This week on the garage, Suzanne Keane fills you in on how to retro-fit Bluetooth hands free into your car.
Many new cars come with Bluetooth built in but if your car doesn’t have it included don’t despair – There are plenty of options out there, cheap and expensive to make sure you don’t pick up any unnecessary penalty points!
There are 4 main options when it comes to fitting Bluetooth to your car –
The simplest and cheapest option is a bluetooth headset. The advantage of this is that it’s portable so you won’t just be confined to using it in the car. You can get one for as little as €10 but you may need to spend a bit more for decent sound quality and a battery that lasts.
2. Portable car kit
These usually consist of a phone holder with a built in speaker that mounts to your windscreen or rear view mirror like a sat nav. On the plus side you can move it from car to car but you will usually end up with a wire running down the dashboard where it plugs into the cigarette lighter so it can look a bit messy.
3. Standalone car-kit
We’ve all seen the older versions of this, usually a phone specific holder that was wired to the car speakers (I can remember when a Nokia car kit was a selling point on the second hand car market). In the age of bluetooth these kits tend to consist of a miniature dash mounted display (to show who’s calling etc.) and they are wired through the sound system in the car. Obviously these are a tidier solution than a windscreen mounted kit but if you can’t do the job yourself they may be expensive to install.
4. Bluetooth integration
Possibly the most expensive, a stereo with built in bluetooth isn’t much harder to install than a standard stereo but means you won’t have any loose wires or need to stick anything onto the dashboard. Usually the only difference from a stereo without bluetooth is that you will have to feed a microphone wire down behind the dashboard (usually from the top of the A-Pillar to the back of the stereo.
Just remember a bluetooth handsfree kit may be a legal way to use your phone while driving but you should still never allow yourself to be distracted by your phone on the road.
26th August 2013