Not New Products
by Pat Goss
If you lock your keys into a modern car, you may be faced with a new challenge. See, on many of them you can’t use the old-fashioned Slim Jim. As a matter of fact, you have to use tools that are shaped like this. They can be very complicated, but they’re also a lot thicker than the old type tools. So that means you need more space between the window and the body of the car to get the tool down in there.
Well, Steck has the answer. This is what they call an Easy Wedge [left]. It’s an inflatable tool that is placed between the weather stripping and the window itself. You pump it up, and as you do it very forcefully expands, and as it expands it forces the window away from the weather stripping without damaging the window, the weather stripping, or the body of the vehicle. Now we’ve also found that this is very helpful in moving all kinds of things on a car. Maybe you need a little extra space between a piece of molding or something where you need to get a screwdriver in there. That works great, and it doesn’t scratch or damage anything.
Here’s a neat thing. This is a battery pack [right]. It’s from Brookstone. It will actually recharge the dead battery in your car. You plug it into the cigarette lighter, wait a few minutes, and you can start the car. It’s small, it will fit in the glove box, and it does a great job. It also has a port in it so that you can power up your cell phone or whatever you might want to use.
In this case, we’re using it to power up this Garmin StreetPilot III GPS system, which is also a very neat item to own. It acts like the built in GPS systems in the car. It’s full color. It has voice commands so that it tells you when to make a turn and so on. You program it from a CD-ROM, and then you never get lost again.
Another thing that you might be faced with, maybe you want to buy a new car or you’d like to have your old car have heated seats. Well, in many new cars you have to buy an expensive package in order to get the heated seat option. Well, from Rostra Precision Controls, here’s a retro-fit kit. It costs about a hundred dollars per seat plus installation. It comes with two heater pads, one for the cushion, one for the back of the seat. It has all of the wiring, a neat switch, a control module, the whole package. And it is inexpensive, works very well. All of these things work well, and they make life with your car a lot easier.
If you have a question or a comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.