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Cool Cars & Tech

Gadgets for geeks

A range of gadgets for the car geek.

Published May 10, 2012
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For me under $50

Digital pressure gauge — Simple, cheap and useful. I’m ready to replace my pencil-type tire pressure gauge with a more accurate and convenient digital item. From $25 in major auto parts stores.

Flat cap — In wool or tweed. This is my retort to sideways-ball-cap-wearing youth driving tuner cars and blaring rap music through mega-bass sound systems. From $25 in fine men’s stores.

Fastest DVD — From UK filmmaker Mark Neale, this documentary looks at the 2010 MotoGP racing season. Watch Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner and others do what they do, up close. Available from fastestthemovie.com for $30 plus shipping.

For Partner under $100

Autel MS 309 code reader No instant brownie points for this one but this OBD II code reader (1996-up vehicles) will save time and money when the dreaded check engine light comes on. Along with the symptoms, she’ll be armed with trouble codes when visiting the dealer to get the car fixed. $99 from Princess Auto.

CAA membership — Peace of mind. For both of us. Basic membership offers roadside assistance, free maps, discounts and more, and costs just $65.50 a year. Associate membership is $37.50 if you’re already a member. Join at caa.ca.

Garmin nüMaps lifetime update — I’m going to sleep in the doghouse for this one, but she’ll appreciate it when she doesn’t get lost driving around in Boston using her Garmin GPS. Update maps in Garmin units forever for $79 from gpscentral.ca.

For me unlimited

Rolex GMT-Master II — The Rolex GMT-Master II, preferably in stainless steel. It has a fourth hand and an adjustable ceramic bezel that allows you to set time locally, while keeping the main hands on home time. Great for those cross-country drives. $8,000. Go to rolex.com to find a local dealer.

Scangauge II — This is a great tool to help you use less fuel. It’s not one of those gadgets that claims miraculous improvements in fuel economy; it’s a trip computer that plugs into your car’s ECU and calculates fuel costs (among other things) so you can adjust your driving. $149 from Canadian Tire.

PitStop office furniture — What better way to write about driving than sitting in a racing seat, at a desk that uses stainless steel braided hoses for lateral support and comes with 13-inch coilover shocks. $400 U.S. each for chair and desk from intro-techautomotive.com.

KTC mini tool box — The SKX0000 mini tool box by KTC (45 cm tall) is for the mechanic that has everything. It contains a small selection of tools; top and base ordered separately, from Japan, starting at $390. sk-sales.net.

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