MP3 Car Stereo With Bluetooth Aux + USB

What's the cheapest MP3 car stereo you can buy brand new in the UK that has Bluetooth, a USB port, Aux connection, and a TF memory card slot. After some research, it has to be the Kidcia SU-1089 Single-Din. These three features alone make this car radio a very good deal for the price. Bluetooth is the number one feature that most people now look for in a head unit.

Most just want to sync the stereo to their Smartphone so they can play the music stored on their phone through the car stereo. For this, the Kidcia SU-1089 Single-Din fits the bill. Bluetooth can also be used to pair the two devices together in order to make / receive phone calls in hands free mode. This radio has a built-in microphone. Add the memory card slot and a front facing USB port into the mix, and wow, what a deal.

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Do you get what you pay for? Not all the time. But a lot of the time, yes. And if we go on that terminology, this universal stereo is so cheap to buy that you wouldn't expect it to last the day. But considering the price, it's actually surprisingly good. And the reviews are tremendously positive. This is definitely down to price versus expectation. And with the Kidcia SU-1089, it seems to far exceed most people's expectations.

However, a product that's so cheap does have to cut corners somewhere. Of course they do, or else the companies making them would be out-of-pocket. This one is no exception. Make no mistake, you're not going to get a top-end Pioneer DEH-X8700DAB or  Clarion NZ502E at this price.

This is a basic, easy to use budget stereo for those who are looking for the cheapest after-market audio player as a low-cost upgrade that can effortlessly perform some of the tasks the more expensive ones can. It's also a great, cost-effective option for people who have just bought a used car that came with an empty hole where the radio used to be.

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Let's also not forget that used car stereos with removable fascia's are available for cheap these days. From many of the top brands too, like Pioneer, Sony, Clarion and Kenwood. Just take a look on eBay and you'll see that some are surprisingly cheap. One of my old stereos, the Xplod Sony CDX-GT24, which is MP3 / WMA compatible, and has a Aux / 3.5mm headphone jack, can be found for sale second-hand on eBay in really good condition for around £20.

It was / is a great stereo, but a little outdated now if we compare its features to this model. So, if you want a radio from a well recognised brand for a similar price, in most cases you will be getting one that does not have features / connection options that the Kidcia SU-1089 has.

But, if you would prefer to go for an older used model by a more well-known brand, they all have one thing that the Kidcia SU-1089 does not have. And that's a CD player / slot. This Kidcia model does not have a CD player. Furthermore, while this model looks like a pop-off (the face is removable) it is not. The face is not removable. It is fixed.

These are the only real down points for this unit. The fact that it doesn't have a CD player won't be a big deal for a lot of people, as they don't use them much anyway. With advancements in technology / car audio, some now consider them as almost obsolete.

The other area of more concern is the issue of the non-removable fascia. To a car radio thief who doesn't know the difference between a cheap stereo or a really expensive one, or is desperate enough for money, it may be worth the risk for them to smash your car window and take the stereo, beings as you left the stereo nice and complete with the face still on. Or so the thief thinks. So, there is a little bit of a security issue with this unit.

You could always leave the stereo unfitted and take the whole thing out each night. But that is quite inconvenient and looks untidy. You have to decide whether or not it is worth the risk. Live in a high crime area? Got a good car alarm? Is your car garaged overnight.. The decision is yours.

A very small number of people have reported poor sound quality when using hands free call mode. But how many other stereos, most of which are from the top brands, have had this issue also. There are many. And most have a lot more complaints regarding this issue than the Kidcia SU-1089 Single-Din has.

And let's not forget, they cost literally 10 - 15 times more than what this one costs to buy. So, a few reports of poor quality, crackly sound from an obviously faulty product out of a vast amount of positive reviews is hardly anything to be concerned about. Overall, price vs features, what a superb little bargain for those on a tight budget.

QZT Electric Car Tyre Pump

These days, an electric car pump that is small, portable and easy to use, is an essential item to have stashed away in the boot. If its got a read-out screen, like this digital QZT electric car tyre pump and many others have, that's even better. Of course, there's always the spare tyre should you get a flat while on the road. But how many cars have you had which have one or two tyres that just seem to lose air over the course of a week that you intend on getting sorted out but never actually get round to doing. I've had this more than a few times, on many different cars.

Faulty valve, rim leak, a very slow puncture, or just for topping up. Whatever the reason may be, it's always smart to have a reliable electric car pump at your disposal that can quickly give you enough air to ensure you're up and running at the correct pressure to safely continue on your journey.

