Oh no! You lost your garage door remote! And you can’t find your brand at the store! And what’s worse, the garage door was installed before you moved in, and your manufacturer went out of business! Oh geez Louise, now you’re gonna have to spend the rest of your life parking outside, like a chump, or shell out a grand for a new garage door!

Or, you could just buy a generic remote from the store, make sure it has the same number of switches, and set it to the same on/off pattern as your old remote. Car gadgets can be fun!


You don’t always need an exact duplicate of the gadget you had before, you don’t always need to match brand names or make sure that your new gadget comes right from your car’s manufacturer. The truth is that most gadgets will work with most cars. Some of them just might need a little tweak:

Invest in Adapters

If you have a slightly older car and you can’t use all the fancy gadgets you want to use in your old Chevy Celebrity or Ford Taurus, there are adapters that will help:

Aux tape deck converters

These are devices that look like a cassette tape, but with an aux cord attached. This allows you to plug your phone or MP3 player directly into your old stereo without having to rip the whole thing out and replace it with a brand new deck.

Car lighter – USB adapters

You can find these anywhere, you might already have one.

Cupholder-mounted phone docks
A lot of newer cars have built-in phone docks and spots to place your smartphone. If you’re driving a slightly older car, you can pick up a cupholder-mounted phone dock. Some of them plug directly into your car lighter so that you can charge your phone while you go without having to stuff the phone into the ashtray or lay it on the passenger seat or something.

Multi-port USB adapters

If you get a USB adapter with multiple ports, then there’s no reason you can’t have your phone and backseat TV plugged in at the same time.

Wall socket converters

Yes, they actually make converters to let you plug a standard cord into your car lighter. Of course any device that you can only charge with a wall socket is maybe a little too big to be driving around with.

Check Your Premises Before Making Modifications to Your Car

Most gadgets will dock in a cup-holder or stick to your dash or your windshield with suction cups. But, now and then, you may want to break out the skillsaw or the powerdrill. Well, that’s a great way to mount an entertainment device in a car that didn’t come equipped with one, but run down this checklist, first:

• Check your warranties. They probably don’t allow you to make such serious mods to your car’s interior.

• Inform your insurer. Let your insurer know if you’re making any serious changes to your car.

• Know what you’re doing. There’s plenty of DIY videos showing you how to safely drill, cut and chop into your car. If you start poking around blindly, you’re likely to do some serious damage.

Adapting gadgets to fit your car is easy. Most any device can be tweaked to work with whatever it is that you’re driving, and they have all sorts of mounters and converters to outfit your car however you see fit.