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Auto tools and products we rely on

Auto tools and products we rely on

Wesley WrenCar and driver

At Hearst Autos, we’re constantly trying out new gear for cars, trucks and motorcycles – and for the people who love them. the staff of Car and driverRoad & Railand car week are in the trenches week after week bringing you the best in automotive news and information. We use a lot of stuff for that.

That includes tools to work on vehicles, aftermarket products to improve them, and the gadgets, technology, cleaners and accessories that make them easier to use.

There’s a ton of auto gear and products out there – and plenty of places to buy it all. But if you haven’t tried anything yourself, how do you know if it’s worth spending your hard-earned money on? That’s why we share our personal recommendations for the car equipment and car accessories we use ourselves.

Here are our picks for the best car gear of the week.


Lisle Spill Free Funnel

Flushing coolant or refilling a cooling system after a repair can be a mess. Either you have a system full of air bubbles, not enough coolant, or a huge amount of liquid on your hands. In a repair shop, none of those things are acceptable for mechanics — and they shouldn’t be for you either. The solution: a spill-free funnel

The Lisle Spill Free Funnel (picture above) Comes with four caps, five adapters and a stopper so you can pre-fill the funnel and safely transfer any leftover coolant to an overflow or empty bottle. The four hood styles cover a wide range of common radiators and the adapters help you place the funnel in the right place. The cap holds the funnel upright and places it at the highest point in the system to help massage the air out of the nooks and crannies. It is an inexpensive solution for high pressure headaches. —Wesley Wren, associate editor, Autoweek

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magnetic induction heater kit fix free stuck bolts

Amazon

Solary Magnetic Induction Heater Set

If you turn wrenches in the Rust Belt, Solary Magnetic Induction Heater Set can be your best friend. Instead of taking a burner to every third rusty and seized bolt, I reach for the induction heating kit instead. These little machines can get the job done with precision and speed that most Midwestern techs only dream of. Rusty Suspension Problems, Get Started!

This particular kit is located at the bottom of the solar system spectrum, where prices go up to $900. But trust me when I say this unit is enough to increase your sales. Or at least save you a few frustrating afternoons getting that rusty bolt out of his house. —Katherine Keeler, technical assistant, car and driver

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helmet pilot driving racing sunglasses

Mark VaughnCar and driver

Flying eyes optic

flying eyes was started by a pilot who wanted sunglasses that would fit comfortably under the headset he wore while at the wheel. They are great for race car drivers, motorcyclists – anyone who wears a helmet. The arms are flat and slide right between your head and ear cushions. During a day ride, you definitely don’t want sunglasses that grind and cut into your ear or skull.

thin and light, flying eyes are virtually unbreakable and provide 100 percent UV400 protection in a variety of lens choices, including polarized. Flying Eyes also makes prescription lenses. Prices start at $199. —Mark Vaughn, Editor-in-Chief, Autoweek

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iphone gaming controller

Collin MorganCar and driver

RiotPWR ESL Gaming Controller for iOS

Mobile gaming is a huge industry and racing games occupy a significant chunk of that market, with powerful graphics and impressive car listings. However, using your thumbs to drive is . † † disappointing. To counter this, RiotPWR has released the ESL, a game controller that plugs into your phone, unlocking the power of traditional game controllers for a huge list of compatible mobile games.

RiotPWR sent me the iOS version (you can download a android version), and I tried it out with the game Gear.Club. Setup is simple: plug into the Lightning port, place the phone holder, launch a compatible game, select the ‘play with the controller’ option and you’re good to go.

The controller feels great – the wired connection produced no lag and the build feels solid. The button layout is almost identical to that of an Xbox One controller, and except that the bumper buttons are a little loud, gaming with them feels natural. The only knock I have is that the cord is too long for phone gaming; a shorter one would suffice. In general, if you want to take your mobile gaming skills to the next level, you should have one of these controllers and the ESL of RiotPWR is a great choice. —Collin Morgan, Assistant Commerce Editor, Hearst Autos

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