Five car accessory gift ideas for the holidays

OpenRoad Audi parts department
Dealership parts departments, like this one at OpenRoad Audi, can source most factory accessories. Photo by Benjamin Yong.

The holidays are finally upon us — it’s time to dig out those snowboards, skis, boots and everything else that is associated with the season (especially if you participated in our Grouse Mountain promo!) But is your vehicle equipped to haul all that gear or get up the steep and snowy road? Luckily the factory accessory catalogues from auto manufacturers are quite extensive and include everything you need to winterize your ride and give it a little style at the same time. We’ve compiled a top five wish list for you below.

Toyota Rav4 roof rack rail kit

Roof rack

There are few items more useful for carrying stuff than a proper roof rack system for your car, van or SUV. Installing an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) rack is always a better option than a clunky add-on from an aftermarket company. First, you need a rail kit that provides the foundation for a rack to attach to if you don’t already have one, like this one for the RAV4. It attaches to the indents already in the roof for a perfect fit.

Hyundai Santa Fe all weather cargo tray

All-weather cargo tray

Anyone who’s thrown wet clothes or sporting equipment in the trunk or hatch knows how much of a mess it can make. Invest in an all-weather cargo tray that is designed to fit perfectly in the back of whatever you drive that can trap snow, ice or anything else that eventually ends up in liquid form. Hyundai, for instance, carries two different kinds for their Santa Fe.

Scion FR-S 3M paint protection film

Paint protection film

It can be heart breaking to subject your brand new, or new-to-you, automobile to the reality of slush, dirt and salt-covered streets.  You can mitigate the damage to your vehicle’s finish with paint protection film. If you own a Scion FR-S, you can get it straight from participating dealers — the almost-invisible urethane film is made by 3M and is installed on the hood and front fenders, guarding the panels from road debris and general weathering.

Honda winter tires

Winter tires

B.C. may not regularly get as much of the white stuff falling as, say, Toronto, but the usefulness of winter tires cannot be overstressed. Even if there’s no snow on the ground, cold temperatures can dramatically impact the way tires perform. Not something you want when you’re going up the side of a mountain. Many dealers will carry the specific size you need, such as Honda that carries over 10 different brands.

Porsche car cover

Car cover

If you’ve got a sports car that hibernates over the winter while a more practical transport gets you around, you’ll want to make sure your summer set of wheels is protected well against the elements. Especially a must if you keep your car outside, pick up a fitted car cover that repels a variety of harsh weather conditions. Porsche makes both an outdoor version and an indoor one for people with an empty garage space.

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights