My new commuter car, a 2012 Scion iQ, isn’t nearly as easy to find in a parking lot as my 1955 Studebaker is. While I’m fantastic at following maps, I’m horrid at knowing my direction (as friends who’ve seen me lost inside a Target will laughingly attest to). So when I found out there’s a car gadget that will keep track of my car for me without any conscious effort on part, I said “Yes please!” In addition, it has not just one, but two USB charging ports – so both the hubster and I can keep our devices charged during roadtrips. This is one smarty-pants in a sea of silly car gadgets…it’s ZUS, a smart car charger by Nonda – a Silicon Valley company that’s won plenty of awards (including some for ZUS).


Connecting to both Apple and Android devices, I hoped ZUS wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to pair my iPhone. After downloading and opening the app, the only thing I needed to do was plug ZUS into my car’s accessory socket and they found each other – no signing up or other shenanigans necessary.


I decided to test it out while attending the Grand National Roadster Show. A huge event held at the Pomona Valley Fairgrounds, the parking lot is massive. With no coral-colored Studebaker to stick out like a sore thumb, and the tiny iQ that likes to hide behind other cars, I felt relieved to know I’d have the directions back to my car in the palm of my hand when it was time to leave.


The show was awesome, and I even nabbed this killer shot of George Barris’ Munster Coach in the moody lighting of dusk. When I finally got clear out to the nearly empty parking lot… sure enough, my car was no where in sight.


Opening up the ZUS app, I was pointed in the direction of my car as well as how far away it was. With lighting not the best in this parking lot, I was thankful I wasn’t left wandering around.


Soon enough, my iQ appeared from the far side of a pickup and I was glad my afternoon of walking around a car show had come to an end.


Another thing which I was pleasantly surprised about in ZUS is it’s parking timer reminder feature. There’s a prompt that will ask you if you need to set a timer – even if you don’t set a reminder, the app will tell you how much time it’s been since you’ve parked.


It’s great design also includes a lighted USB area, so even in a dark car you know where the port is – as well as things like 2x speed of charging and a low-heat feature that prolongs its life.


The charging feature came in super handy when I was out at King of The Hammers last month. Staying in an RV all week and trying to power up a whole team of photographers’ batteries, computers, and phones – ZUS charged my phone fast enough while I was using my car for trips around the lakebed that I didn’t need to worry about charging up in the RV. I was also very surprised that the car locator even worked out here in the middle of nowhere, nary a cell phone signal. When you’re trying to find your car after a night event for which a ton of vehicles just parked any ‘ol place up the side of a hill and now are all driving away with their bright LED lights shining in your eyes… this thing was a godsend!


For it’s <$50 pricetag, ZUS has proved to be a valuable asset in my car. It’s a nifty little car gadget filled with useful technology that I don’t even have to get my hands greasy to install! Until March 31st, GreaseGirl readers can receive 10% off on by using the code SMM-MMZUSSUMMER16. Enjoy!

Happy Trails,

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