Forget the Black Friday sales. A little planning and patience can get you high-quality parts for reasonable prices.
Do It Yourself
In May of 2011, we ran a story about a small company seeking backers for an innovative do-it-yourself device engineered to measure the level of contaminants in a vehicle's motor oil. Armed with the knowledge, consumers could extend oil change intervals, save money and help the environment. Things apparently went well for the startup, as its Lubricheck hit the market this year and it wasn't long before a sample landed in our hands.
We don't know how the folks at Risk Racing got from naval undersea mine design to the Light Mine Pro, but we're glad they did. The baseball sized, sci-fi-like accessory is comprised of two LED arrays – one white, one red – surrounded by 11 protrusions topped by neodymium magnets. Stick it to any metal surface on your car, and you've fire-and-forget illumination.
For those of us who like to service our own cars, being able to retrieve the OBD-II codes is important. There are various readers on the market, with some more capable than others. Of course, once the codes are retrieved, you need to know how to interpret them. The common misconception is that the on-board diagnostics will tell you exactly what's wrong. The truth is, codes may be set that call out a particular component or system which are symptoms, not causes. To really get to the root of the p