No touchscreens in the ashtray, please.
September 26, 2011 6:27 PM   Subscribe

Help me pimp my hybrid.

So I went without a car for 2 years, and was going to treat myself to something a bit more extravagant than before (2005 civic).

Unfortunately, I have some kind of chemical imbalance that doesn't allow me to make extravagant purchases. I settled on a heavily inspected 2008 civic hybrid with 45,000km (30,000 miles). It even looks brand new. I got a REALLY good deal for it (insurance guy said the price i bought it for was 25% below its current market value). So great. I made a very reasonable car purchase.

Help me pimp it out nicely.

I'd like for there to be some kind of monitoring device that shows my driving is using power (seen it in lotsa taxis), definitely, id really like bluetooth, performance tires, android compatible, lasers, spinning spears on wheels, airprint, oil slicks and projectiles during chases, usb 3.0, and seawater submersion capabilities.

Pretty much all ideas for a 2008 honda civic hybrid with these reservations:

1. No external stuff. Seriously. It goes 0-60 in like 60 seconds, it doesn't need flames. Although can it be painted? How do I have a nonshiny car without it looking like it was spraypainted by a 15 year old.

2. Yeah. I don't care if those damn family stickers are on the inside of cars. They are a no-no.

3. Right hand driving.

Yeah, help me make my frugal purchase a more enjoyable/customized vehicle.

Thanks, mefites.
posted by hal_c_on to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Dashboard shrine!

I made one for my dad, that was a silver cardboard and "vellum" version of something like this, with a purchased Ganesha figure inside. My dad got Ganesha, destroyer of obstacles, because his Suburban is, according to him, "just a little larger than I think it is" and he keeps destroying people's bumpers with it.

You might favor Saraswati (wisdom and science, ergo Prius) or Lakshmi (financial responsibility, ergo Prius) or, I suppose, whatever diety you actually worship. It would be awesome on the huge dashboard of a Prius.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 6:55 PM on September 26, 2011

Best answer: Nonshiny? There are shops that wrap your car in matte vinyl adhesive, matte black is a bit of a fad around here actually. Same places that do van graphics. Protects the paintjob and, if you're so inclined, you can paint wacky stuff on top of it and have a cool art art car — and peel it right off before reselling.
posted by Tom-B at 7:35 PM on September 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: There are shops that wrap your car in matte vinyl adhesive

Whoa. Awesome idea. I'm looking stuff up locally, but about how much would that cost and how long would it last? Totally awesome idea!

Offending my Hindu friends, not so much.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:57 PM on September 26, 2011

Best answer: Tinted windows, if you don't already have them.

Halogen headlights, if you don't already have them. Cool looking blue headlights.

Is it a manual? A leather wrapped gear shift knob would be nice in your hand.

A new stereo, with integrated Bluetooth and an mp3 player input (aux mini-jack) would be good. maybe upgrade the speakers too. It's nice having great sound in your car while you cruise around.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:12 PM on September 26, 2011

Best answer: S U B W O O F E R S
posted by scose at 8:27 PM on September 26, 2011

Best answer: I just got a new used car that has a nice Pioneer stereo with a USB port for my iPod. When it's plugged in, you use the stereo interface to control the iPod. It's pretty slick.
posted by gnutron at 8:50 PM on September 26, 2011

Best answer: Does it have those weird pie-plate wheels/hubcaps? Replace those with some tasteful rims.

Other than that, man, I dunno sky's the limit. Go search some Civic discussion forums and see what you like best. Blend to taste.
posted by TangoCharlie at 8:58 PM on September 26, 2011

Best answer: More specifically: Honda rims. Personally, I think 3rd-party branded wheels look tacky, but that's me.
posted by TangoCharlie at 9:00 PM on September 26, 2011

Best answer: Budget notwithstanding, I've always been a little jealous of people that have dashboard mounts for their tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a pretty nice car-mode, and since I'm sure your Civic (if it's like my 2011) doesn't have nav, you'd be also adding something practical on top of flashy and fun.

And a second on the window tint. Civics really have very little privacy because the front windshield is so HUGE. I enjoy having the interior dimmed a little bit.

And a further second on replacing the stock rims. I don't know what Honda was thinking with those -- but they definitely have some prettier ones available.

Lastly, dashboard hula girl.
posted by erstwhile at 10:09 PM on September 26, 2011

Blue headlights (which are actually white, true story) are for people who want to be on Jersey Shore and wear Affliction and Ed Hardy T-shirts. Don't. Do. This.

Drop a K&N filter into it. Not the intake, just the filter. They're not cheap, but since they last forever they represent a savings over time, and it will help your fuel mileage. Amazon usually has the best prices.

I just had a car with Sync for rental for a week, and holy SNAP am I thinking about a head unit that does bluetooth audio streaming, it's so amazingly badass. My car has onboard bluetooth, but not audio streaming. Sad, sad, sad face.

Headlight swaps are easy, look at ebay for your model year for some basic shape options.
posted by TomMelee at 6:24 AM on September 27, 2011

Seconding K&N air filter, especially since you sound somewhat frugal. How about neons in the floorboards or underbody. Careful, some states have laws against operating them while in motion or restrictions on colors.

If you do the fancy headlights *PLEASE* make sure you point them down/aim them properly. They hurt like hell in my little car when I have oncoming traffic that is virtually spotlighting the treetops for possums.

Nitrogen in the tires is another option, somewhat snaky-oily but definetly not a detriment and I've had good luck with that setup, but I'm a passive driver anyway.

Check out dashboard mods over at instructables and go from there.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:20 AM on September 27, 2011

hal_c_on, re: matte vinyl wrap, I dunno how much that costs, and I'm in Brazil anyways...
posted by Tom-B at 2:34 PM on September 27, 2011

Please don't do blue headlights. Read up on road lighting from

They actually put less light on the ground, it just looks brighter because our eyes don't process blue light well.

If you get a Bluetooth stereo, make sure that it does Bluetooth music. All bluetooth isnt created equal.

I also suggest window tint. Check the legality where you live, but I love having (very minor) tint on my windshield.

Look at a Scanguage or another similar device. They plug into your car's OBDII (computer) and can give you all sorts of crazy information.

Also, see if you can find a forum you like. I'm sure there are a tonne for Civics, but you need one that has a strong "anti rice" section. "Rice" is used colloquially to mean flames, neons, stickers, fart cans, etc. Anything you can buy at Autozone or Walmart to make your car "cooler."
posted by phritosan at 4:12 PM on September 29, 2011

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