Looking for a great auto accessory for a gear head?
I get lots of letters from readers asking for auto accessory gift ideas for the guy in their life. Here are my picks for accessories that he’ll love
Best floor mats
You can buy floor mats at any auto parts store or in the automotive department at any mass merchant, but even the expensive ones are junk in my opinion. Trust me, I’ve used most of them. They work great for the first few years. Then they start to curl and slide around and pretty soon you’re tossing them. If you really want great floor mats, there’s no other option than Weathertech. Yes, they cost a bit more, but you’re buying something that’ll last the life of the car. Period. They offer several styles, but I own the laser matched for my Camry. It’s one of the best auto accessories I’ve ever bought.
Best truck bed step
At last count about 15 companies make truck bed steps, but most are really expensive (like around $200) and require drilling to install. The Heinenger HitchMate TruckStep fits into an existing 2” trailer hitch receiver. Slide it into the receiver and lock it with the locking pin. Slide the step out when you want to jump into the truck bed and push it back in when you’re done. It’s a great auto accessory for any vehicle with a 2″ trailer hitch receiver. $75
Best tire step
I love the guys at Heinenger because they come up with great ideas at affordable prices. Their 4040 HitchMate TireStep folds up so you can store it behind your truck cab seats. Then just unfold it and slip it over a front or back tire to reach into your engine compartment or tie items to your truck bed or rack. $30
Aquapel glass treatment repels water
Rain-x works, but it doesn’t last very long. The last thing you want to be doing on a cold day is re-applying a glass treatment. I first used aquapel in 2006 and one application last about a full year. You’ll need 2-3 units to treat all the glass on your car. Just wipe it on the front and back windshield and door glass. After that, rain just beads up and blows off as you drive. Want more? Read this:
A University of Michigan study found that: The application of a hydrophobic treatment to the windshield of an automobile, under simulated rainy-driving conditions resulted in significantly improved visual acuity and decreased response time.
Aquapel repels rain for remarkably improved vision, makes it easier to clear ice, snow and even dirt, reduces glare in the rain, especially at night, helps reduce water marks and keeps down salt water.
Great tire inflator
How often do you check the air pressure in your spare tire? Yeah, I didn’t think so. So here’s the deal; spare tires lose air pressure just sitting in your trunk. Most require 60-psi. to run safely. So you get a flat tire, yank out the spare and install it only to find it’s low on air. No problem, just add this to your shopping list of auto accessories. Just plug it into a power port and run the tire back up to spec. Use it to pump up your regular tires, bike tires, motorcycle tires….whatever.
Best jumper pack
Jumper cables are so yesterday. Do you even remember how to use them? Will they reach that battery located under your back seat (yes, that’s where they are in some newer cars). As Tony Soprano would say, fogetaboutit. This lithium jumper pack from Clore automotive is the bee’s knees. Lithium holds a charge for a long time even in cold weather so you only have to charge it once a season. If you battery goes dead, just attach the jump clamps, hit the button on the pack and crank away. The unit also has a built in flashlight, SOS signal and USB charging ports, so you can take it with you to power your cell phone. The CHARGE IT! PP15 15000mAh Lithium Micro Jump Starter puts out 270 cranking amps and costs about $85.
©, 2016 Rick Muscoplat
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat