; passengers and luggage can’t block your view and images are brighter and easier to see at night and you have a wider view behind your car. Many include a forward facing dash cam, too.

How it works: A camera is installed above the rear license plate and sends a video signal to a monitor or your phone. Some systems are fully housed in a rearview mirror, others clip onto your existing mirror. Some allow you to toggle between a reflective view and a video view if you want to see your rear seat passengers.

Shop for rear view camera mirrors here

6. Touch Screen Multimedia System

Add Modern Safety Technology To Your Old Car: Chevy'S 10.2 Infotainment Screen

Update your old multimedia system with one that has all the new technology bells and whistles. Photo: Allison Bell

What it does: Like a tablet for your car, touch-sensitive systems let you access things like satellite radio, navigation, a rearview camera or smartphone apps.

How it works: Installed in your car’s center dashboard, it looks and functions just like factory-installed versions and can replace an older unit or provide a first time system. Touch the screen to choose Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, set up navigation, or set your favorite radio station or playlist.

Shop for multimedia systems here

7. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Tire Pressure Monitor Systems Can Work Through Your Phone And Are A Great Way To Add New Technology To Your Old Car

Tire pressure monitor systems can work through your phone. Photo: Amazon

What it does: Monitors the air pressure in your tires and alerts you if pressure is low or if you have a flat tire.

How it works: Sensors in tire valve caps monitor each tire’s pressure and send a signal to a base monitor, which plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter power port. Some systems also have a phone app that allows you to monitor tire pressure remotely and get an alert if pressure is low or if a sensor (or tire!) is missing.

What it doesn’t do: Fill your tires with air automatically!

Shop for tire pressure monitor systems here.

This Portable Power Backup Will Restart Your Car Or Power Small Appliances.

This portable power backup will restart your car or power small appliances. Photo: Amazon

8. Emergency Power Backup

What It Is: A compact battery that allows you to jump-start a car or power small devices like a phone or laptop.

How It Works: Keep this in your trunk or cargo area for emergencies; if your car’s battery dies, it provides alternative power to start the car. It’s also great to have when camping or off the grid to power a device, light or other small appliance without draining your car battery.

Shop for backup power systems here.

9. Head-Up Display

Add Safety Technology Old Car Head Up Display

Navdy’s head-up display system gathers key information from your car and phone and projects it onto the windshield in the driver’s line of sight. Photo: Navdy

What it does: Displays key driver information, such as speed, navigation or music on the windshield in front of the driver, allowing the driver to keep her head up and eyes on the road.

How it works: A small projector mounts on the dashboard in front of the driver and projects information onto the windshield. Simple systems provide only a few key items. More advanced systems have a dial that allows you to scroll through display choices. Smartphone apps use your phone’s screen as a projector (a phone mount should be used so your phone doesn’t fly off the dash while you’re driving).

What it doesn’t do: Systems are not hard-wired to a car’s electrical or information system.

Shop for head up display systems here.

Need Just a Little More? 

Here are some of our favorites that make life easier and a bit more pampered:

Go deeper into new technology for cars with these add-ons.

Take a look at our favorite plug-in coolers for cars.

Here are our favorite budget gadgets for cars. 

Deck out your car for the holidays, including Halloween.

Balance your car’s energy with the right crystals.

Save a few bucks with these cheap gas apps.

And then, enjoy the ride!

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss