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Useful Automotive Gifts You Can Give Mom (or Anyone Else) This Holiday Season

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As a gearhead, you have the unique talent of being able to turn a wrench. You can change oil, replace brakes, and do a bunch of other stuff that most people don’t know how to do⁠—that’s your superpower.

This holiday season, why not leverage that skill by doing some much-needed automotive repairs or upgrades for your friends and family? Maybe you’ve noticed your loved one has a vehicle with brakes that are screeching for help⁠—or perhaps their ride could benefit from add-on accessories, such as a fresh set of floor mats or new seat covers.

As we head into the holidays, let’s take a look at some of the most useful automotive gifts you can give to the people you care about.

gift ideas for the holidays
This holiday season, why not leverage your automotive skill by doing some much-needed car repairs or upgrades for your friends and family?

10 Gifts Gearheads Can Give to Their Loved Ones

Car care can be expensive for those who don’t do their own repairs. Since you’re handy under the hood (and everybody knows it), consider helping out your friends and family this season by taking care of their cars.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. Install New Brakes

These days, installing a new set of brakes can cost upwards of $500 at a repair shop. If you know how to swap out a set of pads and rotors, don’t make Grandma and Grandpa (or anyone else you love) pay those steep prices. Instead, replace their brakes for them. You’ll be keeping them safe while saving them money at the same time.

2. Wash and Detail Your Loved One’s Car

Sure, we’re heading into the winter season. But if you live in an area where snow means salt on the roads, winter is the most important time to clean your car—and clean it well. As a seasonal goodwill gesture, consider offering to clean and detail your loved one’s vehicle.

During the winter, there’s no need to polish the car’s paint or indulge in other beautification practices. Get down to business by washing the vehicle’s exterior and undercarriage thoroughly. Then, clean and sanitize the interior.

Remember: Because of COVID-19, disinfecting the inside of the car is just as important as cleaning the outside.

car wash
As a seasonal goodwill gesture, consider offering to clean and detail your loved one’s vehicle.

3. Put in a New Cabin Filter

Do you want your mom, dad, sister—or anyone else you love—breathing in dust and pollen while driving? We didn’t think so. Replacing the cabin filter will get rid of those impurities, leaving your friends and family with clean air to breathe.

4. Replace Oxidized Headlights

Yellow, oxidized headlights can make even the nicest car look like it’s ready for the scrapyard. If your loved one has been driving around with hideous headlights for years, consider installing a new set of lights for them.

Rubbing compounds (including toothpaste) only provide a temporary fix for oxidation, but a new set of headlights will look great for years.

5. Install Seat Covers

Is your friend or family member known for covering their car’s fine upholstery in coffee and ketchup stains? Then consider getting them a new set of seat covers.

These days, seat covers come in a variety of prints, ranging from mild to wild. So, you’re bound to find a set that matches your recipient’s unique personality.

new car seat covers
Consider getting your friends or family member a new set of seat covers.

6. Lay Down a New Set of Floor Mats

Winter is right around the corner (in some locations, it’s already here), and that means a slushy mixture of snow and mud everywhere you go. To prepare for this, consider getting your loved one a set of floor mats to protect their car from mud-covered boots.

Much like seat covers, floor mats come in various designs, making it easy to find the ideal set for that person on your holiday gift list.

7. Put Together a Roadside Emergency Kit

A breakdown can happen at any time, especially if your loved one still drives, say, an old Ford Pinto. You can buy pre-packed roadside emergency kits online, but to make your gift extra-special, consider creating your own kit. You can include the essentials, such as jumper cables and a flashlight, while fine-tuning the rest of the bundle to your recipient’s needs.

8. Take Care of Overdue Maintenance

In today’s crazy world, putting off oil changes and other routine maintenance is all too easy. If you know your family member or friend has been postponing service for their vehicle, consider doing the job for them over the holidays.

For example, you might want to swap out a set of worn-out spark plugs or toss in a new air filter.

Staying up-to-date on car care will keep your loved one’s vehicle running better for longer.

car maintenance check
If you know your family member or friend has been postponing service for their vehicle, consider doing the job for them over the holidays.

9. Install an Under Seat Storage Box

Does someone you know have junk strewn throughout their car? Then consider getting them a handy-dandy underseat storage box. This will give them a place to put their half-used bottles of hand sanitizer, extra masks—and whatever else they might be lugging around.

10. Replace Worn-Out Steering and Suspension Components

If you’ve ever seen someone broken down on the side of the road due to a failed ball joint or faulty tie rod, then you know just how dangerous worn-out steering and suspension components can be.

Show your friends and family you care this holiday season by giving their vehicle a thorough check and replacing any steering and suspension components that need work.

car suspension repair
Give your friends and family’s vehicle a thorough check and replace any steering and suspension components that need work.

Show Your Loved Ones You Care All Year Round

When the holidays roll around, we make a special effort to show friends and family that we care. But acts of kindness shouldn’t be limited to a specific season.

If someone you care about has a car that needs TLC during the year, why not help out when you can? Your loved ones will appreciate the effort, and you’ll keep your title as the family gearhead that everyone can count on.

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Author

Mia Bevacqua

Chief Mechanic at CarParts.com

Mia Bevacqua is an automotive expert with over 15 years of industry experience. She holds ASE Master, L1, L2, and L3 Advanced Level Specialist certification, as well as a bachelor's degree in Advanced Automotive Systems.

Throughout her career, Mia has applied her skills toward automotive failure analysis inspections, consulting, diagnostic software development, and of course, writing.

Mia has a passion for math, science, and technology that motivates her to stay on top of the latest industry trends, such as electric vehicles and autonomous systems. At the same time, she has a weakness for fixer-upper oddballs, such as her 1987 Chevy Cavalier Z-24 and 1998 Chevy Astro Van AWD.

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