I spend enough time in my car that I want to make my commute as convenient as possible. I have tried a lot of different accessories for my vehicle, and some haven’t quite lived up to the hype.
1. iPhone Holder. I bought an iPhone for when I plug the phone into my stereo and listen to my music on iTunes. The model I bought claimed that it could either be suction cupped to the inside of the windshield or attached to the vent. The first issue was that the suctions cups didn’t stick very well, and when it was on my windshield the phone was too far away for me to reach. When I tried to attach it to my vent, it didn’t fit, and I got a piece stuck to the vent. In trying to jostle it free, a small plastic piece broke off and fell into the abyss of whatever is behind the vent. When mounted, the phone was too distracting, and if I wanted to change a song on my iTunes, I found it less distracting to have the phone sitting beside me on the center console than having it mounted. In the interest of safety, I now just choose a playlist before I start driving and place my iPhone face down in the center console.
2. Portable Car Vacuum. We do a white elephant gift exchange at Christmas, and a couple of years ago I went home with a portable car vacuum that plugged into the cigarette lighter. I thought this would come in really handy. I could vacuum little rocks off of my floor while I waited for my daughter to get out of school! First of all, there is very little power behind a vacuum that plugs into a cigarette lighter. If I pushed the pebbles into the hose with my hand while the vacuum was running, it might suck them up. Another issue was that the hose wasn’t very long, so if you didn’t keep the canister right in the area you were vacuuming, the hose would pull right off the vacuum. The ultimate demise of the vacuum came when my husband vacuumed up some snow that had gotten into the car. He forgot about it and never emptied the canister. As the weather warmed up, I couldn’t figure out what the awful smell was in my car. It turns out, there were no dead, rotting corpses, just a very moldy vacuum canister.
3. Light-Up Valve Stem Covers. I don’t feel like I really need to explain why these were a bad idea. Not only were they a bit tacky, and possibly illegal in some states, they did not stay screwed on. After all four of them unscrewed themselves and fell off, I took it as a sign from the universe that I should go back to plain valve stem covers.