The holidays are upon us, so there's no time to waste. Try these gift ideas for the motorists on your list:
- Emergency Services. The OnStar system, which has been built into General Motors cars for years, now is available for non-GM cars at Best Buy. The system notifies emergency operators in case of an accident so they can call first responders. Drivers get 24/7 access to live OnStar advisors, roadside assistance and hands-free calling. The store installs the new rearview mirror in place of the current one. You can even check online if your car is compatible.
- For the serious car aficionado on your list, visit Ramnarace New York, which offers elegant recycled aluminum bowls and solid silver cufflinks that resemble wheels and hubcaps. According to the company, the pieces are "beautiful enough to stand as objet d'art, yet sturdy enough for everyday use." Sid Ramnarace helped design the Ford's Mustang and Thunderbird, among other vehicles.
- Gift Certificates for Car Repairs or Maintenance. Anyone who owns a car will need service at some point during the year, such as for oil changes and maintenance.
- Got someone forgetful on your list? Then a remote key finder is a perfect gift. These gadgets come in a variety of prices, but are radio frequency operated and cause an alarm on the keychain fob to go off when you push a button. Some versions also can be used for wallets, remote controls and other items.
- A number of books about cars were published in 2012, including "101 Cool Things About a Corvette" by Beth Hensen, "Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways" by Jamie Jensen, and even "Behind the Wheel: Poems about Driving" by Janet Wong.
- Car organizers. These handy devices keep your cell phone or MP3 player, pens, loose change and other small items within easy reach and secure. Many versions fit into your car's cup holder for easy accessibility and feature holes or channels at the bottom so you can charge your phone or music player while it's in the cup.
- Car Ionizer. Manufacturers of these little devices say they neutralize smoke and other odors in cars and remove dust and pollen. Ionizers also are said to kill germs and increase alertness because of the fresh air. Most plug directly into the cigarette lighter socket or 12V adapter, but there's even solar versions available.
Brian Blohm is the Service Manager and Managing Partner - Operations for CARS of America in Glenview. He is an ASE-Certified Automotive Service Technician and ASE-Certified Service Advisor with more than 25 years of automotive experience. A graduate of Triton College with an associate's degree in Automotive Technology, he has continued his training and education with the Automotive Training Institute and RL O'Connor. You can reach Brian via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the entire CARS team at (847) 961-4363.