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If problems persist you should always get it sorted out rather than keep pumping it up. However, for a quick fix, an electric pump fits the bill very well. I would also always recommend a manual foot pump also, just in case of car battery drain / failure. Foot pumps are very cheap, so its better to be fully prepared and buy one than not bother and potentially get caught out.

When it comes to 12V tyre pumps, there are lots of different, very well-known brands to choose from. Ring, RAC, AA, Michelin etc. And they are all very good products. However, none of them have a higher customer review score than this best-selling digital QZT inflator. With that type of competition to contend with, it's quite surprising that the China based brand QZT comes out on top. Or at least it did for a year or so.

QZT Electric Pump Features


  • Very easy to operate + Accurate
  • Clear blue backlit digital display
  • Sturdy clickable on/off button
  • Powered by 12V auxiliary (Cigarette lighter)
  • 27 Litres per minute inflate speed (approximate)
  • Up to 150 PSI / 10.4 Bar (approximate)
  • Built in LED torch-light
  • Pressure preference options (show as kPa, PSI, BAR, etc)
  • Click down attaching to tyre valve (not screw on)
  • Additional 3 different valve attachments (for footballs, bicycle wheels, mattresses etc)
  • Slightly longer than average 3 meter extension cord
  • Spare fuse included
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Weighs under 1KG (Still fairly heavy)

This QZT uses the very convenient auto stop feature. Set it to the pressure level you want, and when reached, it will stop inflating. This also prevents the user having to be crouched down next to the wheel in order to monitor the tyres pressure as it increases. It's much safer too when using it on roads where traffic is flowing.

Electric Pump Precautions


Always make sure your engine is running when using an electric tyre inflator for anything longer than 30 seconds. Like car stereos that are wired to powerful amplifiers, electric pumps can be quite demanding on battery power, and you don't want to end up with a nice fully inflated set of tyres and then have a dead battery!

Maximum operating time for this unit is eight minutes. That doesn't mean it can't handle longer, just that it will need a rest when operating for anything longer than eight minutes. To be safe, I wouldn't let it operate continuously for anything over 5 minutes before stopping it for a while.

Room For Improvement


A product improvement suggestion for all brands of electric pumps. While most portable / handheld electronic tyre inflators in this price range can also be used to pump up other things like footballs, inflatable mattresses and push bike wheels, they all seem to suffer from the same problem. Or should I say, the same design hindrance.

They only have a 12V connection socket. But most of the other things air compressors can be used to pump up, especially air beds, are more conveniently inflated in the comfort of your own home. I mean, what if you don't have a drive way and park down the street but want to pump up your inflatable mattress.. I had this exact problem not too long ago.

Needless to say, it would be the icing on the cake if the designers could make an inflator within, or close to this price range that had both a 12V and mains connection. You can always buy a 12V to mains adaptor, but good quality examples aren't exactly cheap. I would hope to see some inflators hitting the shelves with both options incorporated at some point in the near future.

There's always the super portable, cordless Air Hawk PRO. But that's considerably more expensive, and nowhere near as highly rated as this model. However, overall, the QZT is an excellent product for the price. It's not the number one best seller on Amazon for nothing.

Kids Spiderman Car Seat Review

Kids Spiderman Car Seat with Cup Holder Review. Being a parent truly changes your life. While there might have once been a time when you didn’t think twice about the speed you were driving as long as it was under or on the limit, now that your child is with you, you will no doubt be more mindful to ensure that the journey goes by as smoothly and as safely as possible.

Kids Spiderman Car Seat with cup holders Review

One way to increase your child’s safety in a car is through a car seat. Now, the chances are that you are already equipped with one if you have a kid. Also, there is an equal probability that such a car seat has a generic and boring design. Your child deserves some fun, even when on the road. One way to make them happy is by providing them with the Marvel Embrace Spiderman Car Seat. After all, there is little that can go wrong when you have Spiderman with you.

Multi-Usability


One thing buyers despise about most car seats is the fact that children tend to outgrow them quite quickly. Hence, there is a different car seat for an infant, a toddler, and an older kid. What does this signify? Well, it means you need to say hello to various shop visits over the course of a few years.

This car seat, however, can be used in a variety of ways. You can use it as an infant car seat for your nine-month-old baby as well as a high back booster for your twelve-year-old. This multi-usability gives rise to massive convenience for parents of one or more children. As soon as one child outgrows having to use a booster seat it can be passed down to the next little one in line, so it makes a great money saver too.

Safety First


No kids car seat is worth the investment regardless of how cool it looks if it is not able to protect your child from harm. Customers found the Spiderman Car Seat with Cup Holders to perform this function adequately. The seat is equipped with thermoplastic which is known to be resistant to high impact and provides side-impact protection, rendering the material excellent for when (hopefully never) disaster strikes. Moreover, the five-point harness system ensures that your little one is secured firmly in their place.

