Automotive tools and products we trust


Wesley TroglodyteCar 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 driver, Road & Trackand Automatic week are in the trenches week after week to bring you the best automotive news and information. In the process, we use many things.

This includes tools for working on vehicles, aftermarket products to improve them, and gadgets, technologies, cleaners and accessories that make them more user-friendly.

There are a ton of automotive gear and products and plenty of places to buy it all. But if you haven’t tried something 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 equipment and car accessories we use ourselves.

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

Lisle No Spill Funnel

Flushing coolant or refilling a cooling system after performing a repair can be a mess. Either you have a system full of air pockets, not enough coolant, or a huge spill on your hands. In a repair shop, none of this is acceptable to mechanics – and neither should they be to you. The solution: a splash-proof funnel.

the Lisle No Spill Funnel (image top) comes with four caps, five adapters and a stopper, allowing you to pre-fill the funnel and safely transfer any remaining coolant to an overflow or empty bottle. The four styles of caps cover a wide range of common radiators, and the adapters help you get the funnel in the right place. The cap holds the funnel upright, placing it at the system’s highest point to help massage air out of nooks and crannies. It is a low budget solution for a high pressure headache. —Wesley Wren, Associate Editor, Autoweek


magnetic induction heating kit to repair stuck bolts


Solary Magnetic Induction Heating Kit

If you turn keys in the rust belt, the Solary Magnetic Induction Heating Kit can be your best friend. Instead of taking a blowtorch every third rusty and seized bolt, I take the induction heater kit instead. These little machines can do the job with precision and speed that most technicians in the Midwest dream of. Rusty suspension woes, go for it!

This particular kit is on the lower end of the Solary spectrum, where prices can reach $900. But believe me when I say that this unit is enough to boost your turnover. Or at the very least, you save yourself a few frustrating afternoons trying to free that rusty bolt from its home. —Katherine Keeler, Technical Assistant, Car and Driver


helmet pilot riding racing sunglasses

Marc VaughnCar and driver

Flying eye optics

flying eyes was started by a pilot who wanted sunglasses that would fit comfortably under the helmet he wore at the controls. They are perfect for race car drivers, motorcyclists and anyone who wears a helmet. The arms are flat and slide between your head and the ear pads. On a day hike, you definitely don’t want sunglasses that squeak and cut your ear or your skull.

Thin and lightweight, Flying Eyes are virtually unbreakable, offering 100% UV400 protection in multiple lens choices, including polarized. Flying Eyes also manufactures corrective lenses. Prices start at $199. —Mark Vaughn, Editor, Autoweek


iphone game controller

Colin MorganCar and driver

RiotPWR ESL Gamepad for iOS

Mobile gaming is a massive industry, and racing games take up a significant portion of that market, with powerful graphics and impressive car rosters. However, using your thumbs to drive is . . . disappointing. To combat this, RiotPWR released the ESL, a gamepad that plugs into your phone, unleashing the power of traditional game controls for a huge list of compatible mobile games.

RiotPWR sent me the iOS version (you can also buy an Android version), and I tried it with the Gear.Club game. Setup is simple: plug in the Lightning port, insert the phone holder, launch a compatible game, select the option that says “play with controller,” and you’re good to go.

The controller feels good – the wired connection produced no lag and the build seems sturdy. The button layout is almost identical to that of an Xbox One controller, and apart from the bumper buttons being a bit noisy, playing with it feels natural. The only knock I have is that the cord is excessively long for phone gaming; a shorter one would suffice. All in all, if you want to take your mobile gaming skills to the next level, you need to have one of these controllers and the ESL from RiotPWR is an excellent choice. —Collin Morgan, Associate Trade Editor, Hearst Autos


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