Birthday Gifts for the Car Enthusiast – What Do I Buy!?

My wife has it rough.

Not only did she marry a car geek, but she also married an airline pilot (or AVGEEK in the aviation world). When my birthday comes around, she usually has a hard time deciding what to buy. What did I get him last year? Was it a #savethemanuals T-Shirt? Or was it an airplane model? It might sound like a simple matter but as someone who’s not nearly into the same stuff as I am, it’s difficult. Usually, she’ll take hints even when I’m not necessarily giving them (she’s that good). But if you’re having a hard time coming up with gift ideas for the car lover in your life, I’m here to help.

Car guys (and gals) can be a varied, but finicky bunch. We can be particular to a certain brand, some prefer trucks to sports cars while others stick to classic cars instead of exotics. One thing we all can agree on is we take care of our cars (or at least try to). Whether the special car enthusiast in your life is a seasoned wrencher or just starting out, I’ve compiled a short list of gift ideas that I’m sure every car enthusiast will love. And if you have other ideas, feel free to add them in the comments!

Dash Camera


You’ve no doubt seen some pretty intense viral videos caught on dashboard cameras. You remember the one that caught a meteor blasting through the skies over Russia a few years back? Dash cams are becoming increasingly common here in the United States and for good reason. Having footage of a car accident or traffic infraction can mean the difference between a ticket or a clean liscense. The APEMAN C860 is a great choice and offers loads of features for not much coin. Setup is relatively easy and both front and rear cameras offer high quality 1440/1080 resolution. Both cameras have a wide angle 170 degree field of vision and have excellent night vision qualities. One key trait of the C860 is Emergency Lock. A G-sensor senses the sudden acceleration/deceleration indicative of an accident and locks the footage from engine start to 20 seconds after the event. The C860 then saves the event into a folder for viewing later. It also helps that the APEMAN C860 is an Amazon Choice buy. .

Car Cleaning Kit

Turtle Wax Ultimate Car Care Kit

If it’s one thing we can all agree on as car enthusiasts, we are meticulous about keeping our cars clean (especially if its the fun car). Maybe not showroom finish, but clean enough on a regular basis. I slack off on washing our cars sometimes but once I get going, I’ll be there for hours….on one car. Usually I’ll have different products from different brands but this kit has everything one needs from perhaps the best known in the business: Turtle Wax. As far back as Jamaica, I’d been using Turtle Wax products to clean our cars and nothing really comes close to the quality. Their Ultimate Car Care Kit has everything the car enthusiast needs to keep their ‘baby’ looking like new for years to come. The kit can be found in most auto parts stores but if all you’re finding are bits and pieces, the Turtle Wax website has a convenient “retailer search” option to find the closest stores that sell the kit.

Jump Starter

NOCO Boost Plus GB40

Nobody likes dead batteries. But absolutely NO ONE likes dead batteries at the wrong time. I remember coming back from a brutal 4 days of flying, jumping into our old 2006 Civic and *click*….nothing. No dash light, no radio, nothing (actually, the remote locker wasn’t working). A good jump starter is something you hope to never use, but are always glad it’s there when needed. I bought this NOCO Boost Plus GB40 Lithium Car Battery jump starter pack and its a powerful little unit. It’s rated for gas engines up to 6.0-liters as well as Diesel engines up to 3.0-liters and a single charge can give up to 20 starts. What I like about this pack is the ease of use and the multiple functions built in. It has reverse polarity protection, meaning that if the clamps are attached incorrectly, power won’t flow. The lithium battery can also recharge devices through USB ports and it has an integrated flashlight to illuminate dark surroundings. A number one seller on Amazon, the NOCO Boost Plus GB40 is a great addition to any emergency tool kit.

A Good Tool Kit

Craftsman 450-pc Mechanic’s Tool Set

Chances are, the car enthusiast in your life does his or her own repair work. From simple oil changes to complete engine swaps, a good tool set is a key part of any repair job. A good set of tools will also pay for itself within the first couple of uses. Rather than fumbling for tools accumulated over many years (like me), wouldn’t it be better to have everything in one great set? This Craftsman Mechanic’s Tool Set has 450 pieces of the common tools used in the auto repair world. From 3 quick-release ratchets and 191 sockets (both metric and inch) to 16 combination wrenches and set of Allen keys for good measure. If you can’t see your S.O. pulling an engine out on a daily basis (or don’t want to), there’s a simpler 230 piece set available for the Saturday-afternoon mechanic. With quality craftsmanship, your car enthusiast will have all the confidence to say good-bye to the dealership.

OBD-2 Reader

BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scanner

Check Engine Lights (CELs or idiot lights) are a nuisance. They don’t tell you exactly what’s wrong with your car. But the light stares ominously back at you, daring you to wonder: is my car gonna blow up? Or is it just a stupid sensor? Sure, you could pop over to your local auto parts store and have them diagnose the idiot light. But what if you could do that from the comfort of your own garage? Here’s where a Bluetooth OBD-2 reader offers maximum convenience for little money. I’ve been using the ELM327 OBD-2 Diagnostic Interface for many years, but like most technologies, these gadgets have evolved. Enter the BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBD-2 Scanner. Not only can this nifty device decipher that nagging CEL, it will also offer repair solutions drawn from a database of millions of fixes verified by professional technicians. Which means, no more Googling a specific fix. Through the BlueDriver app (compatible with iOS and Android devices) you can see the same diagnostics usually reserved for the professional technician. In the (unlikely) event the car requires a major repair that’s out of your league, the BlueDriver app arms you with the proper information to pass on to a professional technician. Nothing worse than being swindled by a dishonest mechanic.

Any one of these gifts is sure to bring a smile to the face of that car lover in your life. Have any other gift suggestions? Have you bought any one of these? Let me know in the comments!

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