Enhanced Comfort


The Spiderman Car Seat with Cup Holder also manages to provide children with the comfort they deserve. This is made possible by the generous amount of materials it is made with. That includes side-impact protection, along with the adjustable headrest and seats which are accompanied by extra padding to make the ride as comfortable as possible.

The headrest can be adjusted with immense ease by pushing a mere button which offers you the choice to choose between three positions. This feature plays a crucial role in guaranteeing that your child remains content throughout the journey, and is also one the features at the top of parents lists when looking for a good, multi-use car seat.

Flexible Harness System


The manufacturers of this car seat have gone the extra mile to ensure that the product is equipped to deal with a growing child. This is provided by the harness system which features energy-absorbing technology as well as three harness slots for comfortable strapping. Additionally, the material of the strap is made to be soft so that it does not bother the child. Reviewers found such a feature to be an excellent addition because not only did it ensure that the seat was as safe for a nine-month-old as it was for a ten-year-old, but it mostly provided a high level of comfort for all age groups.

Downsides of the Spiderman Car Seat


This super hero car seat manages to be safe and comfortable, but that does not mean that it excels at everything. As with all products, it's rare to find one that pleases 100% of the people all of the time. As a result, there are a few flaws with this product that are worth mentioning.

Firstly, while the car seat claimed to be easy to transfer between cars, this is not what some customers experienced. It is true that the product is lightweight, but the fact that the product is difficult to install and remove from the car undermines the convenience and ease with which the car seat can be transferred from one vehicle to another.

Hence, if you don’t mind having a Spiderman car seat installed at all times, you are good to go. For others, get ready to spend considerable time in installing and removing the product. Also, while the material of the seatbelt is comfortable and well-padded, this does not stop it from twisting occasionally. This flaw slightly undermines the comfort of the seatbelt and the functions that it is supposed to perform. This is more of a slight annoyance than a serious issue, and definitely not a deal-breaker.

Conclusion


It is true that this car seat exhibits a few disadvantages, but when it comes to the safety of your child, the product is safe and passed all official regulatory tests (ECE R44/04) to be legally sold in the UK. The fact that Spiderman is bound to make your child happy is yet another bonus, and huge selling point of this car seat. Hence, if you feel like you can deal with the minor flaws of the product mentioned above to provide your little one with a fun car seat, the Marvel Spiderman 1,2,3 is certainly a good choice. Makes a great gift for those who have recently had a new addition to the family.

Update: There is another model of this booster seat which has been released more recently. It's made by the same company, KidsEmbrace, but the design is different. It features a printed Spiderman design in the middle of the backrest and the Spiderman logo / writing on the headrest. While it does retail at a much cheaper price than the model reviewed here, the overall customer review score is nowhere near as good.

Clarion NZ502E 1-Din Stereo Review

The King of the Single Dins? Despite the novelty of driving inevitably wearing off the longer a drive continues for, car journeys can still be quite fun when you are equipped with an excellent mile munching helper like the Clarion NZ502E. Music, video for when you take a driving break, and a built-in navigation stereo system makes the NZ502E a true stand alone head unit capable of close to all the requirements you may need when behind the wheel.

While some might say that Smartphones have rendered the need for such built-in systems unnecessary, the fact remains that Smartphones tend to be more of a cause of distraction than an aid.

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After all, you are required to manually operate them, which can distract you from the road ahead. While you can - "set and forget" in regards to using it as a SAT-NAV. As in, program the route and not touch the phone again, it's much more convenient to have an all-in-one control unit that has a much bigger screen, is wired to the cars speaker system and is always within easy reach.

Car audio head units are ten-a-penny these days. There are so many out there to choose from. No matter if you're after an after-market Single Din or Double Din, and whether you have £50 or £500 to spend. There is a stereo, or should I say, complete entertainment unit to match your needs and budget. Needless to say, the Clarion NZ502E is right at the top end where price is concerned.

Amidst an array of choices, this Clarion 7" Flip Out manages to stand apart thanks to some of its excellent features. If I were to go through everything this model can do, I would be here for a week typing. So this "review", or general chat really, will cover some of its most stand-out features.

For those who don't want to read the whole review, and just want a brief low-down of what this model has to offer. Quick to power up and pleasing on the eye, It has a built-in Satellite Navigation system (SIRF teleatlas), Bluetooth, DVD / CD player, tuner, 7 Inch WVGA flip out screen, built-in microphone, 4 x 50 Watt output, MP3, MP4 and WMA compatible, DVB-T ready, Aux connection, USB connection, and a remote control. It is reverse camera compatible (Camera not included).

