There are a number of reasons why you might consider adding accessories to your Ford Focus. Whether you want to install a rear-view camera to improve the overall safety of the car, your passengers and yourself, or if you want to install a brand new spoiler that transforms your car from dull to dashing, there are advantages and disadvantages to installing aftermarket accessories. Here are some things to consider when buying aftermarket parts for your Ford Focus.
Considerations Regarding Ford Focus Accessories First, if you’re like most car enthusiasts, sound is everything. Although a performance muffler is easy to install and can add some volume to the rev of your engine, your neighbors might not be so understanding of the extra-loud growl. Think carefully about your community and your neighborhood before adding this accessory to your Focus.
If you’re someone who believes that spoilers only exist to make a car look cool, think again. Spoilers actually make your Focus more aerodynamic. In other words, because there’s less drag, you’ll require less gas to drive, and you might be pleasantly surprised to find that can pay off at the gas pump--and in your wallet--over time.
Lowering the suspension of your Focus can certainly result in better handling--and more attention as you drive down the road. But before you lower your car, consider the increased risk of damage from uneven road surfaces, potholes and speed bumps that lowering your vehicle may cause. It might not pay off in the long run, particularly if you live in a poorly paved area.
If lowering your car isn’t quite your thing and you’d rather feel like you’re sitting up on top of the world, there are also some things to think about. Jacking up your car a few inches using fatter tires or lift kits may result in less stable turns due to a higher center of gravity. Sure, the eagle-eye view from your newly raised ride might be awesome, but the greater chance of rollovers won’t.
One of the most common car accessories people purchase today are Global Positioning Systems (GPSs). Although most modern cars come with GPS units factory installed in the center console, older model Ford Focuses do not. When shopping, look for a device that gives easy-to-understand directions in a voice you can clearly hear. Voice directions, rather than visual directions, help to ensure you keep your eyes on the road since you don’t need to look at a screen to know where you’re going.
On the low-tech front, nothing will ruin your day more than spending all of your time with the hot sun blazing down on your lap, arms and face as you drive down the highway without a tree in sight. Fortunately, window shades are very inexpensive and can be easily attached to your windows to bring you shade when you need it most. They can also help to keep the car cool when it is stationary. After all, there’s nothing worse than leaving an air-conditioned store only to climb into a blazing hot Focus.
Are you tired of hearing, “Are we there yet?” Investing in an aftermarket movie or DVD system can help to silence backseat fights and, ultimately, keep you less distracted. Rather than trying to contort yourself into a Gumby-like shake, playing a movie for your kids in the backseat is sure to keep them--and you--happy, whether you’re traveling down the street to the grocery store or heading on a family vacation to the nearest beach.
Do you ever wish you had eyes in the back of your head? Sometimes, your side and rear-view mirrors only tell a part of the story. To help combat this, you might consider installing a backup camera system in your Focus. This device consists of a screen typically installed on your dashboard, and the camera works with the rear-view mirrors to give you a better picture of what is behind your car.
If you have an older Focus, your car probably isn’t equipped with Bluetooth. Bluetooth capabilities help to get audio off of your phone and onto your car speakers. Assuming your phone has a headphone jack, you can use either your car’s cassette deck or AUX port. If you want hands-free calling and Bluetooth streaming, invest in an adapter that pairs wirelessly with your phone and then transmits the audio to your car over FM or via an old-school headphone cable.
Although it goes without saying that you shouldn’t fiddle with your phone while you drive, sometimes, you need it within easy reach--especially if you’re relying on your phone’s navigation system rather than a separate, standalone GPS system. However, rather than trying to juggle your phone in your lap or center console, invest in a phone mount that will hold your phone and secure the mount on your dashboard. If possible, avoid affixing it to the windshield as this could restrict your view of the road and prevent you from seeing obstacles in front of you, thus increasing the chance of an accident.
Conclusion Although we’ve covered a number of must-have accessories for both the interior and exterior of your focus, it’s worth it to mention a few other important things you should keep in your car at all times. Whether you already have jumper cables, a tire repair kit or a tire gauge or you consider these items to be “extra” and not really necessary, they are absolutely worth the small investment as they provide peace of mind should an accident, breakdown or other adverse event occur.
Purchasing an aftermarket accessory for your car is certainly a fantastic way of customizing your vehicle to your unique needs, tastes and style. However, there are several things to think about when buying accessories, including safety hazards, insurance implications and the potential for vehicular damage or personal injury. Still, nearly all accessories are beneficial and can help make your ride--and your life--a little easier, but only if they are properly installed and used as intended.