(Note: There are affiliate links in this post, which means I make a small commission if you use the link to make a purchase, but it does not increase your price. I received no compensation for recommending these products.I’m sharing them because I love using them.)
I’m not the kind of doctor who drives the latest-model foreign car. The men at the mechanic’s shop know me by name if that tells you anything. I believe in good maintenance and in driving a vehicle as long as possible.
My current car is a 2007 Altima with more than 225,000 miles on it. I bought it used toward the end of 2007, partly because it had the exact niceties I wanted, as well as a great sound system. Well, great for the 2007 model. It didn’t have Bluetooth capabilities or the ability to connect to my phone, but that wasn’t possible then, anyway.
My farm truck is a 1997 Ford. Yes, my truck has a cassette player. The odometer quit working a while back, so I don’t know how many miles it has, but it runs like a champ. It’s not time to replace either vehicle.
Longing for luxury
Occasionally, however, I longed for the luxuries of later-model vehicles with Bluetooth streaming capabilities. I especially wanted to stream my music or audio books over the car’s radio/sound system. Instead, I used earbuds to listen. It wasn’t the same.
In addition to the Bluetooth problem, my phone wanders in my car. I hope I’m not the only person with this problem. No matter where I put it, it slides off the seat and onto the floor. Sometimes, it ends up under the seat.
If I’m following maps app directions in heavy traffic, I need a heads up for left-hand turns in plenty of time to allow for lane changes. It’s hard to see a turn coming up if the phone if under the seat, right?
When I’m listening to audiobooks, it’s difficult to hear the narrator if the phone has fallen into the black hole of the floorboard. I tried sticky pads without much success. I needed a way to hold my phone and a way to hear the narration more clearly.
Tech-savvy son to the rescue
A few months ago, my son, Ryan, introduced to me two products that transformed my life. Best of all, I bought both for just over $25 total. I’m so happy with both of them and expect you will be, too.
The phone-fumble solution
WizGear’s air vent magnetic phone holder slides onto one of the air vent blades to hold my phone in place. There’s a metal shield to apply to the inside of the phone cover or attach to the back of the cover.
Function over beauty
I attached my adhesive metal plate on the back of my phone cover before I considered the appearance. Ryan said it looked ugly, and I secretly agreed with him. It’s a good thing I prefer function over form because the adhesive is super strong. That’s a good thing, of course, but I couldn’t remove it once placed.
If I had a cover color other than shiny pink metallic, it might be fine. I’ve considered painting a floral scene on it to fix the aesthetics problem, but haven’t gotten around to it. I use this magnet every day, despite the metal plate on the back of my phone. It works. (Word to the wise: Consider where you want the metal plate before you attach it.)
But I digress. Slide the phone magnet over the air vent blades, then place the phone on the holder. The magnet holds the phone. No sliding. No wandering. I can easily see the maps app and prepare for turns ahead of time. (You certainly don’t want to use this holder to read text messages, but, of course, you wouldn’t do that, anyway.)
No more fumbling for my phone. No more dropping the phone under the seat and pulling off the road to retrieve it. It’s a little bit of driving heaven.
The Bluetooth FM transmitter stereo solution
The best tech gadget, however, is the Nulaxy wireless Bluetooth FM transmitter. As the name implies, this device pairs your phone and your car radio via Bluetooth technology and streams your audio through the car’s speakers.
It’s simple to use. Insert the transmitter in the cigarette lighter and turn on the car radio. The transmitter searches for an “empty” station (one that’s not in use) and displays the number of the station on the screen. Tune the radio to that station and a wonderful James Earl Jones-type voice says, “Waiting for pairing.” After Bluetooth connects the phone to the transmitter, it announces “paired,” then mysteriously transmits through the radio speakers.
Instant music or audiobooks and great sound.
Once you’ve tuned to the appropriate station, the transmitter stores the station’s location in its memory. As long as you leave the radio set to the appropriate station, you can plug it in and wait for pairing.
As an extra benefit, the transmitter also has a USB port so you can charge your phone as you listen. How great is that?
I love this transmitter and I wish I’d bought two – one for the car and one for the farm truck. For now, I swap it back and forth. I wish I could use it on my tractor, but no such luck. At least not yet.
If you’re driving an older-model car without Bluetooth capabilities, check out these two gadgets. I hope they’ll change your life as much as they’ve changed mine.
If you want to check out the items, you can click on the buttons next to the photos, the link in the text paragraphs, or these links here:
Here’s a quick user checklist for each product:
Apply metal plate to the back of your phone or inside the phone cover. BE SURE of your desired location BEFORE applying it. It’s wonderfully adhesive.
- Slide the magnet over the blades of the air vent.
- Place the phone over the magnet.
- Turn car radio on.
- Insert FM transmitter in car cigarette lighter.
- When empty station number is displayed on the screen, tune the radio to the appropriate station.
- Wait for the audio “paired” signal, then click on your phone’s audio. It should immediately begin to play over your car’s speakers.
- Once the station is selected, the transmitter stores the number. As long as you leave the radio set on that station, you can plug in, pair, and play.
- Happy listening!
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Here’s the cassette currently in my truck’s “stereo system.” Yes. “Crows Fighting An Owl.” See why I needed help?
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