Questions widely asked about this model:


Does the screen come off so I can take it with me when I leave the car?

No, it is fixed. But with the press of a button the screen actually folds away back into the stereo itself, so it isn't constantly on show.

Do I always have to have the screen out to use the stereo?

No, this unit also works with the seven Inch screen concealed.

Although it doesn't look like it from first glance, the NZ502E is a 1-Din. Being a standard size after-market Single Din means that the chances of this head unit fitting into the stereo slot of most vehicles, regardless of make, is quite high. in some cases an adjustment or extra interface may be required. The good news for all those who want this stereo in a Double Din, is that there is a version out there for sale. It is a slightly older model which is called the NX501E. This earlier model has a slightly smaller screen, but is still a great after-market head unit.

High Quality 7" WVGA Touchscreen Monitor


The Clarion NZ502E seven-inch head unit is equipped with a 7 Inch touchscreen flip out monitor that has a high-resolution WVGA (Wide Video Graphics Array) display. Which is kind of like the High Definition (HD quality) for the VGA family. The screen manages to be impressively responsive to the slightest touch, which makes operating the unit while driving a piece of cake.

The fact that it does not include any knob-like buttons also gives the head unit, and thereby the cockpit of the vehicle, a modern vibe. In a world where aesthetics are almost as important as functionality, a lot of people will like the futuristic look this unit gives off.

Built-In Navigation System


Gone are the days when we relied on our memory and actual maps to navigate across roads. While there is something exciting (and fuel draining) about going on an adventure where you are not sure where you are headed, in our daily lives, most of us now rely on a sound GPS system to help guide our path. As mentioned, this head unit is accompanied by an excellent built-in navigation system which is easy to get your head around.

Instead of having a complicated system to set up, like some do, all you need to do is enter your destination and you will be provided with voice prompts telling you in advance every turn you need to take. The system is also preloaded with various points of interest (12 million of them to be exact) so that you don’t need to wait around for the system to locate your destination and provide its services.

Parrot Bluetooth


One of the features liked best about the Clarion NZ502E was the inclusion of a Parrot Bluetooth, which meant that the system could provide its users with super easy to use hands-free phone usage. The built-in microphone and the ability of the system to access your phonebook by pairing with your smartphone mean that you can attend to important calls without being distracted from the road.

Moreover, the Bluetooth feature allows you to play the music stored on your phone without having to connect it to an aux cord. However, for those of you who wish to control the head unit with your iPhone, the product comes with a rear USB connection for this purpose. The Clarion's Bluetooth offered within the NZ502E is compatible with a variety of devices, including Acer, Apple, Blackberry, Lenovo, LG, Nokia, and HTC.

Things that could be improved


While this is now an older model, there's no doubt about it, even in 2019 / 2020, this is still a superb after-market Single Din stereo system. But just because it has a lot going for it, that does not mean it doesn't have a few flaws. Or, things that would have made it a bit more user-friendly overall. There are so many features and options incorporated into this head unit that it does have a learning curve that may frustrate some users. It will be worth taking the time to get to grips with though.

The USB connection is located at the back of the unit. However, this connection is actually joined to an extension lead, which has a decent enough length to reach where you need it to. So it's not as if you have to take the stereo out to use the USB. But a front USB would be more convenient.

Furthermore, the head unit is quite pricey, which makes the lack of certain features, like the inability to personalize the interface or a lack of rotary volume button noticeable drawbacks. After all, you do expect such features when you are paying a premium price.

All in all, while the product does have a few things that it could be improved on, the fact remains that it succeeds in providing versatility and excellent performance. Whether it be audio streaming or multi-language support, the sheer number of useful functions that the head unit provides its users, makes it a worthy investment. Want the next model up? Take a look for the NZ503. Great stereo if you can find one for sale.

Cordless Portable Handheld Inflator

Welcome to the future of tyre inflators. Compressors that now look exactly like cordless drills. Well, at least the Air Hawk PRO and a few others do. One of the main complaints in regards to the annoying aspects of electric car tyre pumps is the Auxiliary cord. Most say they are made too short to be used with comfort, as most of them require the user to feed the entire unit through the car if pumping up wheels on opposite ends on opposite sides. Cordless certainly eliminates that headache instantly.

Air Hawk PRO-portable-compressor

No restricting wires means true freedom and versatility. And that brings me to the second reason why cordless is so beneficial for inflators like this. Almost all of them come with several extra attachments that can be used to pump up other items, like footballs, air beds, beach balls, bicycles, etc. But, because most only have an Auxiliary connection, unless you buy a converter, anything that needs inflating has to be taken to the car.

