How to Upgrade Old Cars with New Tech

How to upgrade your old car on a budget

The most significant difference between brand-new vehicles and older models isn't the technology, engines, or driving characteristics: it is the interior features and impressive new tech you'll find in current cars.

With each new generation, the car industry introduces more gadgets and components, making driving easier, safer, and more fun. However, just because you own an older model without all these modern amenities doesn't mean you need to replace it with a brand-new vehicle. What if we told you that you could significantly upgrade and modernize your older car with modern features? 

Why Is It a Good Idea to Upgrade Your Car?

There are several reasons why you should consider upgrading your vehicle, starting with the fact that modifications will enhance your driving experience, providing you with better control and more information to help you make the time you spend driving more pleasurable. Some modifications will also improve safety, visibility, and driving dynamics.

Overall, intelligent improvements to your car will also prolong its lifespan, raise its value on the second-hand market, and give that old truck or car a new lease on life.

Ways To Upgrade

 1. Accessibility Upgrades 

  • Rear View Backup Camera

Mandatory on newer cars but unavailable on older models, a backup camera is an easy mod that will significantly increase visibility and help you park your vehicle much more easily than before. It consists of a rear-mounted camera and parking sensors and works with the display on the central console.

  • Digital TPMS

The TPMS stands for tire pressure monitoring sensor, a useful feature many old cars unfortunately don't have. However, numerous products are available for retrofitting, and they can make all the difference in everyday driving. This system, along with automatic inflation or deflation, can go a long way to enhance off-road driving.

  • Digital Gauges

Another significant old car upgrade is the addition of the digital gauges set. Older cars have analog gauges, which have become less precise over time. Installing a new digital set will make your instruments more visible, easier to read, and more accurate, and will even provide you with new readings. Aftermarket companies make numerous versions of digital gauges to suit all kinds of cars.

2. Lightning Upgrades

  • LED Headlights

Old Halogen-type headlights are common in older models, but the rise in modern-day LED technology has resulted in a revolution in car lighting systems - with a simple headlight change, you can get up to 60% more visibility for all driving conditions.

  • Ambient Lightning

Even though ambient lightning will not improve your vehicle's driving characteristics, it will rejuvenate the look of your outdated interior and help you feel more comfortable. This is one of the easiest DIY upgrades you can perform.

3. Installing A Bluetooth System

Canadian laws are very strict about using your phone while driving, and most drivers rely on the services of a Bluetooth system that connects to your audio or infotainment multimedia device. This is a simple and useful upgrade, allowing you to answer your calls without taking your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road. 

4. Blind-Spot Warning and Cross-Traffic Alert

Modern safety features are very advanced, helping drivers avoid accidents. Older cars, unfortunately, don't have these systems, but thankfully, they are available for retrofitting. The Blind-Spot Warning and Cross-Traffic Alert is an advanced system that can be installed in older models, requiring a specialist approach in order to calibrate all of its sensors, cameras and electronic devices.

5. Head-Up Display 

Modern vehicles often come with HUD systems (Head-Up Display) that open up convenient ways to customize your instrument gauges and display them right in your line of sight, directly onto your windscreen. With this system, you can see all of your relevant readings without taking your eyes off the road. Installing such a system in older cars is easy - however, you will need to either replace the windshield or cover it in see-through foil, since the HUD will require a reflective surface in order to display information on the glass correctly.

6. Dashcam

Whether you want to record your driving or are afraid of insurance scams, dashcams are an excellent add-on for any vehicle. Easy to install and set up, they will help you record anything happening in traffic before or behind you.

7. Tunes, Directions and Apps

The infotainment system is a very important feature nowadays, and some older cars have systems that need updating in order to accept the newest apps and display relevant information. We strongly suggest you pay attention to this aspect of upgrading, since it can transform your driving experience. Today, drivers depend on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and having those features in older vehicles is really beneficiary.

8. Audio Updates

Regardless of how good your audio system was in older models, chances are that your speakers do need to be fixed, and that the head unit cannot play the newest formats. For all music lovers, having a great sounding system in your vehicle is a must, and there are many head units, speakers, and subwoofers you can choose to install to make your favourite tunes sound better than ever.

9. Phone Accessories

Smartphones are integral parts of everyday life, especially if you want to modernize your old car. Therefore, wireless chargers, phone docks, and of course, connectivity are a must for any serious enthusiast.

10. Seat Heaters and Massagers

Installing seat heaters is one of the most accessible mods you can perform, and is also very welcome in Canadian winters. Heated seats, especially those with the massaging function, are significant assets if you drive long distances.


Frequently Asked Questions About Vehicle Upgrades 

Which Cars Are These Upgrades Available for?

At Westminster Motors, we specialize in Jaguar, Land Rover, and Bentley models, and we provide upgrades for these brands. We also perform professional installation, ensuring our customers that their upgrades will function perfectly and that their systems installed are of the highest quality. Jaguar servicing near you, which is also capable of suggesting proper upgrades, is a great asset for any enthusiast. 

Can You Put New Technology in an Older Car?

In short, yes: you just need to be sure that the electrical system can accept those modifications, and that there is sufficient space in the interior. Some older cars will also keep their value if left in their factory's original state, and our service advisors will suggest whether or not you should consider keeping your car stock or modifying it. 

How Can I Keep My Car in Good Condition? 

You can easily maintain the condition of your car by properly maintaining it, servicing it with the help of skilled mechanics, using its original parts and components, and driving it in a moderate manner. Remember, pushing your car to its limits and avoiding regular service intervals is a sure way to the scrapyard. The best way is to keep your regular car maintenance by schedule. 

What Is the Hardest Thing to Replace in a Car? 

The answer to this depends on your make or model, but in most cases, the engine, gearbox, dashboard and electronic system are the hardest and most time-consuming parts to replace. Some of those items can cost several thousand dollars to replace. The Range Rover repair costs are known to be high, if the vehicle is neglected and multiple things need to be repaired or replaced.

How Do I Choose the Best and Most Suitable Car Upgrades?

Since there are so many different upgrades, items, and components you can put in your car, many people commonly ask how to choose the right ones.

Firstly, shortlist the parts that suit you the best in terms of performance, quality, and features. Secondly, you should shortlist them according to their difficulty of installation.

At Westminster Motors, we are happy to help you decide on your next upgrade and offer advice on what brands or models to get.

At the end of the day, even if your vehicle is older, that doesn't mean that it is redundant. With a few smart upgrades, it can be just as modern and comfortable as a brand-new one. However, choose wisely, and don't hesitate to ask for professional help to get the best results and find the perfect upgrades that will breathe new life into your older vehicle.