That's very inconvenient, and quite annoying if you need to blow up something like an air mattress if you live in a flat, or park in a communal car park. With Cordless, you can take full advantage and really use this item the way it was intended, and how it has been marketed. With no restrictions. The Air Hawk PRO comes close to that, but isn't without areas that could do with improving.

Air Hawk PRO Features


  • Super portable
  • Powered by battery or 12V Auxiliary socket
  • Blue digital screen
  • Auto pump (Will stop when desired pressure is reached)
  • Integrated LED torch-light
  • 3 additional attachments
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Mains charger
  • Car charger
  • Includes storage case

One area of concern is that some buyers claim that the rechargeable battery doesn't last as long as they would have liked, and will, at a stretch, fill one-to-two tyres from flat per charge (highly contested). To be honest, if that is accurate, it's not too bad considering it is being run by a battery pack.
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However, the Air Hawk PRO does come with an Auxiliary adapter, so it can also be used as a wired compressor should the need arise. Another issue appears to be how powerful it is. The amount of air it puts out has some buyers recommending only using it to top up car tyres that are already blown up, and not to inflate from flat.

Air Hawk PRO Review Conclusion



It's a great idea, and I think this type of design is the future. But from reading through the many reviews on this particular model, while there's a fairly even mix of good and bad, I see this one as more like a fully working prototype for future models to learn from. Saying that, there are others which are very similar to the Air Hawk PRO. Two wireless examples that stand out are the GHB (AP-101-C3) and the Ideaworks JB7607.

The Air Hawk PRO needs to be more powerful, sturdier built, with a longer lasting battery and a more lengthy air hose tube connection. In terms of the length of the air tube, all models suffer from the same problem of it being on the short side. A good effort though. Adequate for topping up car tyres, and great for other items that don't require a large amount of air pressure to blow up, like balls, air beds and bike wheels.

Pumpkin Android 2-Din GPS Car Stereo

Car stereos don't just play music anymore, they are now Android based computer systems. With the Pumpkin CN01-03302B-02A (pictured) you get all the latest car technology. GPS, OBD2 compatibility, Bluetooth, DVD, WiFi, Parking sensor, HD video recording, and so much more. The Pumpkin 7.1 Android Nougat Double Din car stereo is basically an enhanced tablet that just happens to, most of the time fit perfectly into a 2-Din head unit space.
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This model is compatible with the following VAG car brands that are fitted with double din.  Those are, newer models of Volkswagon, SEAT and Skoda. To avoid disappointment make sure to check that this unit will work with your make / model before purchasing. You may need a universal (compatible with most) model stereo.

Compatibility


The majority of double din stereos like this (for the specified models of VAG cars) usually have a screen that measures seven inches or less. This one is 8 Inches, giving it that extra bit of screen visibility. If you're after the biggest screen available, one exception is a newly released 10.1" Universal model also offered by Pumpkin. The Ten Inch model can be successfully installed in many other car brands, including Toyota and Vauxhall. But dependant on model, may require an additional add-on for full functionality.

The Pumpkin (CN01-03302B-02A) also offers excellent pairing power to most Smartphones (Android or iOS based), and a very quick start-up time. Within a few seconds its ready for action.

Specification


This is the newer Pumpkin Android 7.1 Nougat head unit. The core specification is very impressive. A good quality 8 Inch 1024 x 600 touchscreen display, Quad Core Processor which is operating at 1.6GHz per core, 2GB RAM (DDR3), 32GB internal storage space (upgradable), Bluetooth, WiFi, USB Ports, SD card slot, All region DVD player, GPS, DVR, Full AV out, 3G compatible, Multi channel CAN BUS, individual Subwoofer output and controls.

And last but not least, a max 4 x 50W output. Supports playback for all the common file types. MP3. MP4, AVI, MKV, etc. There's also an older model which has an IPS screen (more sharper, viewable screen from all angles).

Playback and Features


Of course, if you're slightly old school like me, you'll be glad to know that it supports normal CDs and burned data discs full of music, as well as video. However, most people who buy a Pumpkin will just pair their Smartphone to the head unit via Bluetooth and play the music / video files directly through the stereo. Due to the internal storage and various options for adding more externally, you don't have to use your phone, and can store files directly on to the head units internal storage, memory card or USB stick.

Depending on the type of Smartphone, you can mirror link the phone to the stereo either by USB or WiFi. As well as that, you can also connect your Smartphone to the head unit via Bluetooth and have hands free enabled, giving the user the ability to make and receive calls from the unit itself.

With the correct adapter or App (dependant on car model) this Pumpkin head unit can display a whole host of useful car-related information. Including air conditioning info, how much petrol / diesel you have, warnings about seatbelts, open doors, and even information regarding the car battery. As mentioned above, it's also able to operate as a reverse parking sensor, but additional wiring will be required for this feature to work properly. For car / wire-savvy individuals this is not very difficult to carry out, and there's lot's of information about this procedure online if you get stuck.

It's really convenient that while waiting in your car for something / someone, this "stereo" gives you the option of being able to just stick a film or TV series on and watch it from a decent sized screen, and not have to sit there people watching or playing with your phone. Of course, get additional screens for the headrests so back seat passengers can also watch without leaning forward or straining their eyes, and everyone else can comfortably do the same.

Additional or Essential


All the features combined make this a great head unit for the price, but one of the best things about this device not yet mentioned is its Satellite Navigation (GPS) System. Online or Offline, it's excellent. The package itself doesn't come with a maps card. But thankfully, you can just go and download one of the many free Sat-Nav Apps and be up and running in no time. Navmii, Google Maps, MapFactor, etc, to name a few.

Although some of the following items may not be needed, due to most of the compatible car models having their own looms / connection cables ready to plug straight into the unit, the new (latest) Pumpkin 7.1 Android Nougat Double Din head unit for VAG cars comes with an impressive array of accessories.

Rear-Add-ons-Pumpkin-Radio-AUX-UK

GPS Antenna, connections for rear left right out and front left / right out, two video outs, subwoofer, external microphone + lead, Aux in connection, camera connection cable, radio adapters and USB cables. There's also a very handy WiFi aerial extension lead (1.5 meters in length) so that you have much more control and can choose the best location to pick up the strongest signal.

Verdict


If you're looking for a good aftermarket 2-Din, with an impressive amount of options and features, where close to everything can be wired / programmed to work through, this unit is well worth considering. It's actually being sold at quite a cheap price for an aftermarket audio entertainment / control system that's as capable as this.

Support from Pumpkin is also superb. Many buyers who needed to send the item back, for whatever reason, have stated in their reviews that it was a very easy process, and that the staff were great to deal with. You never really know how good a company is until there's a problem, and Autopumpkin have always put the customer first. This is evident from the reviews and their 100% positive feedback score on Amazon. So that's an encouraging sign.

Portable Remote Controlled Car Umbrella

No, were not talking about an umbrella insurance policy, were talking protection from the elements. Car umbrella's have been doing the rounds for a number of years now. They are much more popular in America due to some states, like Texas, California and Florida getting so much sunshine throughout the year. A good car umbrella ultimately puts the car in the shade, helping to keep the temperature inside the car down, and working as a paint protector from the suns powerful UV rays.

Other than protection from the main culprit, the sun, it can also be effective against other annoyances like rain, dirt / debris, tree sap and bird droppings. Bird droppings can be a real problem.

Portable Remote Controlled Car Umbrella

Park your car under a tree for a prolonged period of time and the chances are you may be coming back to a car that has been left a birds calling card. Not really an issue if you drive a little run around that you're not too bothered about, but for more expensive / classic cars this can be a real headache. Bird droppings can damage a cars paint work permanently. Thanks to the Uric acid content, it can leave stains, blemishes, and even start to remove layers of paint. So, for an expensive motor, this can be a costly issue.

Tree sap is another concern. Once it makes contact, most commonly starting with the roof of the car first, and then gets a bit of time to almost cement itself to the paint work, it can be difficult to remove. In most cases, depending on how long its been stuck to the car, a soapy wash with warm / hot water will be required.

These types of covers can also work well for providing a dark environment if you are someone who spends a lot of time on the road and regularly pulls over to get a few hours sleep before continuing on their journey.

Regardless of the brand, most car shelters / protectors like this have got the same, or very similar design. It's fairly straight forward, basically working like a personal umbrella. Attach a suction cup-like attachment to the roof of the car, get the protective sheet and fit it to the connecting joint at the top of the suction cup.


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Then use the remote control to initiate the quick unfolding procedure, which automatically stretches the protective material over the width of the vehicle. Some are even solar-powered. All are very portable, and easily store away in the boot when not in use.

Apart from the design being similar, one other thing car umbrella's have in common is the price. They are not cheap. So, you better have a car worth protecting. This isn't the kind of product you would buy if you have an X reg Vauxhall Corsa you use as a run around. It's for costly, prestigious cars that people really care about. Besides, on an old Corsa it would look funny, and probably get a few people saying - the cover costs more than the car.

Jokes aside, the one area where the majority of car umbrella's seem to be weak is when the wind picks up. There are numerous complaints from reviewers stating that when conditions are windy / blustery, its pretty much time for the umbrella to head back to the boot. If the design team could address this problem and make the product more sturdy in bad weather, it would make the product a lot more desirable, and more worthy of its price tag. Specially for the UK market.

Always double-check the dimensions with covers like this, as not all companies are catering solely to the UK market and their vehicles. As a result, they don't use the same, one size fits all small to medium-sized vehicle measurements. The coverage size may be different in the UK than it is for the American auto market.

Hyundai "Handshake" Logo Meaning

It's been talked about a lot, and many people speculate. But does the Hyundai logo have a hidden meaning. What you see is the letter H inside an oval. The "H" represents a car dealer and new car owner shaking hands after a successful deal. It's supposed to symbolise trust and happiness between buyer and seller. However, some people speculate that the logo could have hidden sexual undertones due to the positioning of the hands etc. And if looked at with that in mind, it is understandable how some people have come to that conclusion from seeing the picture that depicts the two men in full detail, rather than just the outline as featured below.

Hyundai Logo-badge
But sometimes people see what they want to see. It's the same as when a person looks at something and can see a face. Lets say a curtain pattern. The face isn't really there, but the individual mind has made it appear as if there is a face. And now, every time they look at the curtain, or in this case the Hyundai Logo, they see what they have programmed themselves to see.

It's now always interpreted as what their mind has made it become. There is a name for this. It's called Pareidolia. So technically yes, it does have a hidden meaning, as in the letter H represents two men shaking hands. And yes, the image can look a little off with how the designers have positioned the hands. But I don't think it was intentional.

Car Insurance More Ridiculous Each Year

If you're an old hand with Car insurance, as in you've been driving for quite a few years, you'll no doubt be aware of how many aspects of a person's life affect the price of their car insurance. A lot of them shouldn't really be relevant, but as I have come to find out about insurance companies, they will use any trick in the book if it means they can charge you more money. A few from the long, ever-growing list include job, marital status, gender and colour of your car.

Not to mention all the common factors like car modifications, type of cover (Third party, Comprehensive etc), age and car power. Fair enough, some of these should be relevant, such as power of the car, age, and type of cover. But, if you look at all the criteria they now use, it's clear to see they are taking it a bit too far. It's being milked ridiculously beyond belief.

Red-Audi-A3-Cabrolet-S-Line-Side-2

Are you aware of the fact that if your car gets crashed into while parked, without you or anyone else even being in the car, most car insurance companies seem to be of the belief (how convenient) that it was somehow your fault, and as a result, be prepared for a sky-high premium the following year when its time to renew. This is common knowledge to all the Insurance companies as they generally follow the same cash-grabbing criteria throughout the industry.

That exact scenario actually happened to me. My car was crashed into while parked on a residential street. No one, including myself, was in the car at the time and the car was perfectly parked. But still they tried to blame me. Saying "Oh, it must be a risky location to park in". Truth is, it isn't at all. And bear in mind that the driver who crashed into my car claimed full responsibility, admitting it was totally their fault.

Around comes the next renewal date and surprise surprise, it's through the roof. Even though I had another one years no claims bonus to add to the 10 years that I had already built up. So I call up my insurance company, I won't say who I'm with but they are part of the Admiral Group. I tell them the situation and stress the fact that I've been a customer with them for ten years, and if something isn't done about the price of my premium I will be leaving them straight away.

Audi-A3-Convertible-S-Line-Front-3

I also go into detail about why my insurance has gone up in the first place. The only "Incident" was the crash into my empty parked car, nothing else was different from the previous year other than an additional one years no claims bonus that needed to be added. Which should have made my insurance cheaper, not more expensive. Perhaps my loyalty paid off on this occasion because the representatives tells me they will have to go and speak with their "manager" (negotiator more like) to see if anything can be done.

After a while the representative comes back and says they are willing to keep the price exactly the same as it was the previous year. I accepted this offer as I did not want to have to look around to find a new insurer, because no matter who you go with, you never truly know how good they are until there's a problem. By the time you get to the stage of potentially finding out the contract is already in force.

And, to be honest, I think they're as all just as bad as each other in terms of pushing the price up at any opportunity they get, due to the fact that they all follow the same industry standard protocol. Some offer different features and perks to sweeten the deal, but ultimately, if they don't get you're money one way, they get it another way. Such as, down the line if you or another party makes a claim. And that's the case whether you are at fault or not. Customer service is another story altogether, and I can safely say they are not all the same in that regard.

This post wasn't meant to be so long. The reason for this post was that I recently discovered a new angle that the insurance companies are now using. I'm not totally sure if this is new, but it's new to me. Now, even if you downgrade your car to one that has a smaller engine and sits in a lower insurance group than your previous car, insurance companies can still charge you more money, especially for the first year of ownership. Guess why.. Because you are new to the car and don't know it too well yet! I kid you not.

That's how ridiculous it has become. When I recently bought a new (used) car and needed to get it insured so I could legally drive it home, that is exactly what my insurer told me over the phone. When I asked why it was so much money, even though my new car was in a lower insurance group to my last one and has a smaller engine, I was told, "the car is new to you, so you're not familiar with it yet".

This is just another new, ridiculous excuse so they can justify raising the price yet again. It seems like they just make up new money-grabs as they go along, even with a car downgrade. It's a known fact that their profits are astronomical, and it's not hard to see why. I wonder what they'll come up with in 2018. I don't even want to think about it. The whole industry needs a shake up. Do you know any new money-grabs car insurers are using that are beyond belief? Leave a comment below.

Dog Ramps For Cars / SUVs

I never even knew that dog ramps existed until a few weeks ago. I discovered them by accident while I was looking at different types of car servicing ramps. And wow, there are so many different types to choose from. There are dog ramps that look like a kids mini slide, some that fold up, steps / stairs, and even some that are telescopic. Materials are varied too. Wooden, hardened plastic and metal examples are all available. All of them are "anti-slip". I would hope so too! With such an extensive range of different designs and styles, as you might expect, the price ranges are just as extensive.

One of the better cheaper ramps. By DogHealth

Dog ramps for cars / SUVs start at around £15 and go right up to £150 for, supposedly, the Rolls Royce of dog ramps. But to be honest, most of the very expensive ones (£100+) don't actually seem worth the money. Or shall I say, they don't appear to be much different to the ramps that cost half the price. And funnily enough, with a few exceptions, the reviews for the cheaper ramps are actually better than the reviews for the more expensive ones.

Car Dog Ramp - Do I really need one?

 

Do you really need one for your dog(s). Well, if your dog is old, or disabled, then you would be a considerate soul if you spent some of your hard-earned money to help your old pal out. When dogs get older and slow down a bit, it's not easy on the joints and muscles to jump in and out of the boot of a car / SUV, either after or before a long walk. And needless to say, if your dog is disabled, they need all the help they can get to make their lives that little bit more comfortable.

Of course, you could still always pick your pet up and place them in the back of the car, or get them out. But if you're wearing nice clothes and the dog is dirty and / or wet, it's much more convenient to let the ramp be on the receiving end. And what if the pet owner is old or themselves disabled. Furthermore, what if the dog(s) are huge, like a Bullmastiff, Rottweiler or Great Dane. So, all things considered, these ramps definitely have their place. And you can buy a good quality one fairly cheap if you do your research.

 

Make Your Own

 

However, as their design is so simple to replicate, you could always build your own if you like to make things. I mean, some of the wooden ramps, as nice as they are, appear very similar to some wooden fencing that folds in half. Same with the plastic ones. Tough plastic covered with a layer of short tough fabric on the surface (anti-slip) and it folds in half for easy storage. The metal telescopic models would be the most difficult to build. Seen some great ones being sold by Solvit. They are selling both a metal Deluxe and an extra-large model ramp (for heavier dogs) of a similar design. Both of them are not cheap but do have great reviews.

AUDEW 800A Portable Car Starter

At 18000mAh the RoyPow does have a slightly bigger battery capacity, but it's not really by much. And their top-tier 800A Peak is identical. Both are capable of starting huge engines and are completely portable. And needless to say, one of the main selling points of these items is that they not only start cars, but can also charge / power a whole host of other electrical devices. The new AUDEW 800A, with its 16800mAh battery is one of them.

AUDEW 800A
Charge it up, throw in the boot, under a seat, or in the glove box and you're good to go. At under seven inches in length and three inches wide, the AUDEW 800A power bank certainly falls within the average size for most car jump starters of this calibre. It has a durable construction and comes with all the usual features and accessories that now seem to be bundled with most car battery jumpers.

The AUDEW 800A comes with a car charger, USB cable, battery crocodile clamps, cigarette lighter adapter, AC adapter and carry / storage bag. Some of the features include a torch (various modes), twin USB ports, DC Out, DC In, short-circuit protection, overcharging protection and low self-discharge when stored. All in all, this AUDEW (V9QWOTCBD) offers really good value for money.

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